CRICKET: Imperious Neville knocks off runs for winners Belvoir

Matt Irvine
Matt Irvine

South Notts League

Division A

Hucknall 165

Belvoir 168-2

Inspired man-of-the-match Matt Irvine (5-37) bowled superbly and, with the help of an outstanding catch at slip by Tom Neville and another by keeper Ryan Lewis, reduced Hucknall to 23-3.

The Hucknall middle order continued to come and go to tight Belvoir bowling, with the persistent Danny Gibson (2-39) and guileful Lewis Dann (2-31) to the fore. But at 71-6, Nathan Thomas (15) joined the gritty Lee Smith (75) in a fightback.

All 22 players owed Thomas their gratitude. It was his innings that made the match and provided the early entertainment, including a couple of lovely straight sixes.

Irvine returned to trap Thomas lbw and end the 32-run stand in a second spell as vigorous and accurate as the first. With the stubborn Adam Scott, Smith added another 27, and with the swashbuckling Tom Walters (17) a further 31 for the ninth wicket.

Two fine steepling catches in the deep by James Fellows prevented Hucknall seeing out all 50 overs.

Thomas and Tim Buckthorne started well, taking a very early wicket and cramping Belvoir’s reply. But Olly Clayfield (31), playing more strokes behind the wicket than usual, and Tony Dyer (50no) steadily upped the rate and set a base to the innings.

A towering innings of 64 from 47 deliveries by an imperious Tom Neville saw him hit 14 fours, six of them from consecutive balls, mostly through his favourite arc from mid-on to mid-off.

Dyer topped off the innings with three reverse swept fours, scoring the winning run to complete his half-century.