NPL teams look to make Bank Holiday double header count

Hucknall v Cuckney.
Scott Harris in batting action for Hucknall.
Hucknall v Cuckney. Scott Harris in batting action for Hucknall.

After a rain-affected Saturday last week all but one of the Notts Premier League sides will be looking to regain - or even find some - momentum over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Topping the table after five games are Cuckney who beat the weather and Hucknall on Saturday to pull off a dramatic last over win to make it five from five; after that though just 22 points separate second from ninth place, so it could be all change come Monday evening.

James Hawley has been a major factor in Cuckney’s 100 per fect start with both bat and ball; his 208 runs have come at an average of 52 along with nine wickets. Sri Lankan Arosh Janoda has also made a solid start to life in a Cuckney shirt with nine wickets too.

Their weekend starts with Plumtree at home and then a short journey to Welbeck for a local derby on Monday.

Nick Langford should get the 34 he needs for 5,000 NPL runs over the two games and Will Butler can go to 150 league wickets with six victims.

Second going into the weekend, but 27 points behind Cuckney, are Mansfield Hosiery Mills who have perhaps surprised a few after their good start.

The runs of George Hadfield (242 at 60.5) and his opening partner Kamal Manek (163 at 32.6) have been at the crux of their batting; they average 66 for the 1st wicket. With the ball Australian Dylan Barmby has been amongst the wickets with 10 scalps.

Their two fixtures are a trip to Birchover Park to face West Indian Cavaliers before they host Hucknall.

It could be a big weekend for Matt Wright as he needs six wickets to reach 350, whilst with the bat Manek can make it 500 NPL runs with a tally of 109 and Tom New requires 117 for 4,000 league runs.

In thirrd spot with 67 points are Plumtree whose loss to Hucknall is their only blemish thus far.

Sam Wood has been consistent with the bat with 205 runs at 51.25 with Olly Soames (143 at 47.67) and Sam Storey (135 at 33.75) offering support.

On the bowling front Graeme White leads the way with 10 wickets and Bobby Gamble has nine.

As noted they will be looking to put the kybosh on Cuckney, before Radcliffe-on-Trent visit on Monday; Saad Ashraf can go to 1,000 NPL runs if he scores 80 or more over the two games, and Matt Milnes can do the double of 1,000 runs and 150 wickets if he gets one victim and scores 48 runs.

Kimberley Institute are in fourth spot on 65 points, having got their opening day defeat at Cuckney out of the system.

George Bacon tops the NPL batting charts with 300 runs at exactly 100 and whilst Martin Weightman has contributed (150 at 37.5) with the bat, the ‘big guns’ in the top-order have yet to really get going; Dominic Brown has produced with the ball though as he has 10 wickets.

A trip to bottom side Caythorpe is followed by the visit of Attenborough to Newdigate Street; whilst he may hope he isn’t required with the willow skipper Alex King will go to 1,500 league runs with 61 over the two games.

In fifth place are West Indian Cavaliers on 57 points, and here is where the league gets really tight as six points are all that separates them from Attenborough in 9th; all five sides having similar records.

The Cavaliers have Rehan Hassan (186 at 62) in the top 10 batsmen with Bilal Shafayat (150 at 37.5) and Adeel Shafique (146 at 73) not far behind.

With the ball, Shahzada Khan’s return has been a very good one as he tops the bowling charts with 15 wickets – almost 40 per cent of the team’s wickets.

After the visit of the Millers, they travel to face Notts Academy; a good weekend for Adeel Shafique could see him make it 500 runs at home with 60 and 124 would mean 1,500 league runs and his brother Kafeel needs two wickets for 50 at home.

In sixth are the youngsters of the Notts Academy who have been playing some good cricket, even if it’s not reflected in their results.

Captain Tom Keast leads in their run-getting with 165 at 55 and Louis Bhabra has been in good nick with 152 at 50.67 from his three innings. Spinners Liam Patterson-White with eight wickets and Anis Raza with seven lead the way with the ball.

A short trip to Radcliffe-on-Trent is followed up by the visit of the Cavaliers. Patterson-White can go to 500 NPL runs with 88 over the weekend and Keast can make it 500 runs at Lady Bay with 49.

Radcliffe, by the virtue of net run-rate, are in seventh place and the first of three clubs on 51 points.

Rob Sutton has scored 156 runs in his three innings thus far at 52, but runs have been in short supply for the team since they smashed 318 on the opening day; they average 160 in their three innings since then. Captain Dave Lucas’ 12 wickets put him second in the bowling charts.

After the visit of Notts Academy they will be hoping to replicate their bowling performance of last season when they knocked Plumtree over for 31; 106 runs for Sutton will see him to 3,500 NPL runs.

Hucknall, in eighth place, were probably in a minority as they hoped for rain to prevent their defeat to Cuckney last time out.

Jake Libby has proved crucial in their two wins as his 230 runs (also his average) have accounted for just over a quarter of Hucknall’s total runs this season; South African Geoff Dods has produced with the ball with 11 wickets as has Suhail Ahmed with 10 .

A big game away at Attenborough is followed by a trip to Mansfield Hosiery Mills; 96 runs for Richard Greatorex in those matches will mean 500 in the NPL.

Attenborough have a little breathing space below them in ninth, but will be looking to increase the gap over the weekend.

Chris Allcoat (187 at 37.4) and Tom Moores (183 at 36.6) have been the main run-scorers so far, but Ben Bhabra is a somewhat lonely figure amongst the bowlers; his nine wickets make him the only Squirrel in the top 30.

After the aforementioned game with Hucknall, a trip to Kimberley beckons; Bhabra can make it 500 NPL runs with 65 across the two games.

Farnsfield find themselves in 10th, but 15 points behind Attenborough.

Skipper Callum McKenzie (154 at 38.5) has lead from the front with the bat, but they need more runs across the board.

Notts man Brett Hutton has led the attack with 11 wickets, but they may not have his services available with the county club in action.

Their weekend is one of two big games with a trip to fellow strugglers Welbeck, followed by the visit of Caythorpe on Monday; McKenzie can make it 500 runs at home in that game with 22 and Matt Sisson needs 79 for 1,000 in the NPL.

Welbeck, down in 11th place, have yet to record a positive result this season and they will be hoping for that to change over the weekend.

One of the reasons for that is a lack of runs with Matt Higgins (130 at 32.5) their only batter in the league’s top 30. Things have been better on the bowling front with Tom Lungley picking up nine wickets and Richard Stroh eight.

Two home games give them a great opportunity to turn things around, after Farnsfield’s visit they welcome leaders Cuckney; Stroh can move to 5,500 NPL runs with 106 and Lungley needs five wickets for 50 at home.

Caythorpe are propping everyone up at the bottom after four straight defeats - and they have only the rain to thank for stopping what looked to be a fifth on Saturday.

James Oldham (195 at 39) is amongst the top ten batsmen, but he ploughs a lone furrow with no other Caythorpe player in the top 50. Anuj Dal has yet to produce with the bat, but has claimed 10 wickets.

After their home game with Kimberley, a ‘fourty-pointer’ away at Farnsfield beckons; Anuj Dal can reach 1,500 league runs with 65 and Jim Hindson needs five wickets for 450 in the NPL.