Belvoir CC secured a valuable win in South Notts League Premier as they beat Ellerslie by 19 runs in the gathering gloom at Knipton.
The home side batted first and started at a sensible pace before accelerating to four an over.
Olly Clayfield (81) was well supported by Sam Nightingale (44) with a series of boundaries mixed with caution in a second-wicket partnership of 88, all produced in the face of determined and accurate pace bowling from Dan Footitt (2 for 46) and Peter Vladev (3 for 73).
The middle order had to press the throttle, but this came at a price as Jake Fisher, Sam Penford, Phil Irvine and Joe Bottomley, all scoring at a run-a-ball, succumbed to Hamish Moore’s spin (3 for 65) and Chris Bellaby’s pace (2 for 47).
Footitt and Vladev both returned to snaffle late wickets as Belvoir were bowled out for 232.
Bottomley began with a tight spell of fast bowling, supported by Danny Gibson (2 for 53) who took the first wicket thanks to a brilliant leaping catch by Penford running backwards at long off.
Irvine (2 for 40) took two quick wickets, but Moore (65) and Vladev began to turn the tide with a fifth-wicket stand of 76.
Yet both fell within 15 runs to Nightingale (4 for 62) who included all three of Ellerslie’s top scorers among his scalps.
As the light faded, Belvoir turned to the hardly-used spin of Clayfield to pacify the umpires and he took a wicket with his third delivery.
Despite gallant knocks from Bellaby (16) and Chiraag Gandhi (11 not out) Nightingale and Clayfield sealed victory with three balls to spare.
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