Langley Mill go fourth after storming batting display
Langley Mill United convincingly beat Alvaston & Boulton on Saturday to consolidate fourth spot in the Derbyshire Premier League at the halfway stage.
After a long-term injury George Brandrick came in for brother Tom, with Danny Parr and Ryan Brunelleschi also coming in, all three getting a taste of first team and Premier League action for the first time this season.
Matt Heafield, captaining the team in the place of missing skipper Danny Hanson, carried on this season’s tradition of losing the toss with the opposition putting the Millers into bat – a decision that they probably came to regret 50 overs of leather chasing later.
Brandrick started off as if in a hurry to make up for lost time this season and with his injury still hampering his movement it was a case of ‘see ball-hit ball’ that he carried off most successfully, dominating the opening partnership with Kiegen Wing at the other end content to give him the strike.
Out of the 71-ball first wicket stand, Brandrick made 64 from 46 balls, the 56 in boundaries keeping his running down to a minimum.
That left Wing on 4 not out and joined by Akhil Patel who continued his recent form, striking the ball with resounding success and with Wing also taking the attack to the opposition the pair put on a further 68 runs before Wing was out for 33 from 61 balls and the Millers two wickets down for 141 runs.
The incoming Suman Shrestha was quickly outgoing for no runs, which left the in-form Jay Holmes coming in. Holmes and Patel set about the bowling in almost equal shares before Holmes was out for 47 from 58 balls and the partnership worth 97 and the Millers on 237 runs for four wickets down.
With only 46 balls left the opposition thoughts were probably on a run-a-ball to keep the Millers to a score of less than 300. Sadly, for them, neither the incoming Heafield or Patel shared those thoughts and quickly laid out their plans for all to see, even though Patel could have been forgiven for taking some care and attention to gain his first century for the Millers.
In the next 40 balls with a strike rate of 287, the Millers put on a further 115 runs with Patel reaching his ton which was greeted by rapturous applause for a tremendous knock.
With an over to go Patel was finally out for 103, leaving Jack Scott to enter the frame with five balls to go, Scott blocked the first and wisely took a single to leave Heafield to play the remaining three balls for 12 runs to take him to 84 not out from 31 balls including nine sixes and the Millers on a final total of 365 runs for 5 wickets down.
The watching club president, Andrew Ball, had nothing but praise for this batting line up, commenting: “With regulars missing we built a base which allowed us to go big towards the end which we certainly did.
"I don’t like to single individuals out but Akhil with his first 100 and Matt looked really good and it was nice to see George back in the frame.”
Getting a big score is one half of the battle, following it up when the opposition have nothing to lose and are coming out swinging is the second half and there were signs that the opposition weren’t taking defeat lying down as they quickly got into their stride, taking the score to 75 from 64 balls before Jack Scott bowled opener Chris Durham for 28.
One followed two and then three as Patel (replacing Scott Parkin) trapped Garry Park (0) lbw and Scott likewise for Tom Knight (0), the score 77 for 3 and two former Derbyshire cricketers both out for nought and back in the pavilion.
Scott struck again in the 16th over, taking the wickets of Raza (52) and Woolley (10), leaving Alvaston & Boulton 96 for five wickets down and the match effectively over and Scott four wickets from a 12-over opening stint that gave him 17 wickets for the season and well placed to beat his previous season’s best of 38 wickets in 2014.
There was good resistance from Adris Azam (68) and Matthew Woolley (22) but the innings ended with Alvaston & Boulton all out for 231 in the 46th over. Wickets went to Patel (3) and Suman Shrestha (2) and one run out.
In summary, President Ball added: “Although A & B got off to a good start we didn’t buckle and stuck to our game plan which paid off. Jack (Scott) continues to be consistently picking up early wickets leading the attack and Akhil his usual miserly self in mid-innings. The secret will be to keep this momentum going each week.”