Lincolnshire ECB Premier League
Skegness 190 for 6
Sleaford 194 for 6
(Sleaford won by four wickets)
It was widely predicted that cricket lovers would be treated to some top class sport at Richmond Drive this summer.
And so it proved on Saturday when former New Zealand test player Tim Macintosh produced some match-winning batting to set up a four-wicket victory for the visitors.
Kiwi Macintosh hit 70 effortless runs to help his side climb into fourth place in the Premier Division.
Watching Macintosh was like watching a different level of cricket. His shot selection was absolutely impeccable and something the seasiders would do well to learn from. The biggest shock of the day was that he failed to go on to make three figures.
That said, it was fitting that it should be the seasiders’ opening bowler Sean Williams who finally claimed the scalp of Macintosh.
Williams had bowled well, with little reward and deserved to remove Macintosh, courtesy of Jamie Epton’s catch.
The visitors, helped by Tom Shorthouse being dropped had looked comfortable in their run chase, reaching the midway point drinks without losing a wicket but Skegness were given some hope when first Shorthouse (40) and then Macintosh returned to the pavilion.
A 49-run partnership between Sleaford skipper Oliver Burford and Andy Hubberd saw them to within 21 runs of victory.
And, despite losing partners at regular intervals, Hubberd saw Sleaford over the line with 13 balls to spare.
Skegness, without their captain and vice-captain will be kicking themselves for not making more from their 50 overs after losing the toss and being put in.
The opening partnership of 43 between stand-in skipper Saeed Bariwala and Ricky Lovelace gave them a solid foundation, but the middle order failed to kick on.
Jarrad Hoskin’s promotion up the order produced an increased return but his 24 runs came off 59 and Jamie Epton used up 48 balls for his 16.
By the time the power hitters Daniel Milgate and Norman Brackley got to the crease they were running out of overs.
Despite this, the pair still managed to put on 58 for the seventh wicket.
Some sides may have found the target of 191 challenging, but with Macintosh in their ranks Sleaford were able to relax and take their time.
Skegness - S Bariwala lbw b Wooster 19; R Lovelace lbw b Gascoyne 23; P Houghton ct Macintosh b Titley 10; J Hoskin ct Burrows b Gascoyne 24; P Butler ct Burford b Smith 17;
J Epton ct Burrows b Gascoyne 16; D Milgate not out 23; N Brackley not out 31; S Williams)
U Farooq) did not bat; M Forman)
Extras 27 Total (for 6 wkts) 190
Bowling - S Gascoyne 15-0-56-3; J Smith 11-1-39-1; N Titley 6-1-16-1; B Wooster 4-0-13-1; T Macintosh 14-3-54-0.
Sleaford - T Macintosh ct Epton b Williams 70; T Shorthouse ct Bariwala b Milgate 40; A Hibberd not out 33; O Burford ct Forman b Milgate 23; B Burrows ct Farooq b Milgate 6; S Gascoyne lbw b Williams 0; J Smith run out (Lovelace) 5; K Colyn not out 0;J Wilson) N Titley) did not bat. B Wooster)
Extras 17 Total (for 6 wkts) 194.
Bowling - S Williams 11-2-33-2; Farooq 5-0-26-0; D Milgate 16.5-3-71-3; S Bariwala 13-1-45-0; N Brackley 2-0-13-0.
On Saturday Skegness travel to Louth for a 12.30pm start.