Sleaford CC First XI maintain perfect start at Scunthorpe

The wickets of Angus Youles were instrumental in victory in a low-scoring match. Picture: David Dawson EMN-190514-083243002
The wickets of Angus Youles were instrumental in victory in a low-scoring match. Picture: David Dawson EMN-190514-083243002

Sleaford CC First XI maintained their early season form by becoming the only Lincs ECB Premier side with a 100 per cent winning record.

They capitalised on a rare defeat for defending champions Bracebridge Heath by beating Scunthorpe by 49 runs at Heslam Park on Saturday.

The First XI, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, sit fourth but within eight points of top spot and with a game in hand on all three teams above them.

On winning the toss Scunthorpe invited Sleaford to bat first, and again they opened with the youthful partnership of Dakota Rodgers and Aayush Patel.

Carefully accumulating runs by taking singles and putting away any loose delivery, they showed increasing confidence until Patel was caught by Knapton off Cliffe for 13 (30-1).

Tom Shorthouse immediately took the attack to Scunthorpe, but with his score on just 11 he was bowled by Daniel Cliffe.

The ever-dangerous Cliffe struck immediately again, bowling Kapugedera for 1 to leave the visitors 45-3.

Rodgers continued to accumulate with Hibberd, but again Sleaford were unable to build an expansive partnership as Hibberd fell to Cliffe for 11.

Tom Fairclough joined the opener and again, with care, moved the Sleaford score to 75 when the vigilant Rodgers was caught by Cliffe, off Karanjit Bansal, for 19 (75-5).

Oliver Burford came to the crease and with Fairclough compiled a productive partnership, taking Sleaford to 107 when Fairclough was caught off Tice for 20. From that point it was Burford’s diligent batting that developed the innings, compiling runs with care and attention to detail.

Wing went for eight to Cliffe (6 for 47) who then bowled Burford for a very well-compiled 47 to leave the visitors 149-8.

Drew Harbron made nine, and Youles fell without scoring, with Tite two not out as Sleaford were bowled out for 164 in the 48th over.

The Scunthorpe openers found the going tough against Angus Youles and Drew Harbron, with Scott Nicolson falling to Youles for one, and Jamie-Lee Brumby to Harbron for three, leaving Scunthorpe on 5-2.

Hildreth and Bansal set about rebuilding the innings, but with the total only on 16, Hildreth was bowled by the ever-confident Youles for one.

Bansal and Matthew Cliffe dug in and began to compile a productive stand as the total moved past 50, but on 60 Cliffe was bowled by Youles for 20.

Bansal continued to develop his innings, striking the ball well as he and Ben Brumby looked to establish the home score, but with the partnership on 22, Brumby was caught by Hibberd, off Scott Tite, for 17.

When Bansal was bowled by Rodgers for a very good 46, Scunthorpe were 91-6.

Knapton was then run out on four, Snowden was bowled by Shorthouse for six, Cliffe made nine and Tice three before both fell to Youles as Scunthorpe were bowled out for 115 in the 39th over to give Sleaford 20 points.

The impressive Youles took 5 for 36 in 11 overs, with Harbron, Tite, Shorthouse and Rodgers claiming one victim each.

Next up is the stern test of Bracebridge Heath at London Road on Saturday (noon start).