Skegness cricketers battle on through the pain barrier

Brendan Young made 23 runs, despite batting with a broken bone in his hand.
Brendan Young made 23 runs, despite batting with a broken bone in his hand.

ECB Premier League

Lindum 246-6,

Skegness 189-8 
Lindum earned a 
winning draw.

Injury-hit Skegness put in a battling display to earn eight precious points at sun-drenched Lindum.

Brendan Young fractured a bone in his hand attempting to take a caught and bowled chance and skipper Sean Chamberlain suffered a double fracture to his index finger while keeping wicket.

So the seasiders showed great character to avoid defeat after being set a target of 246 in Saturday’s Lincs ECB Premier contest.

The visitors got off to a promising start in their pursuit of the Lindum score, but two wickets in two balls in the 13th over checked their progress.

A 40-run partnership between Pradeep Chanditha and Norman Brackley looked to have seen off the threat of Lindum’s overseas bowler Ryan Sneddon.

But Brackley was given out lbw to Jonathan Miller to plant seeds of doubt in the visitors’ minds.

Would there be a repeat of their recent collapses?

Not this time.

A batch of small partnerships took them beyond the three quarters mark and so all they needed to do was avoid being bowled out to secure their three losing draw points.

Easier said than done with two of your middle order struggling to grip a bat.

But their character came through and their dogged display proved enough to lift them one place in the league table and out of the bottom three.

Lindum’s total was largely due to the performance of Luke Robinson, who scored his second century of the season, before being bowled by Young in the final over.

By then the damage had already been done as the prolific batsman finished on 123, exactly half of the home side’s score.

Alex Hornsby, with whom Robinson put on 116 for the fourth wicket, finished with 53.

So the seasiders were set a target of five runs per over.

They avoided any mishaps over the first dozen overs with Pete Houghton and Chris Graser putting on 44, but after Robinson caught Graser off the bowling of Sneddon, Jamie Epton was bowled by the Aussie with his very next delivery.

Miller sent Pete Houghton packing with a catch off Sneddon’s bowling and Skegness were rocking on 58-3.

Chanditha and Brackley added some stability to the innings, putting on 40 in 11 overs, but just when it looked as though they had taken the sting out of the home bowling attack, Miller struck.

Brackley took a big stride down the pitch and the ball had been turning, but when it hit his pad the umpire had no hesitation in giving him out.

Young bravely took to the middle and gave little sign of the damage he had earlier suffered to his hand.

Both he and Chanditha started to find the gaps and were looking comfortable against the spin from both ends.

But Oliver Smith returned the initiative to Lindum when he bowled Chanditha, who at the beginning of the over had smacked him over the legside boundary for six.

The seasiders’ attention was gradually turning towards saving what they could from the game, rather than pushing for the win, but with Young and Tom Cuthbert at the crease there was still hope.

Cuthbert played some hefty strokes to quickly pass Young’s score, but he was caught on the square leg boundary by Geoff Middleton, who did well diving forward to take the chance while looking into the dipping sun.

Liam Taylor hit Smith to the long on boundary but a couple of balls later perished when Robinson caught took a catch off the same bowler.

This left Young and Umar Farooq to bat out the last nine overs, but Sneddon caught Young off Miller and the pressure was increased a few notches.

Indeed Mark Chamberlain stepped into the middle with more than three points at stake.

His failure to defend his wicket would have exposed his injured brother to the firing line.

He heroically blocked out 16 balls, leaving Farooq, equally heroically, at the other end to take the Skegness total beyond the 185 needed to secure the three extra points.

The home side brought back the pacey Tom Lindsay into the attack for the last over and crowded the bat with five slips, two gullies, a leg slip and short leg.

The third delivery did have Farooq on his tip-toes, fending the ball high to third slip, but the chance was dropped, leaving the home side to reflect on what might have been had they not conceded so many extras (44, including five penalty runs for striking a helmet behind the wicket keeper in the field).

On Saturday Skegness entertain third-placed Sleaford at Richmond Drive (noon).

Skegness bowling: B. Young 14-1-56-4; U. Farooq 6-2-27-1; T. Cuthbert 6-0-26-0; N. Brackley 17-2-91-0; P. Chanditha 4-0-25-1; M. Chamberlain 3-0-18-0.

Skegness batting: P. Houghton ct Miller b Sneddon 20, C. Graser ct Robinson b Sneddon 11, J. Epton b Sneddon 0, P. Chanditha b Smith 39, N. Brackley lbw b Miller 11, B. Young ct Sneddon b Miller 23, T. Cuthbert ct Middleton b Smith 22, L. Taylor ct Robinson b Smith 4, U. Farooq not out 15, M. Chamberlain not out 0, S. Chamberlain did not bat. Extras 44.