The Langley Mill rollercoaster ride of a season continued with an emphatic five-wicket and 27-point win over Dunstall who, only two weeks ago, were second in the table and looking a fair bet for promotion to the Premier Division.
Dunstall won the toss and decided to bat, providing an early test for the Millers opening bowlers following last week’s match against Stainsby. Ben Ladd Gibbon and skipper Jack Scott were up to the task ably supported by energetic and excellent fielding.
It took Dunstall 14 overs to reach 37 runs as opposed to the three overs against Stainsby and they had also lost two wickets to Scott. Ladd-Gibbon was unlucky not to take a wicket 0-18 from eight overs, while Scott took 2-37 from nine overs.
Importantly, in the opening spell of 17 overs, there was only one extra.
Any thought Dunstall had of a rest from tight, economical and threatening bowling was quickly laid to rest as off spinner Simon Lacey and seamer Jay Holmes continued the thread as Dunstall lost their last eight wickets for a mere 58 runs, all out for 114 from 38.3 overs.
Lacey, taking his season’s league total to 30 wickets with the figures of four wickets for 24 runs from 11 overs. Not to be outdone, Jay Holmes returned to his favoured first change bowling position and took four wickets for 30 from 10 overs.
Keeper James Heafield’s quiet, effective and unassuming work behind the stumps continued, a catch and stumping took him to 13 victims for the season.
Chasing a small total can prove to be difficult with at least two options available, the 20-20 dash for runs or the steady accumulation. It was the former as openers George Brandrick and Jamie Salmons went on the attack striking 31 runs from the first three overs.
With attacking shots comes the danger of early wickets which proved to be the case as first Brandrick went for 18 off 12 balls and them Salmons for 13 runs from seven balls.
Ladd-Gibbon anchored the innings but was still looking for partners as first Matt Heafield for 10 runs and then Ruan Van der Walt for four were dismissed, leaving Dunstall hopeful as the Millers were 64-4 still needing another 51 for a victory.
However, Danny Hanson played a calm innings alongside Ladd-Gibbon to take the Millers within five runs of victory before Ladd-Gibbon was out for 45 runs going for a big hit to win the match and reach 50. It was left to Hanson on 14 not out to win the match for the Millers in the company of Holmes, four not out.