Sleaford CC chase falls shy of Lincs ECB title rivals Bourne

Sleaford's overseas pro Kapugedera took four wickets and was unlucky to fall for 40 in reply EMN-190807-104826002
Sleaford's overseas pro Kapugedera took four wickets and was unlucky to fall for 40 in reply EMN-190807-104826002

Sleaford CC First XI fell just short in a compelling run chase at home to Lincs ECB Premier title rivals Bourne on Saturday.

The Firsts, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, won the toss and captain Andy Hibberd invited the visitors to bat first.

Openers Jordan Temple and Jack Berry began fluently on an excellent surface and brought up 50 in the 12th over.

Sleaford had to wait until the 17th over before breaking through when Temple was bowled by Rhys Collings for 25, but new batsman Sam Evison and Berry kept the scoring rate high, with Berry making fifty off 57 balls as Bourne went past 150.

Sleaford rotated the bowling, and eventually Evison was bowled by Dakota Rogers (2 for 73) for 35 (185-2).

Courtney Kruger came and went for one, lbw to Kapugedera, and the dangerous Peter Morgan was caught behind by Wing off Kapugedera, for eight (197-4).

But Berry reached his century in the 40th over off 109 balls, with seven fours and five sixes, but just two runs later he was caught by Patel off Rodgers to end a superb innings (211-5).

Steven Crossley fell for 12, off Kapugedera, and Dixon and Ben Keast took Bourne to 245 before Dixon (22) was caught and bowled Kapugedera (4 for 46).

Matthew Kidd (6) was caught by Rogers off Collings (3 for 57), but Sleaford were reduced to 10 men for the rest of the innings when Charlie Roberts was forced off with a dislocated shoulder, diving to stop a boundary.

Collings bowled Keast for 15, leaving Bandaranike (4*) and Cheer (10*), to see Bourne to 281-9 in their 50 overs.

The Sleaford reply began with the consistent partnership of Dakota Rogers and Aayush Patel, and they played with care to build a platform, taking the total to 44 before the watchful Patel (17) was caught behind by Crossley off Kidd.

Chamara Kapugedera joined Rogers and they kept the total rolling before Rogers was caught and bowled by Tom Dixon for 31 (70-2).

Andy Hibberd joined Kapugedera and they raised the tempo, finding the boundary on a more regular basis and placing the ball well for singles.

It was Bourne’s turn to rotate the attack, but the partnership saw Sleaford past 100 with both looking menacing.

However, the unlucky Kapugedera was then caught behind by Crossley for a well-compiled 40 (119-3).

Oliver Burford joined Hibberd and immediately set about raising the scoring rate again with both playing freely.

Burford began to show form of old as the stand amassed 39 runs before Hibberd was caught for a very good 42 (168-4).

Burford reached his 50 off 43 balls, supported well by Matthew Wing, as both batsmen found the boundary regularly as they pressed towards the target.

Burford (84*) struck nine fours and a six, while Wing (40*) hit three fours and a six, but Sleaford fell short by just 15 runs, reaching 266-4 in their 50 overs in a superb run chase.

Bourne took 16 points and Sleaford nine in a superb game of cricket.

Sleaford CC would like to thank umpires Andrew Milne and Geoff Church, scorers Joyce Ward and Hedley Stroud, and the tea ladies and groundstaff.

On Saturday, Sleaford travel to Boston.

* Alford CC’s departure from the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League has left Sleaford second in the revised table, two points behind new leaders Woodhall Spa, with Bourne in third.