HIGH-RIDING Skegness racked up another 20 points with a convincing victory at neighbours Louth on Saturday.
The Seasiders’ maximum points haul was largely due to the batting performance of opener and skipper Saeed Bariwala, who carried his bat, smacking 169 runs off 153 deliveries in the process.
But the innings of his opening partner Pete Houghton was also important as they put on a stand of 128 to set up this comprehensive victory.
Houghton went on to make another half century before taking up the wicket keeper’s gloves for the Louth innings.
It was a good toss to lose for the Skegness skipper. Bariwala has yet to guess right for the coin spin and luckily he failed again, which meant that Louth put the seasiders into bat.
Undoubtedly had the decision been his, he would have chosen to field first, so to get runs on the board was an unexpected bonus.
But that wasn’t Bariwala’s only piece of good fortune. He presented the home side with an easy chance when he had scored just 30 and they failed to take it. How the Louth camp must be ruing that dropped catch.
Given a second life, the Skegness skipper took full advantage and battered the Louth attack, scoring more than a century in boundaries (six sixes and 20 fours).
At the other end Houghton reached his 50 in 54 balls and continued his good start to the season before becoming the first of spinner Jake Sanders’s two victims.
Jamie Epton was run out without scoring and Oliver Pringle then put on 25 with his captain before falling lbw to home skipper Andy Carrington for 11.
Adrian Gordon got among the runs with a 31-ball 28 and then Paul Butler chipped in with 16 before he was run out, the victim of some more indecision in the middle.
Louth were set a target of 294 to win, but opener Matthew Crowther was the only batsman to put up any resistance before he was dismissed caught behind.
His half century gave some respectability to the score, but wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. Graham West was the only other batsman to offer any hope to the home side and when he departed after a 35-run partnership with Crowther the writing was on the wall.
Oliver Pringle was the pick of the bowlers with six wickets for 41 runs as the visitors took their chances.
Having picked up three wickets of his own, overseas player Adrian Gordon retired himself mid-over as a precaution after twisting his side. This was the cue for Pringle to wrap up the Louth innings in the 32nd over.
On Saturday Skegness return to Richmond Drive, where they will entertain Lincoln-based Lindum in a 12.30pm start.
Skegness - S. Bariwala, not out, 169; P. Houghton, c. Scott b. Sanders, 58; J. Epton, run out, 0; O. Pringle, lbw b. Carrington, 11; A. Gordon, c. G. West b. Sanders 28; P. Butler, run out, 16; D. Nuttall, b. Irving, 0; M. Chamberlain, not out, 1; L. Tylor, did not bat; C. Pendrigh, did not bat; S. Kirkham, did not bat; Extras 10. Total 293 for six.
Bowling - J. Irving 11-0-67-1; T. Corden 10-0-66-0; A. Carrington 15-0-91-1; J. Sanders 14-0-67-2.
Louth - M. Crowther, c. Houghton, b. Kirkham 56; L. Scott, b. Gordon, 2; S. West, c. and b. Pringle, 1; J. Irving, c. Epton, b. Gordon, 2; G. West, c. Gordon, b. Pringle, 14; Z. Siddiqui, b. Pringle, 1; D. Clarke, c. Taylor, b. Pringle, 7; S. Barker, c. Epton, b. Pringle, 12; T. Corden, lbw b. Pringle, 1; J. Sanders, b. Gordon, 0; A. Carrington, not out, 2; Extras 29. Total, 127 all out.
Bowling - A. Gordon 10.2-0-52-3; O. Pringle 13.2-3-41-6; S. Bariwala 1-1-0-0; S. Kirkham 7-0-24-1.