A majestic century by James Parkin conquered the rain clouds, as well as opponents Matlock, as Shipley Hall salvaged a winning draw from the first wet day of the new cricket season.
The weather reduced Shipley Hall’s Derbyshire County League, Second Division match at bottom-of-the-table Matlock to 30 overs per side. But Parkin took the bull by the horns to fire a superb, unbeaten 103 in the visitors’ total of 213-3, which Matlock declined to chase and ended up on 72-3 in reply.
Shipley Hall’s batting ace went in at number three after Matlock had won the toss, asked them to bat first and removed opener Adam Leigh, who was bowled by Ed Lander for six. Parkin’s ton came off only 83 balls as he cracked four sixes and nine fours in an onslaught that quickly wrecked Lander’s bowling figures (1-78 in 13 overs).
He put on 59 for the second wicket with Jason Wooliscroft, who was also in an aggressive mood, thumping 44 (two sixes and four fours) from 31 deliveries. And although Matlock’s first-change bowler, Steve Haslam (2-51 in nine overs), removed both Wooliscroft and Ryan North in quick succession, Parkin soon found another willing ally in James Cockayne, who hit 43no (four fours) from 54 balls in an undefeated fourth-wicket partnership of 131.
In reply, Matlock never threatened to match the required run rate of seven an over, particularly after losing opener Mark Burton, who was stumped by Angeloa Yiatses off Ryan North (1-16 in eight overs) for six. Edward Lowe followed soon afterwards, bowled by that man Parkin (1-13 in six overs) for nine, and as second opener Andrew Roberts dug in for 20 from 82 balls, a draw became inevitable.
Roberts was eventually dislodged by Thomas Starr before the match fizzled out in the hands of Andrew Paulett, who finished on 30no (four fours).