After staring defeat in the face, Langley Mill’s first team came storming home to beat Mickleover at Station Road on Saturday thanks to Dave Farnsworth, who blasted 22 from the penultimate over to steer the Millers to victory. Langley Mill have now moved to within 27 points of leaders Ockbrook & Borrowash with a game in hand.
Under threatening skies, skipper Andrew Bailey won the toss and asked Mickleover to bat first on a damp track. The visitors started cautiously reaching 49 in the first 15 overs before losing Greg Johnstone, leg before to Farnsworth, for 16. Kulvinder Singh fell 11 runs later, caught by Jack Scott, off Jay Holmes, for 22.
Michael Noble and Lewis Hearne then took Mickleover into three figures before Noble was caught by Sajendra Thimal off Andrew Bailey for 24, and the same bowler removed Hearne, caught by Scott for 37.
On 152, Jeff Wharton had Freddie Matthews caught by keeper Andy Sibley for 6 and the same combination removed Ashley Vaughan for 18.
The final wicket to fall was that of Jack Hearne, bowled by Holmes for 3, but Daniel Pratley (29 not out) and Anthony Wagstaff (20 not out) finished with a flourish to take the visitors to 215 for 7 at innings close - a reasonable score in the conditions.
For the Millers, Holmes returned 2 for 38, Bailey 2 for 46 and Wharton 2 for 53. Farnsworth’s wicket came at a cost of 29 runs.
Langley Mill’s reply started badly as they lost Ryan Brunelleschi, caught by Pratley for a duck and Sibley, caught by Vaughan for a single, both off Hearne’s bowling to reduce the hosts to 5 for 2.
Paul Bailey and Holmes then took control of the game and steered the Millers to 98 before Holmes was caught Hearne, bowled Matthews for 39. Bailey was next to go on 139, caught by Depak Rana for a fine 66 giving Johnston the first of four wickets.
Johnston caused havoc in the middle order removing Thimal, caught by Vaughan for 28, Scott, caught by Pratley for 5 and Wharton, caught by skipper Richard Fletcher for 12. Wagstaff also chipped in having Andrew Bailey caught by Vaughan for 3 to reduce the Millers to 170 for 8 with six overs remaining and 46 still needed.
Looking at a losing draw at best, the home supporters were already packing their picnic hampers when Farnsworth and Grant Ball set about achieving the improbable. With two overs to go, the Millers still needed 19 to win but Farnsworth launched the luckless Johnston to all parts to secure the 22 points for the Millers. Farnsworth finished unbeaten on 31 from 15 balls while Ball contributed 13 invaluable runs at the other end.
For Mickleover, Johnston will be disappointed with his 4 for 64, Hearne picked up 2 for 41 and there was a wicket apiece for Wagstaff and Matthews.
Scores: Langley Mill Utd (22pts) 219-8 [44.5 overs] (P Bailey 66, J Holmes 39, D Farnsworth 31*, G Johnstone 4-64) beat Mickleover (9pts) 215-7 [46 overs] (L Hearne 37) by 2 wickets
Alan Rowley - 28/08/2011