League Season Starts With Mixed Fortunes

On Saturday the 1stXI traveled to the coast to take on Skegness in the Lincs ECB Premier League . Captain Jack Luffman handed League debuts to JP Prinsloo, Tanveer Sikander and 14-year-old Henry Wilson and when he lost the toss the home skipper didn't hesitate to ask the visitors to bat first in bowling friendly conditions.

However, any home hope of skittling through the Spa line-up were quashed when openers Luffman and wicket-keeper Jack Timby put on an opening stand of more than 50 for the first wicket. Both batsmen showed skill and patience in negotiating a testing opening session before Luffman edged behind off the impressive Chanditha for 15. Debutant Sikander (18) looked in fine touch before being strangled down the leg side and this brought Chris Anderson to the crease.

Together with Timby they took the score past the 100 and in the process the young keeper passed 50 for the first time at this level and soon after Anderson, who had been aggressive all afternoon, brought up his first Premier League half-century with a six into the pavilion. He lost his wicket for 66 in the pursuit of quick runs  but it didn't halt the Spa's charge for maximum batting points. Matt Sargeant joined Timby and when it looked like the latter was set for the magical three figures he was bowled for an impressive 95. The 16-year-old had been the solid rock for the innings and showed huge maturity and concentration. Sargeant (28 not out), Rob Bee (2) and Ross Dixon (7 not out) continued to push the total up and at the completion of 50 overs the Spa had amassed a very impressive 240-5.

The side's charge for victory got off to a good start when young Wilson produced a fine piece of fielding to execute a direct hit to run out the home side's opener with just 18 on the board. Despite some fine bowling from Connor Parsons and Sikander it wasn't until the score had reached 59 that the second wicket was taken. Sikander having Chanditha trapped LBW before bowling the dangerous Brackley first ball. Sargeant then accounted for the home side's young South African leaving them 74-4.  An 80-run partnership then ensued before Sikander took his third wicket via a good catch from Sargeant closely followed by his fourth. His fifth was soon to arrive via a good catch from young Wilson and Dixon claimed the Spa's 8th wicket with 14 balls to go. Despite every efforts Spa were unable to prise out the final two wickets and had to settle for a winning draw with the home side finishing on 213-8. Sikander finished with 5-63 from 17 overs as the Spa claimed a very encouraging 15 points to kick start the season.

At home the 2ndXI entertained South Lincs and Border League favourites Spalding at Jubilee Park. On winning the toss home captain Pete Jackson elected to bat first and although the Spa encountered some trouble early in the innings against last year's relegated team they recovered extremely well to post an excellent score of 190-3. The experienced Mark Irving, making his debut for the club, and 17-year-old Nathan Carter were the main stays of the innings with 57 and 51 respectively.

In reply, the Spalding batsmen found the pitch to their liking and it was former Spa player Warren Nel and his skipper Ambrose who set the tone for the run chase with half-centuries each. But for a few missed chances it could have been a different story but the visitors passed the winning line with the loss of just two wickets, one each taken by Sam Cherry and captain Jackson.

On Sunday, the Wanderers 1st XI, captained by Chris Anderson for the first time, entertained Cherry Willingham in the Lincoln League Premier Divison.

Batting first the visitors scored 160-7 from their 40 overs. Pick of the home side's bowlers were Club Coach Paul Timby (4-44) and JP Prinsloo (2-27). While a challenging score it was a total that on a good Jubilee Park pitch the home side should have chased down. Some poor shot selection and some good opening spells from Cherry's bowlers meant the home side were reduced to 60-7. However, the Spa were not done yet and in the shape of skipper Anderson (55) and Prinsloo (32 not out) they almost pulled off an unlikely victory. However, on the skipper's dismissal, Cherry sensed the victory and duly rounded off the innings bowling the home side out for 127, 33 runs short of victory.

 

 

Chris Anderson scored 66 and 55 over the weekend.

 

Wicket-keeper Jack Timby scored a superb 95 in the 1stXI's winning draw at Skegness.