South Notts League
After a cautious start, Balderton lost three wickets in two overs to Belvoir’s strike pair of Danny Gibson and Fraser Fentem – one a fine diving catch by Sam Penford to a low and fast chance at square leg.
Battling Joe Bottomley (4-36) soon added a fourth as captain Chris Dobbie (47) tried to mount a Balderton counter-attack. But despite some gritty help from his partners, Bottomley, the crafty Darren Bicknell (2-21) and novice Jamie Gilbertson took wickets at regular intervals.
Dobbie’s knock was a typically craggy effort that only ended when he lost patience and mishit Bottomley to Fentem at mid-off.
In reply, opener Danny Wilson hit four boundaries in his 20 before being well caught by Dobbie low at extra-cover.
At the other end, Bicknell (61no) had commenced an innings of true class. Throughout, it was paced to perfection.
Excellent bowling from Raz Khan and Scott Barnsdale meant that there were long strings of dots, but Bicknell was never actually tied down. He played with the confidence of a batsman who knew the win was inevitable and that he just had to be there at the end for it to happen.
He and Bottomley (41no) added an unbroken 99 for the second wicket at an increasing rate, as the latter smacked seven fours in his normal run-a-ball style.
Even then, they were made to dig in a bit by a good spell from Balderton tyro Matthew Smart – but a Belvoir victory was inevitable!