vs Elvaston, The Willows - Sat 25th April
Rolleston 1st XI’s opening home league fixture resulted in an eight wicket defeat to ex-Premier League outfit, Elvaston C.C.
The visitors won the toss and opted to bowl on what proved to be an excellent batting track. With Paul Allen scoring briskly the first wicket fell in the eighth over, the score on 41 – Michael James (9) caught at point off the bowling of promising youngster, Kane Callaghan (1 for 48). Shortly after Aafan Janjua’s arrival, Allen (32) was stumped by the lively Lee Archer off an Andy Rhodes wide. Gareth Marshall joined Janjua (26) but with the partnership reaching 37 the latter was adjudged lbw to a James Baker in-swinger, not offering a shot.
A second stumping off a wide delivery ended Mark James’ innings and the introduction of spinner Rob Kettlewell (3 for 41) further reduced the run-rate. Marshall reached his half-century before Alex Britton (23) became Archer’s third stumping victim. Their partnership of 83 had done much to repair the innings and the introduction of Mat Ford kept the scoreboard ticking prior to Marshall (91) being caught at mid-on off Kettlewell. In the final overs, Ford crashed Callaghan for two sixes and ended unbeaten on 28, Rolleston setting a respectable 240 for 8.
Elvaston’s reply began quite slowly with just 26 runs from ten overs, new captain Graham Dent and Michael James both bowling accurately. Rolleston’s breakthrough came in the 17th over when John Thompson safely caught Lee Archer (19) at mid-on off Britton (1 for 34). Young Australian left-hander Matt Sunderland joined his captain Nick Briars and the run-rate accelerated, with Briars reaching his half-century off 88 deliveries. Sunderland (33) seemed most uncomfortable facing the spin of Luke Nelson, but this match deciding partnership of 119 remained intact until the 40th over when Thompson (1 for 57) trapped him lbw.
Elvaston required just 62 from the last ten overs with eight wickets remaining and, apart from a rare dropped catch by Marshall, Brett Crichton (39 no) and Briars faced few problems, the skipper steering his side home with an unbeaten 116.
Rolleston’s next fixture takes them to Ticknall, another side with recent Premier League experience.