Sleaford CC First XI’s Lincs ECB Premier title hopes took a big knock on Saturday with defeat at rock-bottom Boston.
On losing the toss, the First XI, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, were invited to bat and openers Aayush Patel and Dakota Rogers began with confidence, running well to put pressure on the hosts.
Putting away loose deliveries, they brought up the 50 opening stand in the 16th over with Patel on 25 and Rogers 20.
Both batsmen continued to apply themselves well until with the score on 81 Patel was caught and bowled by Paul Deans (4 for 45) for a well-compiled 41.
Chamara Kapugedera joined Rogers, but was caught by Tom Poole off Paul Deans, without adding to the total.
Rogers went past a well deserved 50, off 97 balls, including four fours, before Hibberd was caught for 10 (112-3).
Boston struck again with the score on 127 when Rogers was caught off the bowling of Thilanchana for a well-made 61.
Burford followed quickly for four, and Wing then went to Paul Deans for one.
Jake Henderson and Tom Fairclough played with care against an increasingly confident attack, taking the score to 176 when Henderson was caught off Scott Elleray for 10.
Fairclough remained calm and in control as Youles fell to Thilanchana (3 for 65) for five, finishing unbeaten on a fine 42 as Sleaford posted 189-8 from their 50 overs.
Sleaford make an early breakthrough in the reply as Troops was bowled by Scott Tite for four (14-1).
Rain then intervened with Boston set a revised Target 154 from 37 overs.
On resumption, Qadir was bowled by Fairclough for seven, bringing Jonathan Cheer to the crease at 44-2.
Playing confidently they raised the Boston total to 90 when Elleray was caught by Burford off Rogers for 50.
Cheer was bowled by Rogers (2 for 47) for 26 (134-4), but Mahir Yousuff and Thilanchana ran well between the wickets and dispatched the odd poor delivery with ease, reaching their target in the 28th over for a comprehensive six-wicket victory.
Despite the setback, Sleaford remain second and within three points of leaders Woodhall Spa who lost at home to third-placed Bracebridge Heath.
* Sleaford’s Second XI hosted Woodhall Spa in the South Lincs and Border League Premier.
The visitors won the toss and batted first with Sam Cherry (11) and George Lindsey (12) beginning well before Giles Goddard removed Cherry and Sam Burrows bowled Lindsey.
Brandan Laurenzi made 27, but Sleaford regularly claimed wickets, with Warren Nel (4 for 28) and Burrows (3 for 34) prominent as Woodhall were bowled out for 128 in the 41st over.
Sneath and Ben Hutson also took a wicket apiece.
Sleaford’s reply began with Nel caught and bowled by Sharpe for 16, but Conor Harbron joined opener Simon Godby and they batted with confidence, placing the ball around the ground and running well.
Godby reached his 50, and despite using five bowlers, the visitors could not dislodge the partnership, as Sleaford completed a nine-wicket win in the 30th over.
Godby made an undefeated 61 and Harbron 42 not out as Sleaford claimed 20 valuable points.
On Saturday, the team host Belton Park at London Road.
* The Third XI travelled to Grantham on Saturday and batting first posted a very good 235-8 in their 45 overs.
Jackson Souter made a very good 56, supported by Ian Glendinning (42), Euan Bennion (24) and Ian Shorthouse (23).
In reply Mark Donnellan made 79, backed up by Shaun Simes (48 not out), and Ben Kennedy-Short 47 as Grantham reached their target in the 38th over.
Nick Mountain, Abigail Hannon and Ian Shorthouse took one wicket each in an entertaining match.
Sleaford took seven points and on Saturday head to Long Sutton.
* Sleaford CC’s Sunday Second XI won the toss and batted first at Horncastle.
Aayush Patel made 41, Ben Broome 30, Simon Godby 19 and Sam Lambert 14 as Sleaford were all out for 163 in the 39th over.
In reply for Horncastle, Jonathan Clarke top-scored with 36 as the hosts fell 13 runs short, reaching 150-6 after 40 overs.
Max Lorimer took 2 for 35, with Ben Broome and Ben Hutson also taking a wicket each.
Sleaford claimed 20 points and this weekend travel to Old Lincolnians.