CRICKET: Sleaford move up to fifth in the league

Sumit Puri took five wickets in Sleaford's eight-wicket victory over Billingborough on Saturday. Photo: David Dawson
Sumit Puri took five wickets in Sleaford's eight-wicket victory over Billingborough on Saturday. Photo: David Dawson

Sleaford first XI moved up to fifth position in the ECB Premier League following Saturday’s win at Grimsby, a victory which was built on an important batting partnership between Oliver Burford and Andy Hibberd, and ultimately completed by an efficient bowling display.

Batting first after losing the toss, Sleaford’s fragile batting form was once more in evidence as the team subsided to 76 for the loss of five wickets, with only Louis Kimber (38) making a significant contribution. Some much needed application was provided by Burford and Hibberd, and their partnership almost doubled the score in the face of some testing bowling from the home team, notably their left arm spinner Connor Hawkins.

Burford was dismissed shortly after reaching his half-century, whilst Hibberd made a valuable 37, and Sleaford eventually achieved their third batting bonus point as they totalled 179, a score which was likely to prove competitive.

The Grimsby reply never threatened their visitors’ total and a succession of Sleaford bowlers enjoyed success as only two batsmen made double figure scores. The wickets wee shared by both seam and spin bowlers and the home side were eventually dismissed for 104 and subsided to a 75-run defeat.

In the South Lincs and Border League Premier, Sleaford beat Billingborough by eight wickets to consolidate their second place position.

Thanks largely to a five-wicket haul from Sumit Puri, Billingborough were restricted to 173 in their allotted overs, a total easily surpassed by Sleaford who lost only two wickets as they achieved victory within 33 overs. Phil Sneath and Ben Bulmer made half-centuries whilst Mason Mansfield had a knock of 44.

On Sunday, Sleaford Academy, sponsored by Turnbulls, easily defeated their visitors from Horncastle.

Batting first, the home side made 285 for the loss of three wickets, with Simon Godby making 145 and when Horncastle replied, five wickets from Ash Jarvis helped ease his side to a victory by 122 runs.

This Saturday, Sleaford first XI, sponsored by Wright Vigar, entertain Woodhall Spa, with the reverse fixture taking place at Woodhall in the South Lincs Premier. On Sunday, the first XI, sponsored by Specsavers, entertain Bracebridge whilst The Academy travel to Rustons. The weekend’s home fixtures start at noon 2pm respectively and all spectators are welcome.