Louth 1st XI and Spalding 1st XI served up an engrossing afternoon’s cricket on a grey and dull day which saw both sides take a share of the spoils.
Even before a ball was bowled The Wolves suffered a blow with John Medler dislocating a finger in the warm-up.
Bowling first, Louth skipper Andy Carrington removed two batsmen with the first two balls of his spell courtesy of catches from Graham West and Nic Keast.
Louth sensed a chance to roll over their opponents, but that didn’t materialise as Spalding’s batsmen Rajaratne and Nel counter-attacked and soon the runs were flowing. Tom Corden replaced Carrington and saw his first ball launched for 6 runs, however Corden soon struck, bowling the dangerous Nel with one that nipped back off the seam.
The Rajaratne onslaught continued with an array of powerful and sometimes outrageous shots which saw him bring up his half century. The Sri Lankan batsman’s luck ran out shortly afterwards when his countryman Amila Wettasinghe removed him LBW and left Spalding 80-4 off 15 overs.
Spalding looked to consolidate and built a good partnership which was broken by Arran Brindle’s inswingers. Skipper Carrington returned and claimed two further wickets with a quality spell of bowling to finish with 4 wickets for 61 runs.
At the other end Brindle’s bowling kept a lid on the run rate and she picked up a further wicket when the batsman charged down the wicket, missed the ball and was stumped by ‘keeper West.
Amila replaced Carrington and knocked over the tail to finish with 3 wickets and leave Spalding all out for a competitive 182 runs off 49 overs.
The extra over was to prove critical in the run chase. Charlton removed Louth openers Laurence Scott and youngster Richard Bell to leave Louth needing a partnership.
Medler and Brindle duly started to build the innings by picking the gaps in the field off the spin bowlers with Brindle particularly fluent. With the score at 70 Medler departed to a stunning catch by Rajaratne off his own bowling and Amila soon followed, bowled playing across the line to Jayasena.
West and Brindle continued to bat positively, but risks needed to be taken off the bowling to keep up with the run-rate on a slow outfield. Brindle was bowled for a well-constructed 55 runs trying to run the ball down to third man and West agonisingly played a ball only to see it dribble back and dislodge his bails for 32 runs.
Richard Limmer dispatched his second ball for 6 runs and with 5 overs left Louth needed a run a ball to win the match in the gloom as the light deteriorated quickly.
The home side brought back the opening quick bowlers and the batsman struggled to see the ball. After their 50 overs Louth only had 1 wicket left and required 16 runs off the extra over inherited from the Spalding innings.
Unfortunately and accidently the bowler bowled a beamer which Carrington didn’t see and hit him high on the arm. With the light so poor at this stage the match was called off by the umpires.
It was played in excellent spirit by both sides and saw them finish with 12 points each, a fair reflection of the day’s events.
Man of the match went to Arran Brindle for her 55 runs and 2 wickets for 30 runs.
This week Louth 1st XI host Skegness in their final match of the season. Thanks to club sponsors Kenwick Park Estate and match ball sponsors Classic Freight Limited.