Notts Premier League preview: Battle at top and bottom hots up

Saturday sees the 19th of 22 rounds of the Nottinghamshire Premier League take place.

There’s a three-way battle at the top for the title, while at the bottom, five clubs are separated by just 20 points.

Cuckney vs Kimberley Institute

The home side sit top of the pile with a 23-point lead and will fancy their chances of at least maintaining that against a slumping defending champion side.

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It’s 14 weeks since the home side tasted defeat, while on the flip side, Kimberley have not won a match for 11, sliding out of contention and into the mid table with little to play for.

James Hawley leads the league batting stats for Cuckney, over 100 runs clear of his nearest challenger while Trent Lawford’s seven wicket haul last weekend has pulled him into the top 10 wicket takers.

Kimberley’s Alex King lies 5th among bowlers.

Radcliffe-on-Trent vs Plumtree

Plumtree sit second on the table, a position they have finished in for each of the two previous seasons.

They have won three of their last four outings and know they need to keep winning in order to apply pressure to Cuckney.

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Radcliffe lie in 7th in the table, but will be aware that a couple of poor results could see them back amongst the scrambling pack at the wrong end of the table.

Plumtree have three of the top ten run scorers in their ranks, whilst Radcliffe boast the most potent opening bowling duo in Ben Savage, who leads the wicket taking chart on 42, and David Lucas.

The pair combining for 73 wickets so far.

Mansfield Hosiery Mills vs West Indian Cavaliers

The Cavaliers lie in third place, 26-points behind Cuckney so, like Plumtree, know winning matches will be crucial if they are to overhaul the Bears.

They have gone 12 weeks since a defeat but not too many of those have been away wins. The Millers have climbed into 5th in the table and are enjoying their return to the NPL.

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Akhil Patel’s unbeaten 152 last week has lifted him to 3rd in the runs chart for Cavs, whilst Matt Wright for MHM is tied for 2nd among wicket takers on 35.

Caythorpe vs Welbeck

These two lie 8th and 9th respectively, 14 and 7 points clear of the relegation slots, and with matches running out this is likely to be a crucial game in determining their status for next season.

Both sides have just one win over their last six matches and are winless in their last four. Caythorpe have been better at home than away, while Welbeck are winless so far this season on their travels.

Muhammad Nadeem Malik’s 32 wickets so far are probably the brightest stat for either side this year.

Hucknall vs Clifton Village

This might be the biggest game of the weekend.

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Hucknall sit bottom of the table, winless over the previous eight weeks, while Clifton lie 10th, just outside the relegation places, but only 9-points ahead of their hosts.

The Villagers mini revival came to a grinding halt against Cuckney last weekend but with the two teams just above them going head to head there is opportunity to put another side between them and the bottom places, while for Hucknall they can make everything even tighter.

Gregor Croudis is the potential star man in this one, his 507 runs good enough to rank 9th among NPL batsmen.

Ordsall Bridon vs Nottinghamshire NCCC Academy

Bridon are the side sitting between Clifton and Hucknall after a run that has seen them win just once over the last 10 weeks.

The Academy have been improving as the season has gone on and find themselves up to 4th and best of the rest.

Ben Kitt has claimed 35 victims for the Academy, enough to tie for 2nd among bowlers.