Cricket: Balderton keep South Notts League Division A title hopes alive with victory over Notts Unity Casuals
A tactical victory for captain Tim Clipsham ensured his side remained top of the South Notts Division A as Balderton (217 for three) beat Notts Unity Casuals (99 all out) by 118 runs.
Balderton have the chance to win the title on Saturday as the Division A battle with Gedling & Sherwood goes down to the final day.
Third place Cavaliers and Carrington, who are 11 points behind Balderton and ten behind Gelding, also have an outside chance.
On Saturday, with the weather and basement side Notts to worry about, captain Clipsham opted to take the game to the opposition.
“The weather forecast was terrible and it looked like we were only going to get half a game in, so we decided to bat because if it got rained off halfway through we knew we could get the maximum batting points (132 runs),” said Clipsham.
“It gave us the re-assurance that if it chucked it down, we could still get maximum points from the game, but we obviously needed to set a target that they wouldn’t be able to get.
“We also declared because we wanted to get another over bowling at them because it is really hard to get a side out with just 32 overs.”
Usual opener Ryan Charlesworth was pushed back to number six as Clipsham looked to shake-up the batting line up, moving Chris Morris up the order.
And his decision paid off as Morris, 134 not out, ran the show.
Clipsham (15) Shalith Fernando (25) and Chris Dobbie (21 not out) also contributed to the 217 score before Balderton declared in the 31st over.
After Scott Barnsdale took Notts opener Abneer Irfan, Clipsham changed to the spin bowlers — led by Ryan Charlesworth.
“We knew it was raining in Nottingham so it was an interesting situation for us,” said Clipsham.
“If they decided to bat out for a draw, we wouldn’t have been able to get full bowling points.
“So, in the end, we put the spinners on.
“Ryan got four wickets again and showed his consistency and value to the team — he has just improved and improved as a player. He is now one of the best in the league.”
Ryan Charlesworth’s four wickets came from eight overs.
Aaron Charlesworth, Barnsdale, Tom Shephard all took one wicket, while Dobbie managed two.
“To bowl them out for 99 was exceptional,” said Clipsham.
“If we didn’t bowl them out, we wouldn’t have taken full points so I could have looked an idiot, but I was always confident in the team.
“Like I have said before, I can rely on the bowlers week-in, week-out.”
On Saturday, Balderton will look to seal the title against Belvoir, but Clipsham is not putting pressure on his club.
“The target at the start of the year was to finish in the top five and we have done that, which I am chuffed about,” he said.
“Now, if we get a full win, we can win the league, but it is what it is.
“We have done our job so we are just seeing it as another game instead of looking at it like a final.”