Firsts Extend Lead At Top

The 1stXI extended its lead to 19 points at the top of the Lincs ECB Premier League following a dominant performance at Market Deeping and a defeat for Bracebridge Heath at the hands of Sleaford.

Following Friday's rain, the match was delayed by half an hour but the full 100 overs were still played and once again Spa put in a very effective and positive team display. Home skipper Gillet won the toss and asked his visitors to bat first but he may have been regretting this decision as once again openers Jack Luffman and Sam Evison laid a solid foundation for their side with an opening stand of 45 before captain Luffman (28) was caught behind. Another useful partnership of 77 then ensued between Evison and Malinga Bandara (27) before the latter lost his wicket and then Evison soon followed for a well crafted 54.  At 133-3 the innings was well placed and handy partneships all the way down the order from this point meant a very challenging total of 267-7 was posted. Ricky Lovealce (20) and Matt Sargeant (22) both batted extremely well in partnership with Etienne Botha (54) who went on to post his second half-century of the season in a very well paced and clever innings. Wicket-kepper Tom Dixon (12 not out) and Connor Parsons (11 not out) enjoyed some late order hitting to send the total in excess of 250.

Spa would have to bowl and field well against a strong and experienced home batting line-up and despite an early breakthrough for Joe Irving the home side were well placed at 94-1 with Jones and Akhtar at the crease. However, the introduction of spinners Botha and Bandara put a drastic halt to proceedings. Botha was first to strike clean bowling Jones before Bandara got in on the act. Once again he bowled with excellent control and the home batsmen had no answer to his variety and his 17 overs went for just 35 runs and with it he claimed five wickets - his fourth five wicket haul of the season. Botha claimed 2-21 and Irving (2-26) picked up the ninth wicket on his return but despite Spa throwing all they could at Deeping the home side hung on for a one point draw for a total of six points while Spa claimed a healthy 18.

At home, a reshuffled 2ndXI led by the experienced Nick Bishop and including six players under the age of 16 enjoyed a four wicket victory over Long Sutton. Bishop won the toss and inserted the visitors and his bowlers did not let him down bowling Sutton out for 131. Youngsters Jack Cooke and Alfie Lindsey opened up for the Spa and the latter's six overs went for just eight runs in total. Cooke again showed his potential in two quality spells of bowling taking 3-45 from 12 overs. Evergreen off-spinner Matt Haslam claimed four wickets in seven tidy overs while Rob Bee (2-20) and Bishop (1-38) were the other wicket takers. The bowlers were well backed up in the field with some good catching, Bishop taking two at first slip while the 'retired' Tom Luffman showed he had lost none of his skills behind the stumps claiming four victims.

In reply, Spa were in some trouble but a fifth wicket stand of 70 between Chris Anderson (67no) and Luffman (28 no) put any nerves at ease as the winning line was crossed and the full 20 points claimed to send the side second in the league!

 

 

Joe Irving 2-26 for the 1stXI at Market Deeping.