LOUTH entertained Sleaford at home on Saturday and were dealt a crushing blow to their hopes of a top two finish.
A dreadful start with the bat saw Lawrence Scott, Dave Clarke and Nuwan Shiroman, all back in the pavilion before the score was in double figures. From there it was always going to be an uphill struggle with plenty of seam movement early on in the innings in particular.
Jason Collinson, Zain Siddiqui and Zeeshan Ahmed all dug in with good knocks, and managed to get Louth into a decent position to post 200 plus, but every time they looked to up the scoring rate a wicket seemed to fall.
On what turned out to be a very good surface, the Louth batsmen had seriously underperformed and they finished on 156 all out.
In reply, Louth’s opening pair of Andy Carrington and Stewart West started well, and the Sleaford top order were blown away, with the score on 30 for 3 after 10 overs.
However, county wicket keeper/batsman Oliver Burford came in and batted with a mixture of real class and full on aggression, taking the game to the Louth bowling.
West was smashed for 2 sixes and a four inside 3 balls, and the game shifted in Sleaford’s favour. The visitors knocked the score off inside 26 overs with only four wickets down, with Burford finishing on 75 not out.
Louth will hope to perform much better away at Bourne this week, but to get back to winning ways they will certainly need to find some runs from somewhere.