Louth Taverners eased to victory on Sunday in their fifth match of the season against Cleethorpes Academy thanks to a fluent innings by Stuart Barker.
Barker played powerfully, particularly off his hips during his unbeaten innings of 73 off just 76 balls as he struck eight boundaries including seven fours and a six as he carried his team towards their target of 147.
Earlier in the day, Cleethorpes struggled to score freely at the start of their innings as Robbie Dwyer (8-2-17-0) and Phil Nicholson (8-1-15-0) both bowled skilfully and made the ball swing.
However, although they bowled economically, they failed to make any breakthroughs before the drinks interval and as Cleethorpes had all 10 wickets in hand going into the last 20 overs, they were well set to build on their current platform of 54-0 and set a relatively sizable total on a potentially lively wicket.
However, Cleethorpes batsman Carter was dismissed the fourth ball after the drinks break for 22. After this Cleethorpes struggled badly as no batsman outside the opening partnership made double figures.
Sam Barker remained unfazed by the wickets falling around him as he played classically to make 72. However, Cleethorpes ultimately failed to past a substantial score and 146 didn’t look enough at the end of the inning as Shahmeer Khawar took 6-1-19-4 to keep the Cleethorpes score well below par.
Louth lost wickets early at the start of their innings as they were reduced to 15-2 thanks to some impressive bowling by Hallam and Smith.
However, Stuart Barker in particular was fluent in his stroke play and he was well supported by Lee Freeman who made a patient yet effective 33 off 55 balls before he was dismissed.
A partnership of exactly 50 between Barker and William Allis then saw Louth home, Barker dominated the bowling and the strike as he powered his team to victory with more than 14 overs and seven wickets to spare.
Louth will now hope to build upon their run of three straight wins when they take on Graves Park in two weeks time and hopefully continue the winning streak. Thanks to club sponsor Kenwick Park Estate and also match ball sponsors Thompson and Smith.