A disappointing bowling and fielding display undermined another excellent batting performance as Sleaford went down to defeat against Grantham after posting what should have been a more than adequate total of 270, with Obus Pienaar making his sixth ECB Premier League century of the season.
Sleaford were invited to bat after their visitors won the toss, and were given a solid start by Andy Hibberd and Thomas Shorthouse who produced an opening partnership of 60. The momentum was lost as the innings stuttered to 95 for the loss of three wickets, but a partnership of 79 between Pienaar and Oliver Burford (41) built a platform that was taken full advantage of by Pienaar, as he went on to make an undefeated 125 from only 91 balls, with 14 fours and three sixes.
Sleaford’s total should have been enough to ensure they were not defeated, albeit their bowling attack was below strength, but a below par fielding performance handed the initiative to the visitors who eventually completed a five wicket victory in the last over to cap a miserable Sleaford performance which cost them top spot in the league.
In the South Lincs Premier League, Sleaford, sponsored by Darren Wilson, recorded an excellent five wicket victory at Grantham, as a youthful side moved up to third place in the league and within striking distance of the leaders.
The home side made 154 from their allotted overs, Giles Goddard and Luke Hollingworth both claiming three wickets, whilst a solid all round batting display saw Sleaford home with something to spare.
On Sunday, sponsored by Specsavers, Sleaford beat Lincoln Sunday League Premier Division leaders Lincoln Lindum, courtesy of another century by South African professional Obus Pienaar.
Lindum batted first and made 208 from their 40 overs, a total that Sleaford passed in the final over thanks almost entirely to Pienaar’s undefeated 119.
This weekend Sleaford first XI, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, travel to Boston, with the reverse fixture taking place at Sleaford. On Sunday, Sleaford Academy, sponsored by Turnbulls, entertain North Scarle in the Lincoln Sunday League second division.
The home matches begin at 1pm and 2pm respectively with spectators welcome on both days, with no admission charge.