NPL Preview: Leaders Cuckney aim to return to form

Lewis Bramley in bowling action for Cuckney.
Lewis Bramley in bowling action for Cuckney.

After the Bank Holiday weather rather spoiled proceedings, the Notts Premier League returns on Saturday for its eighth round of fixtures.

At Station Lane, 11th placed Farnsfield welcome leaders Cuckney.

Farnsfield were one the sides cursing the weather as it scuppered their game with Caythorpe after they had scored 255-6; they would have much preferred it on Saturday when they were beaten by Welbeck.

A gap of 14 points separates them from bottom side Caythorpe, but they will be hoping to extend it; after his century on Monday Curtis Mitchell now needs just 19 for 500 league runs at home and skipper Curtis Mitchell will do the same providing he can score two runs.

Cuckney’s weekend saw their 100 per cent record ended after a losing-draw with Plumtree and the rain meant they could only pick up nine points against Welbeck; 15 points over the two games saw their lead at the top trimmed to 20 points.

They will be hoping to return to winning ways with a repeat of their eight-wicket win here in 2015.

At the New Gatehouse Ground a buoyant Hucknall welcome the West Indian Cavaliers.

The home side had a very good weekend as they beat Attenborough before picking up eight points in their abandoned game with Mansfield Hosiery Mills; the 28 points gained moved them into sixth place.

Their victory over the Squirrels was their third this season; one more than they managed in the whole of 2016. They will be hoping Suhail Ahmed can continue his wicket-taking ways as they look to make it four.

The Cavaliers also picked up 28 points over the weekend and moved up to fourth place after a win over the Millers and eight pts from their rain spoilt game with Notts Academy.

Adeel Shafique still needs 64 for 1,500 NPL runs and Hassan Azad, a centurion on Saturday, could go to 4,000 league runs with 87.

The Cavaliers ran out comfortable eight wicket winners in this fixture last year.

A short trip away Kimberley Institute welcome Radcliffe-on-Trent to Newdigate Street.

Kimberley moved into second place after gaining 30 points from brushing aside Caythorpe and piling on the runs against Attenborough before rain intervened.

Run machine George Bacon chalked up his second ton of the season against Attenborough and he’ll reach 2,000 NPL runs with a mere six; Sam Johnson can make it 1,500 NPL runs at Kimberley with just seven.

Radcliffe remain seventh after their win over the Academy, and a delayed start meant there was little play in their game with Plumtree so they gained 26 points from the two games.

Dave Lucas has taken nearly 43 per cent of Radcliffe’s wickets thus far and his 13th NPL five-wicket haul helped secure victory over the Academy. Josh Mierkalns hit form with a century in the same game; 44 from him will mean 500 runs against Kimberley.

This game last season resulted in a 32 run win for Radcliffe.

At the Fieldings Mansfield Hosiery Mills host Welbeck.

The Millers slipped from second to fifth over the weekend after a defeat against the Cavaliers and their abandoned game with Hucknall meant they only picked up 11 points from the two matches.

They will be looking to return to winning ways in this local derby; Matt New is still three wickets short of 200 in the NPL and Matt Wright needs five now for 350 league wickets.

Welbeck were finally able to notch up a win after beating Farnsfield on Saturday and the seven points gained in their abandoned game with Cuckney means that 24 points now separate them from Caythorpe as they move into tenth place.

They will be hoping for a much improved performance this year after going down to an eight wicket defeat last season.

At Lady Bay we find two sides probably wanting to forget the Bank Holiday weekend as Notts Academy welcome Attenborough.

The Academy dropped two places to eighth after defeat at Radcliffe and their abandoned game with the Cavaliers, so a positive result would be most welcome.

The weather denied Tom Keast an opportunity to make it 500 NPL runs at home last time out, so he can try once again to make the 49 needed to reach that particular milestone.

Attenborough sit one place below in ninth; a position they didn’t budge from over the weekend. Their loss to Hucknall will sting given that they were in prime position to win and things didn’t improve on Monday when Kimberley whacked them all over the park; 12 points could have been 26.

A repeat of their last visit to the Notts Sports Club would be a restorative tonic; they were three wicket winners back in 2015.

The final game of the day is at Bradmoor Lane where Plumtree host Caythorpe at the PCG.

Plumtree’s reward for ending Cuckney’s winning streak was to remain stuck in third spot, that they weren’t able gain any bonus points against Radcliffe means they are five points behind Kimberley.

Saad Ashraf’s century against Cuckney took him past 1,000 NPL runs and he can make it 500 league runs at home with 16 more. Captain Bobby Gamble can do a double if he scores 13 for 500 NPL runs and three wickets will mean 50 at home.

Caythorpe remain rooted to the bottom of the league after claiming just nine points from the weekend; eight of those came from the abandoned game at Farnsfield and we’ll never know if they could have chased down their hosts’ 255.

One thing’s for sure, they need some magic from somewhere to avoid becoming cast adrift from the sides just above; maybe it will be from Anuj Dal who may well have reached 1,500 NPL runs on Monday, but has the chance to do so once more should he make 26.

They will be hoping to avoid a repeat of this fixture last season where Caythorpe were bundled out for just 85 to lose by nine wickets.