Rain can’t halt Alfreton win

Alfreton v Duffield. Bowling Alex Mace
Alfreton v Duffield. Bowling Alex Mace

Alfreton got their second consecutive win of the Derbyshire County League Division One campaign with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Duffield on Saturday.

Rain failed to hamper Alfreton’s progress and ultimately they were on top throughout the game.

Duffield were inserted by Alex Mace and got off to the worst possible start, losing Chris Sheldon to Adam Burton for one.

Next to fall was Thomas Roe for three, a big wicket for Alfreton’s new signing Alasdair Evans, the explosive batsman having hit a century the week before.

However, 8-2 became 70-2 as Jack Clark and Paul Bakel led the recovery either side of rain breaks in a partnership of 62.

Burton then returned to remove Clark for 45 before Stuart McRobert took the wicket of Duffield captain Bakel for 40.

Alfreton were back on the front foot and asserted the required pressure to remove Peter Jenkins, Balraj Johal and Tom Holmes in quick succession.

Duffield finished on 134-7 in their reduced over count of 48, mainly thanks to Tim Williscroft (17 not out) who shepherded the side to the end.

With the time in the game fading, Alfreton had to score quickly to have a chance of winning their second game on the bounce.

Their hopes took an early blow as Christian Pratt was bowled by Duffield’s overseas player, Alex Jones, for six.

The immovable Matt Lineker batted on with captain Alex Mace at the other end providing valuable support.

Mace then fell for 15 off the bowling of Shah Wali to leave the Alfreton score at 48-2.

But that was the last of the worries for Alfreton.

Gwatkin joined Lineker and the two shared a 89-run partnership to guide Alfreton home for the loss of only two wickets.

Gwatkin finished with 25 not out while Lineker scored 71 off just 78 deliveries, including six fours and three sixes, to allay any fears that the rain would stop a result.

Alfreton’s next game is away against Clifton this Saturday, where they will be looking to continue their 100 per cent start to the new Division One season.