Winning Start For 1st and 2nd XIs

Woodhall Spa Cricket Club 1st XI’s Lincs ECB Premier League campaign got off to a flying start on Saturday with a 157 run victory away at Market Deeping.

It was a fine all round performance from the team as they posted a mammoth 275 after stand-in skipper Ross Dixon, deputising for Jack Luffman who continues to recover form an appendectomy, won the toss and elected to bat first. His decision was vindicated as openers Jack Timby and Pradeep Chanditha showed positive intent and powered to an opening partnership of 114. Chanditha was particularly aggressive bringing up his maiden half-century for the Club before being dismissed for an entertaining 64 from just 52 deliveries. Timby was joined by Prassana Jaaywardena (14) who looked in prime touch before dragging one onto his stumps and then Timby followed for a fine 53. At 136-3 Spa’s innings was at a critical stage but a 120-run partnership between 16-year-old Henry Wilson (44) and all-rounder Joe Irving (72) then ensued. The pair first consolidated and then began to dominate the home bowlers and fielders with some positive running between the wickets and stroke play, particularly from the blade of the impressive Irving. The return of opening bowler Parvathaneni stemmed Spa’s charge for 300 but the men from Jubilee Park were delighted to set such an imposing total.

Spa’s momentum continued in the field and opening bowlers Alex King and Chanditha set the tone with some tight and unlucky bowling early and the latter was rewarded with the home side on 44 when he had opener Smith well caught by Tom Cushen after deceiving the batsman with a slower ball. From that point onwards, Spa turned the screw and, led by skipper Dixon, who introduced himself into the attack and ripped out the middle order with some fine leg-spin bowling. He was well supported with catches from Cushen, Chris Anderson and when Irving took the final catch to claim a 20-point victory it also completed a well-deserved five wicket haul for Dixon who finished with 5-16 from his nine overs. In between, King returned to pick up a deserved wicket with Chanditha (2-30) and Irving (2-28) claiming a brace apiece.

In the corresponding 2ndXI fixture at Jubilee Park newly installed captain Matthew Sargeant led from the front in his side’s seven wicket victory. On a superb batting pitch, Sargeant caressed the ball to all parts and the only surprise was that he fell just two runs short of what would’ve been a fine century. Earlier in the 218-run run chase, he had shared in a second wicket partnership of 173 with Tom Dixon who was also in good form smashing an excellent 78. With both the senior men back in the pavilion it was left to under-14 player Ollie Caswell (6 not out) and 18-year-old Nathan Carter (16 not out) to see the Spa side home to victory. This was all after the visitors had themselves put up a fine batting display losing just three wickets in scoring 217, based around an innings of 111 from Connor Gillet. The Spa bowling attack of Sam Cherry, Pete Jackson, James White and Matthew Haslam along with the fielders kept to their task manfully and bowled well on what was a free scoring and perfect day for batting. White finished with 2-64 form 12 overs with Haslam claiming 1-42 form his 10.

On Sunday Chris Anderson’s Wanderers 1stXI started its Lincoln and District Premier Division campaign with a 76 run defeat at home to Lindum. In fairness, Anderson was missing some of his more senior players for a variety of reasons so despite the loss many positives were still taken from the game.

Lindum batted first and took advantage of the Jubilee Park batting strip to post 236 from their 40 overs. The Spa worked hard throughout the keep the total down and bowl their visitors out to claim full bowling points. Club Coach Paul Timby made his first appearance of the season and took 3-62 from his 10 overs while Alfie Lindsey, Alex King and John Temperton all took two wickets each. In reply, Spa were travelling quite nicely while Jack Timby (59) was at the crease but on his dismissal momentum was lost somewhat and the home side had to settle on reaching 160 for additional batting points. Useful contributions came from Tom Caswell (17), Sam Cooke, (12), Paul Timby (13) and James White (20).

This week sees the under-15 side start their fixtures away at Grantham with the senior sides all in action over the Bank Holiday weekend. Saturday sees the 1stXI entertain Spalding while the 2ndXI travel to Stamford and on Sunday the Wanderers 1stXI make the short trip to Revesby. Bank Holiday Monday sees the start of T20 action for the 1stXI with the group stage of the Winkworth Cup where they take on Boston and Lindum at Lindum.

Captains Ross Dixon (above) and Matthew Sargeant (below) led from the front with 5-16 and 98 respectively in their sides victories on Saturday.