Sleaford CC Lincs ECB title hopes dented by Bracebridge Heath

Kapugedera added a century to his four 50s in 12 Lincs ECB matches this season
Kapugedera added a century to his four 50s in 12 Lincs ECB matches this season

Sleaford CC;s Lincs ECB Premier title hopes took a further knock with a narrow defeat at defending champions Bracebridge heath on Saturday.

The three-wicket defeat in a high-quality match left long-time leaders Sleaford in fourth, 34 points behind leaders Woodhall Spa.

Heath won the toss and invited Sleaford Firsts, sponsored by Baker Plant Hire, to bat first with the young pairing of Dakota Rogers and Aayush Patel again starting well against the moving ball in a solid 53-run opening stand before Rogers was LBW to Will Carter for 27.

Chamara Kapugedera joined Patel and the partnership flourished with Kapugedera showing good form all around the wicket and Patel reaching his 50.

The Sleaford total reached 126 when Patel was caught by Carter off Alex Moor for 52, but the ever-expansive Kapugedera went past 50 as he and captain Andy Hibberd took the visitors to 180 before Hibberd (22) was removed by Andy Carter.

Kapugedera found the boundary regularly and reached his century off 98 balls before Tom Fairclough went for 14 to Ben Whitehouse.

Matt Wing joined Kapugedera and helped Sleaford post a challenging 255-4 from their 50 overs with the Sri Lankan undefeated on 123, including 12 fours and six sixes off 105 balls.

In reply, Youles made the early breakthrough, having Carl Stubbs lbw for 0 with the score on one.

Samansiri Hannadige joined Will Carter and the partnership flourished from the start, with both showing excellent form to find the boundary.

Sleaford rotated their attack, but Carter and Hannadige took Bracebridge past 100 and to 144 when Carter was caught by Kapugedera, off Rogers, for 48.

Vikram Atri was bowled by Rogers for 0, but Hannadige went past his 50 as he and Kit Spence continued to find the rope, taking Bracebridge to 207 when Spence was caught by Hibberd, off Rys Collings, for a useful 36.

Hannadige continued to dominate and reached his ton off 96 balls.

Stuart Fraser-Cattanach made 13, James Kimber went for seven, and Andy Carter was bowled by Drew Harbron for 13, but Hannadige guided Bracebridge to their target in the 47th over with a match-winning innings of 129 not out, including 11 fours and five sixes.

Collings, Harbron and Rogers each took two wickets.

On Saturday, Sleaford host Lindum CC (noon start).

* Sleaford CC Second XI went down by 95 runs at home to Graves Park in the South Lincs and Border League Premier.

Park won the toss and batted, with Chris King and Joseph Gilbert opening with 39 before Gilbert (20) was caught by Lambert off Harvey Harris.

John Morris and King sent wayward deliveries to the boundary on a regular basis and took the Graves total past 100.

Sleaford continued to rotate their attack, but the pair went past 50 until Morris was caught by Kieran Harbron, off Warren Nel, for 53 (151-2).

Jack Ashton joined King and the onslaught continued as King reached 100 and Ashton went past 50.

Despite changing the attack, Sleaford were unable to remove either batsmen as Graves posted an impressive 282-2 off their 45 overs.

Sleaford set out with intent to reach the impressive Graves total, but lost Nel and Harbron early.

Simon Godby continued his fine form with 54, supported by Paul Roberts (27), Ben Lambert (14), and Ben Glendinning (21), while Dan Hutson batted to the end for a well-compiled 46 not out.

But the Graves total was never really challenged as Sleaford reached 187-7 at the end of their allocation and took five points from the match.

This weekend Sleaford head to Billingborough CC.

* Sleaford’s Third XI game at Spalding was abandoned on Saturday and this weekend they are at Belton Park.

* On Sunday Sleaford CC Second XI, sponsored by Turnbulls, went down by three wickets at Heighington.

On winning the toss, Sleaford batted and made 164-9 in their 40 overs with the in-form Simon Godby making 54, 22 each from Ben Broome and Jake Henderson, and James Shepherd (15).

In reply, Heighington accumulated 167-7 in the 34th over, with Martin Machin making 58 and Jamie Robinson 44.

Aayush Patel took 2 for 41 and James Shepherd 2 for 26 as Sleaford picked up seven points.

This Sunday they host Hartsholme at London Road.