Cheema stars as 
title hopes boosted

Louth's Imran Cheema EMN-140623-101107001
Louth's Imran Cheema EMN-140623-101107001

Louth Taveners took on Graves Park on Sunday at London Road in their sixth East Lindsey Division One clash of the season.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Louth almost immediately lost one of their openers for just a single run. However, this brought Imran Cheema to the crease who proceeded to mercilessly put the Graves Park bowlers to the sword with some gigantic hitting as bowler Lawson was particularly expensive, as he conceded 51 runs off three overs.

Cheema didn’t relent at all throughout his innings of 63 off just 27 balls, even when Louth lost their other opener to leave them on 33 for 2 he continued to push on.

In fact, two of Cheema’s five sixes measured over 100 metres as he charged violently onto 50 off just 19 balls. At the other end he was well supported by Henry 
Tye who himself scored 30 
off 21 balls as he played a beautiful innings which made it seem as if he could have gone on to make a match winning score himself, until he picked out mid-wicket and was therefore dismissed after eight and a half overs of the innings with the score on 99 for 3.

The wickets then began to fall for Louth as they lost six for 32 with Graves Park bowler Hodgson taking four wickets for 23 runs, including Cheema caught on the boundary, as he ripped through Louth’s middle order to leave them 131 for eight.

However, Louth captain Zubair Ahmed proceeded to launch a vicious counter attack on the Graves Park bowlers - even if it didn’t quite compare to Cheema’s onslaught - who were threatening to bowl Louth out cheaply.

Ahmed hit 39 off 30 balls to help push the score up to 172 before he skied one to cover. Luke Freeman and Adrian Smart then put on 31 for the last wicket to help push the score up to 203 with Freeman making 10 not out and Smart making 18 before he was dismissed and Louth were bowled out, setting Graves Park 204 to win.

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After the interval, Graves Park began aggressively as they advanced to 19 without loss in pursuit of their sizable target.

However, once Griffiths was removed for 18 by Smart, it sparked the beginning of a collapse which saw Graves Park lose 5 for 27 as they collapsed to 46 for 5 with Matt Elston, William Allis and Imran Cheema all taking outstanding catches to aid Smart as he ripped the soul out of the Graves Park batting line up and finished his eight overs having taken 5 wickets for 24 runs as the match developed into a foregone conclusion.

Any fanatical hope that did remain for Graves Park of winning the game was dashed in a devastating manner in the 17th over after the introduction of Cheema into the bowling attack. The player who was already assured of having had one of the most memorable matches of his life, proceeded to take a hat trick in his first over with his dangerous off breaks, as he finished after bowling 5 overs for 11 runs after taking those 3 wickets.

The final pair then frustrated Louth as they scored 40 runs for the last wicket, with Graves Park batsman Clements hitting a defiant 43. However it proved in vain as Louth won the match by 73 runs after Luke Freeman took the final Graves Park wicket to see the Wolves home.

Next week Louth have a key game against Alford as the two teams go head to head to fight for top of the table in a crucial match where they will hope that the momentum they have built up from their last four straight wins will help them to challenge the league champions of the last two years and continue their title push. Thanks to match ball sponsor Richard Garbutt.