Langley Mill stay top and set up a cup cracker

Langley Mill bowler Andrew Bailey
Langley Mill bowler Andrew Bailey

Leaders Langley Mill set up a second round battle royal in the Marstons Smooth Trophy after easily seeing off visiting Derby Congs in round one on Sunday.

That sets up a mouthwatering showdown with fellow unbeaten side Ilkeston Rutland, who are currently just behind them in second place in Division Two.

On a busy weekend, they also held onto top spot ion the league table 24 hours earlier.

On their second visit of the season to Langley Mill, the Congs captain won the toss and asked the Millers to bat first.

Josh Lacey fell early but then the Millers fought back with George Brandrick (71, 12x4, 1x6 from 80 balls).

He was assisted by Lance Humphrey (61, 8x4, 1x6 from 62 balls) and Danny Hanson (56, 5x4, 2x6, from 54 balls).

With 20 overs still to go, the Millers were on 186-5 and looking at a large score.

Congs did manage to pull it round a little but not enough as the Millers hit their highest score of the season, finishing 310 all out off the last ball, Jack Scott hitting 35 late on off 34 balls (2x4, 1x6).

Langley Mill showed their strength in depth as nine of the regular first team have now scored a 50 or above so far this season.

Mo Kaleem, with the respectable 3-45, was the pick of the bowlers.

In reply the Millers wrapped up the opposition innings before it had got going as they bowled Congs out for 76 in just 16.5 overs. Only Mo Waseem (24) and Mo Kaleem (17) showed any resistance as the home bowlers ran riot with Jack Scott taking 3-16 and Andrew Bailey 3-5 as the pick of the bowlers.

A day earlier, table-toping United held on in a thrilling finish to claim a winning draw at home to South Wingfield as they continue to push for promotion.

On winning the toss, captain Jack Scott elected to bat and after 12 overs the Millers were ticking along nicely at 47-0.

South Wingfield captain Alex Mace changed the bowling about and reaped the rewards as the Millers slipped to 82-4 off 27 overs and were wobbling.

Lance Humphrey joined Matt Heafield and this pair took the game to Wingfield with a 101 partnership in 11 overs which had the Millers bouncing again.

But the Wingfield bowlers struck again, removing the dangerous Humphrey (40, 4x4, 2x6 off 34 balls) and Heafield (83, 8x4, 4x6, off 69 balls) to leave them 199-6 off 41 overs and still looking to push for the par score of 240.

Harry Brown had other ideas and picked up four wickets late on to restrict the Millers to 229-9 as the Millers lost four wickets for 16 runs.

However, the last three batsmen put on what were to be a crucial 19 runs at the end.

In reply the Wingfield batsmen were in no mood to hang around as they sped off at five an over and at 10 overs were 52 without loss.

Skipper Jack Scott then threw the ball to spinners Andrew Bailey and Simon Lacey.

Bailey immediately removed both openers, firstly bowling Andy Wilson and then catching the dangerous Chris Dunn as he looped it back up.

At 66-2 the game was finely poised, but a great spell of bowling from the spinners clawed the Millers back.

From their 27-over spell together just 81 runs were scored and the Millers were still in the game.

Wingfield looked odds on while Alex Mace was still at the crease, but the Millers held their nerve with a late cameo from Danny Hanson (2-15) to edge a winning draw.

Mace was caught by Jay Holmes in the deep for 73 (4x4, 6x4, off 101 balls) and Tim Drummond added 38 off 71 balls.

But it was not enough as Wingfield finished 215-5 in a great game of cricket for the neutral.

Next weekend sees the Millers visit Sandiacre Town (1.30pm).