Lincs ECB: Rogers rekindles Sleaford CC play-off hopes

Opener Dakota Rodgers top-scored with 61 and took two wickets in Sleaford's surprise defeat at Boston
Opener Dakota Rodgers top-scored with 61 and took two wickets in Sleaford's surprise defeat at Boston

Sleaford CC First XI bounced back from a wretched run with a commanding win at top-four rivals Grantham to boost their play-off hopes.

Grantham were thrashed by nine wickets as Sleaford responded to a winless run, which stretched back to June 1, in emphatic fashion.

Winning the toss, Sleaford invited the hosts to bat first, and they began well, Grantham as Jaden Fell dispatched the loose ball to the boundary while accumulating sensibly.

The partnership reached a promising 38 when Fell was caught by Andy Hibberd, off Rhys Collings, for 21, and the score had only moved on to 42 when fellow opener Ross Carnelley was caught by Ben Glendinning, off Drew Harbron, for 13.

Sleaford sensed an opening and with the score on 52, John Nyumbu was LBW to Rhys Collings, and two runs later the ever-dangerous Freeman was bowled by Drew Harbron for six.

Tom Liversidge and Carl Wilson set about stabilising the innings, running well and were beginning to accumulate when Wilson was bowled by the increasingly confident Harbron for 18 (80-5).

Grantham began to settle, but Sleaford retaliated again, having James Dobson caught by Patel, off Dakota Rogers, for seven (94-6).

Rory Johnson fell to Rogers without scoring, and on 108, Liversidge was caught by Hibberd off the confident Rogers for 11.

Joe Peck added priceless runs, but Stevenson was LBW to Rogers for 0, and Sam Boynes caught behind by Wing off Collings, leaving Peck undefeated on 20 and Grantham all out for 124 in the 43rd over.

Rogers finished with 4 for 15 in eight overs, well supported by Rhys Collings (3 for 36) and Drew Harbron (3 for 32) to cap an excellent all-round performance in the field.

Sleaford set about the Grantham total with the youthful partnership of Dakota Rogers and Aayush Patel against Dan freeman and James Dobson.

They began confidently, taking good singles, while Patel put away wide deliveries to give Sleaford a solid foothold.

Grantham changed the bowling, but the Sleaford pair brought up 50 in the 14th over.

Growing in confidence both batsmen ran confidently and found regular boundaries, bringing up a century stand in the 28th over.

Aayush Patel reached his 50 off 87 balls, including six fours, while Rogers reached his half-century off 92 balls,

With the score on 121, Patel was finally caught behind by Wilson, off Dobson for a superb 53, but Chamara Kapugedera joined Rogers (53 not out) and they brought Sleaford home for a superb 20-point victory.

Sleaford’s hunt for a top-four play-off spot in a very competitive Lincolnshire ECB Premier League continues at home to Market Deeping on Saturday at London Road (noon start).