Sleaford CC boost Lincs ECB play-off hopes with Boston win

Ross Diver paid a key role in Sleaford's victory with a patient 73 EMN-180827-104222002
Ross Diver paid a key role in Sleaford's victory with a patient 73 EMN-180827-104222002

Sleaford took 18 valuable points off Boston on Saturday as they strengthened their chase for a Lincs ECB Premier play-off place.

Boston won the toss and asked the Baker Plant Hire-sponsored First XI to bat first, with openers Ross Diver and Matt Mountain beginning carefully, taking singles and providing a good base for the rest of the team.

The score reached 25 when Mountain was bowled by Tim Bell for 11. Andy Hibberd joined Diver and again they developed the innings, taking good singles and putting away the odd bad ball to put Sleaford in a solid position.

On 80, Hibberd was caught off Tim Bell (2 for 48) for 21, and skipper Tom Shorthouse went for 0, but Charlie Roberts and Diver moved the score on well.

Diver went past a well-considered 50, while Roberts was aggressive when required as the pair took Sleaford to 145 when Diver was caught and bowled by Paul Deans (3 for 68) for 73, a very patient and important innings for his team.

Youles and McPeake went quickly and with the score on 157 Roberts was caught off Jayarathna (5 for 32) for 37.

Conor Harbron made 8 and Cameron Hall 10 as Sleaford were bowled out for 181 in the 49th over, a solid performance with the bat and a competitive score against a good attack.

Sleaford made a perfect start as Boston replied when Ian McPeake had Sam Holland caught by Diver without scoring.

Ben Troops and Jonathan Cheer began the fightback until Troops became McPeake’s second victim for seven.

On 29 McPeake was back in the action, having Ishan Jayarathna caught by Hibberd for five, but Cheer and Youssuff rallied the innings, with Cheer looking in control.

Together they took the total to 60 when Angus Youles had Youssuff (10) caught by Adi Sreedharan, and Musson then went for a duck to Shorthouse, bringing in Tom Baxter.

Cheer and Baxter played with confidence against the spin attack and took the score to 94 before Baxter was LBW to Sreedharan for 19.

Mitchell fell to the same bowler for 0, and on 94, Sleaford got the vital scalp of Cheer for 44, bowled by the returning McPeake.

Paul Deans made 14 not out as the rest of the Boston batting fell to Sreedharan (3 for 19) and McPeake (5 for 28) as the hosts were bowled out for 114 in the 36th over.

The First XI host Market Deeping on Saturday.

* On Saturday Sleaford CC Second XI hosted Boston in a low-scoring South Lincs and Border League Premier match.

Boston won the toss and inserted Sleaford who were bowled out for 110.

The visitors chased down the target with just one wicket to spare, taking 20 points to Sleaford’s five.