ALL-ROUNDER Darren Nightingale bowled a triple maiden final over to save the game and ensure Kendal departed Woodhill Lane with a winning draw from a rain-affected clash.

Nightingale’s heroics salvaged a share of the spoils for the Shap Road club after Morecambe looked odds on for victory after a Kelly Smuts half century and solid contributions from Ryan Pearson and Lewis Edge.

Kendal had set the hosts 174 with New Zealand professional Jamie How leading the way with 66 and Terry Hunte adding supporting with a valuable 43.

After a delayed start, the match was reduced to 45 overs per side as Kendal made an indifferent start after being invited to bat.

Opener Graham Baker was bowled by Smuts for four before Richard Herron edged the South African behind to Edge for the same score, with Kendal 29-2 from nine overs.

How once again showcased his quality with a knock off 66, an innings which contained nine fours and three sixes – with a total of 54 runs coming from boundaries.

The 33-year-old was eventually caught by Pearson as Smuts claimed his third victim with Ryan Shepherd returning to the pavilion for five, snared by Morecambe skipper Tommy Clough.

Hunte had initially joined forces with How and carved five fours and cleared the boundary ropes once on his way to 43 before being caught behind off Clough.

A further rain delay saw the game reduced to 38 overs per side, as Yakub Bhamji dismissed Gary Baker and Nightingale in the same over for 17 and four respectively.

With Kendal 146-7 with four overs left, Adam Cowperthwaite and Nick Lewthwaite added 27 for the eighth wicket before Bhamji dismissed the latter for ten off the final ball of the innings.

The Morecambe reply was almost a mirror image of Kendal’s start with the bat as Cowperthwaite trapped Josh Dixon in front for four in his second over.

Fellow opener Ikram Ullah fell the same way as Kendal captain Stu Parkin turned the screw as Morecambe slumped to 30-2 in the ninth over.

Two significant partnerships then shifted the emphasis of the game with the pendulum swinging massively in Morecambe’s favour, as Smuts and Pearson initially combined to effect.

The pair added 63 in ten overs before Kendal secured a much-needed breakthrough, with Morecambe 93-3 by the time Smuts was trapped in front by Chris Miller’s off-spin for 60.

Pearson and Edge then united to bat the hosts to a position of strength and within sight of victory, sharing another half century stand.

The duo’s progress was halted by Nightingale in the 34th over as Pearson holed out to How for a well-constructed 45, with Morecambe 159-4 in the 34th over.

The equation boiled down to the home side needing 11 runs from the final two overs and then four from the last six balls as Nightingale took centre stage with the ball.

Edge was the first wicket to tumble, caught behind by Herron, for 42 after a knock containing six fours and six, with four runs needed from four balls.

The seamer struck again to remove Adam Derham, caught by Miller, for seven with a tight over meaning Morecambe required four runs from the final two balls for victory.

Nightingale proved the hero as he dismissed James Law, caught by Shepherd, with the penultimate delivery of the reply as a further dot ball saw Kendal avoid what looked certain defeat.

The youngster was the standout performer with his last over efforts contributing to figures of 4-15 from seven overs, with Kendal claiming a winning draw.