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Newark Ransome and Marles First XI lose first game to Plumtree after promotion to South Notts Cricket League Division B

Newly-promoted Newark Ransome and Marles had a tough start to life in the second tier of the South Notts League as they fell to a heavy defeat against Plumtree Second XI on Saturday.

Having gone up as Division C champions last autumn, Newark faced a tough assignment for their season opener against a side who played two divisions higher in 2023 before suffering relegation from Division A.

And the step up told as Plumtree eased to a convincing 139 run-win in a match reduced to 48 overs a side.

New cricket ball and bat on green grass..
New cricket ball and bat on green grass..

Having won the toss, Newark opted to bowl first and make use of helpful conditions at Kelham Road following Friday’s heavy rain.

Viraj Manocha (0-43) and Puran Singh Koranga (0-33) were given the new ball but could not find a way through Plumtree openers Gareth King and Oliver Ward.

Tom Hardman got the big wicket of Ward (81), caught by Matthew Evans, but it was the introduction of Michael Stackhouse (four for 45) and Evans (two for 17 from ten) which finally made inroads.

Stackhouse bowled Plumtree skipper King for 29, while the spin of Evans had number three William Daft stumped by wicketkeeper Jimmy Munroe for 25.

Evans then had Aled King (17) caught and bowled before Stackhouse struck three quick blows, removing Jordan Dring for 14 and the next two batsmen for ducks.

But the recovery stalled as Alex El Khoury (24 not out) and Owain Saville (20 not out) added useful late runs to post 229 for seven as Newark picked up two bowling points.

Newark’s reply suffered an immediate blow when captain Tom Quinton fell to Connor Limrick without scoring.

Limerick (three for 11) and Jacob Daft (two for 16) ripped through the Newark top order, with the top five falling for a combined 19 runs.

Evans came in at six and struck two fours in a rearguard knock of 20 before he was bowled by El Khoury.

Only he and the extras column reached double figures, and two run outs compounded an unhappy innings as the hosts were bowled out for 90 inside 38 overs.

On Saturday, Newark head to Long Eaton whose opening match fell foul of the rain.

* Newark R and M 2nds’ opening match with Great Dalby in Division H was cancelled, but the Third XI went top of Division L after their opening game of the season, beating West Bridgford Legion by five wickets on Saturday.

Oliver Faulkner finished with brilliant figures of 4-7, and there were two wickets apiece for Luc Chignell and Munish Manocha as Newark bowled the visitors out for just 99.

After some early scares, wicketkeeper George Squires (38) and Manocha (20 not out) helped Newark to their target, five wickets down, in the 32nd over.

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