ON Saturday, at a damp and rather forlorn looking Dill Hall Lane, Nelson failed to maintain the form that thrashed Accrington the week before.
In fact, Nelson mustered no points at all from a thoroughly abject performance.
Thomas Lord won the toss and, expecting more showers, put Enfield in to bat. There were showers but none that curtailed play, so it turned out to be a straight forward 44-over game, starting 42 minutes late.
Nelson had the better of the early exchanges as Enfield were 21-1 from 11 overs, Zahir Afzal having been bowled by Richard Meade.
Asif Fazal threatened to take a grasp of the situation when he hit his second boundary in the 14th over, but Sam Halstead uprooted his off-stump two balls later.
Werner Coetsee, the Enfield professional, was not slow to get into his stride and he hit six fours from the first 40 balls he faced as he sped to 33.
Liam Jackson was not as fluent but he contributed well to the 62-run partnership, hitting three fours in his 23. It took a smart stumping by Sean Lemon off the bowling of Wayne Madsen, Nelson’s substitute professional, to dismiss him.
Saggi Hussain did not last long before Khurrum Nazir bowled him for nine but Enfield’s skipper, Adam Bracewell, employed long-arm tactics as he belted three sixes and four fours in an entertaining 43 from only 26 balls. He shared a 43-run stand with Coetsee before the paid man was caught by Peter Dibb off Meade for 76. Bracewell’s belligerent innings eneded when Halstead held a catch on the boundary to give Neil Thompson the first of two wickets at the death. Enfield closed on 200-7 with 86 of those runs coming from the final 10 overs.
Nelson’s initial response was promising as Stuart Lemon and Thompson took the score to 29 in six overs. Jackson, having conceeded nine runs from his first over, changed ends and, in tandem with Coetsee, proceeded to slow the run-rate to such an extent that only 29 runs were added in the next 22 overs as Enfield took six wickets.
Thompson was the first to go, caught behind off Jackson for 11, sparking an alarming collapse. Lemon was next, bowled by Coetsee for 24, and David Crotty had made seven when he was adjudged lbw. Dibb (1) was run out, Sean Lemon (0) was caught and Nazir (2) was also run out, this time by a brilliant direct hit by Coetsee from slip.
Madsen, dropped a couple of times, was ill at ease and it took him 50 balls to reach double figures. He then settled down and hit four fours, but Nelson’s dilemma worsened as Lord (2) became the third run out victim. Chris Heap stayed long enough to see the 100 come up but he was then caught and bowled by Coetsee. Madsen, a regular performer in Derbyshire’s county championship side, top edged a delivery from Jackson and was caught at backward point for 41. Halstead only survived one ball before he was caught at square-leg and Nelson were all out, 97 runs short of their target.
Luke Woodcock was due to return in time for Sunday’s clash with Accrington but the New Zealand cricket board has insisted he remains with the national team for squad training. Nelson will now need substitute professionals for the rest of the season.
• COLNE’S match on Saturday was washed out in the thunderstorms, Church making 18-1 before the rain.
Colne travel to Enfield on Sunday. On the Horsfield, the thirds play Church tomorrow, and the seconds play Enfield on Sunday. All games start at 1 p.m.