Little Cheer for Sleaford CC at Boston

Zimbabwean cricketer Cephas Zhuwao hits out on his way to a first ton for Sleaford EMN-171007-180047002
Zimbabwean cricketer Cephas Zhuwao hits out on his way to a first ton for Sleaford EMN-171007-180047002

A maiden century from overseas player-coach Cephas Zhuwao was not enough to give Sleaford victory in their ECB Premier League fixture at Boston on Saturday.

The hosts chased down Sleaford’s total of 243 with six wickets intact to hand Sleaford their seventh defeat of the season.

It left them eighth and just five points above the bottom two in a congested lower half of the table.

Sleaford batted first after winning the toss and lost two early wickets before a partnership between Thomas Shorthouse and Zhuwao took them beyond three figures.

After the dismissal of Shorthouse, another productive partnership involving Matthew Mountain saw Sleaford build a platform which should have produced an imposing total.

The Zimbabwean international had moved on to 126, an innings containing 13 fours and seven sixes, when he was dismissed and from then on the innings subsided to a total someway short of what had been achievable.

The home reply began carefully, not least because of the economical bowling of Angus Youles.

But the other bowlers generally failed to match that standard as Boston gradually asserted their authority on the game.

Almost all of the batsmen made meaningful contributions, with former Sleaford player Jonathan Cheer top scoring with 66 as Boston eventually eased home.

* In the South Lincs and Border League Premier, Sleaford Seconds consolidated third place with a maximum-points haul against Bourne who batted first and were brushed aside for 118, Ben Hutson claiming six wickets.

Sleaford needed less than 18 overs to reach their victory target with Simon Godby making an undefeated half-century.

* On Sunday, Sleaford Academy, sponsored by Turnbulls, went down to a four-wicket defeat at Cherry Willingham.

Aayush Patel (80) and Conor Harbron (61) saw Sleaford post a competitive total of 196 from their 40 overs, but none of the bowlers were able to contain the home side sufficiently.

And despite three late wickets for Harbron, the hosts got home with a little more than an over to spare.

* On Saturday, the First XI, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, host the first of two season-defining home matches against Grimsby and Spalding, while the Seconds travel to title-chasing Billingborough in the South Lincs Premier.

The Sunday First XI host Woodhall Spa, while the Academy travel to Fulbeck and matchball sponsors are the Morris family.