High five! Cuthbert earns valuable points

Tom Cuthbert.
Tom Cuthbert.
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Lincs ECB Premier

Sleaford 177, Skegness did not bat - match abandoned.

A five-star bowling performance from Tom Cuthbert earned Skegness valuable points in their fight for ECB survival against high-flying Sleaford at Richmond Drive.

Having lost the toss, the seasiders must have feared the worst against the might of record-breaking batsman Obus Pienaar, who has scored nine centuries this summer.

And when the opening partnership of Pienaar and Tom Shorthouse put on 74, the writing was on the wall.

But the introduction of Cuthbert changed the complexion of the game and helped see the visitors bowled out for 177.

Sadly for the expectant bank holiday crowd, rain put paid to any Skegness response and the game was abandoned without the seasiders facing a ball.

Due to their spirited fielding display Skegness did enough to earn five bowling points to add to the five for the abandonment, improving their chances of finishing out of the bottom two places.

After a 15-minute delay for rain Skegness captain Sean Chamberlain chose to open the bowling with quickie Ray Jordan from the High Street end and spinner Mark Chamberlain from the other end.

Shorthouse and the South African Pienaar set off at quite a pace, reaching 74 runs well within the first half of their innings before Norman Brackley, the first change from the Sandbeck Avenue end, had the former caught behind by the Skegness skipper.

Pienaar put on 40 with Andy Hibberd before his innings was cut short by Cuthbert on 58.

Pienaar’s unusal demise triggered something of a collapse as the visitors lost their remaining eight wickets for just 63 runs, with captain Chamberlain helping himself to six catches along the way.

Cuthbert’s contribution was five wickets at a cost of just 28 runs.

Skegness must have fancied their chances of pulling off a shock win, but the heavens opened and dampened any hopes of a Skegness response.

On Saturday Skegness travel to fellow strugglers Grimsby Town for a crucial bottom of the table clash, starting at 12 noon.