An extraordinary innings by Matt Heafield counted for nothing as Langley Mill United slid to defeat against Clifton, the new leaders of the Derbyshire County League’s First Division.
Heafield strode the crease with the Millers on their knees at 48-5 and proceeded to thrash an unbeaten 90, incuding ten sixes and five fours, off only 57 balls.
It lifted his side to a final total of 188 before he ran out of partners. But with lots of extra overs to play with, Clifton grafted their way to the target, winning by five wickets.
The bowler to inflict all the early damage on Langley Mill was the visitors’ skipper Alex Wooliscroft, who took 4-73 from 11 overs. The only resistance came from Ben Ladd-Gibbon, who made 23 (five fours), and even after Heafield’s arrival, the score slid to 80-7 as Edward Wilson got in on the act for Clifton.
Stands of 50 for the eighth-wicket with captain Alex Bacon (26, five fours) and 58 for the ninth wicket were bossed by Heafield’s brutal striking before Wilson wrapped up the innings for figures of 4-44 from 15 overs.
The Millers’ bowlers made a good start, taking two early wickets. And after a partnership of 89 between Liam Brewell (42, seven fours) and Matthew Gouldstone, a burst of three more scalps, reducing the total for 113-5, gave them a squeak.
But despite the efforts of Ladd-Gibbon (3-50 in 14 overs), they couldn’t dislodge Gouldstone, who guided his side home with a patient 86no, including seven fours.