Belper Amateurs 1st XI were back on home turf in a clash with high-flying Selston Town on Saturday in Division 5N of the Derbyshire County Cricket League.
Having lost the toss, Amateurs were put in to bat on a pitch which offered much hope to the Selston bowlers.
Despite the moisture in the pitch, Selston failed to make early inroads, as the Amateurs found themselves 70-0 at drinks as Oliver Deeming continued his good vein of form with an array of impressive strokes.
As wickets fell around Deeming, the opening batsman persevered, maintaining his wicket until the 40th over, when he departed the crease for 88, having almost steered the Amateurs to an imposing total. The final touches to a positive innings were added by Paul Spencer and Dylan Lloyd, who lifted the hosts to a hard-earned 172-7 at tea.
In reply, Selston got off to a steady start, entering the drinks stage at 70-2. Once again, as the game waited for either side to take it by the scruff of the neck, Paul Spencer (4-23), obliged with a spell of bowling that decimated the Selston middle order, leaving the Amateurs with ten overs to claim Selston’s final two wickets for 27 points.
However Selston’s ninth wicket stood watertight to the barrage it had to experience for the losing draw, and the visitors closed on 132-8 from their 46 overs, leaving the Amateurs travelling to Denby next week needing a win to stay in the promotion race.
On Sunday, Amateurs’ 1st XI progressed through to the semi-final of the Wright Cup, defeating Rolleston 2nd XI at the Packhorse Ground.
Batting first, the Amateurs’ innings was dominated by the batting of Oliver Deeming, whose magnificent knock of 146 saw him earn plaudits from all corners of the ground. Supported by Stephen Dymond, who amassed a fluent 67, Deeming’s innings saw Amateurs through to 243-6 at tea.
The task appeared too much for a young Rolleston side, and so it proved as Jacob Kington (3-27), and Paul Spencer (3-22), the pick of the Amateurs’ bowlers, bowled the visitors out for 111 after 34 overs, seeing the Amateurs through to the cup semi-final to be played in two Sundays time.