Ann Boulton looks at the action from the opening weekend...
Good weather for the first day of the Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League season brought high scores, with two centuries and 15 half centuries.
But the batsmen didn’t take all the glory as three bowlers claimed five wicket hauls and Bourne’s Ben Stroud took 2017’s first hat trick.
Stroud was involved in the highest scoring game of the day, more than 580 runs coming at Bracebridge Heath, who topped the 300 mark, thanks to 111 from new signing Matt Lineker and 70 from Matt Carter.
The overs ended on 305 for eight, four of the wickets falling to Stroud.
Bourne got off a shaky start, losing their first wicket with two scored but by the time the second fell, Jack Berry and Sam Evison had added 110.
Berry hit 63 off 47 balls then two more wickets fell for just 14 runs, including Evison for 55.
Carl Wilson and Stroud got the innings back on track with a stand of 63 and by the time Wilson was out for 75, Bourne had 277 on the board.
But by then, nine wickets had fallen and no further score was added before Carter claimed his fourth victim to give the home side victory.
Bracebridge join three other teams on 20 points - Woodhall Spa, Grantham and Louth for whom Namibian Xander Pitchers put in a man of the match performance with 70 runs and five wickets at home to Alford.
Pitchers and Seb Darke added 83 for the fourth wicket and Darke and Graham West added a further 103.
Darke made 106 off 103 balls as Louth finished 274 for seven.
Alford started steadily but then lost three wickets with only 32 scored.
Jack Wightwick and Andrew White added 62 but from here Louth took wickets regularly and Wightwick was left unbeaten on 91 when the innings ended on 189.
Woodhall’s new signing Pradeep Chanditha partnered Jack Timby in an opening stand of 114 at Market Deeping, Chanditha hitting 64, Timby 53 and Joe Irving 72 as the visitors notched up 275 before being all out in the final over.
Five of the wickets fell to Vamshi Parvathaneni but Ross Dixon was on even more economical bowling form, taking five for 16 off nine overs as Deeping were bowled out for 118.
Dan Freeman was the star performer for Grantham, hitting 80 runs as steady batting from the top order helped the home side to 267 for eight.
Lindum lost early wickets and never recovered despite the efforts of opener Will Wright, who hit 81 of his side’s total of 140, Freeman taking five wickets.
Sleaford picked up 18 points in a tight game at Boston, whose bowling restricted their visitors to 196 for seven, South African Robert Nicol hitting 87 and Jack Wilson 52.
Boston lost two wickets for only one run and the third on 18 but Tom Baxter’s captain’s innings of 56, ably supported by the lower order, saw his side to 155 before the final wicket fell.
Grimsby journeyed to Spalding with six under 19 players in their side and a good team effort saw them come away with the points.
Spalding made 178 for nine a total the visitors overtook for the loss of six wickets.
Sleaford 196-7 (Nicol 87, Wilson 52), Boston 155 (Baxter 56); Woodhall Spa 275 (Chanditha 64, J. Timby 53, Irving 72, Vamshi 5-75), Market Deeping 118 (Dixon 5-16); Grantham 267-8 (Freeman 80), Lindum 140 (Wright 81, Freeman 5-42); Bracebridge Heath 305-8 (Lineker 111, M. Carter 70, B Stroud 4-54 inc hat trick), Bourne 277 (Berry 63, Wilson 75, Evison 55); Louth 274-7 (Darke 106, Pitchers 70); Alford 189 (Wightwick 91no, Pitchers 5-41); Spalding 178-9, Grimsby Town 179-6.
April 29 fixtures: Alford v Grantham, Boston v Bracebridge Heath, Bourne v Louth, Grimsby Town v Sleaford, Lindum v Market Deeping, Woodhall Spa v Spalding.