CRICKET: Louth boost title hopes with Frieston win

Stuart Barker EMN-140728-095736001
Stuart Barker EMN-140728-095736001

Louth travelled to Frieston on Sunday in search of a win which would keep them in contention for the league title.

After losing the toss, Louth skipper Zubair Ahmed was told his side were to bat first on a wicket which appeared as if it would deteriorate badly throughout the game.

After one of the Louth openers edged behind early in the innings, Louth progressed to 54-1 before the second wicket fell to bring regular opener Richard Bell to the crease with Stuart Barker.

The paring combined in a crucial stand of 104, as Bell played gracefully all around the ground to support the expansive Barker during his innings of 32 off 41 balls, before he got a ball which misbehaved badly to uproot his off stump.

Barker was still there and he continued to push on with the more than capable support of Matt Elston, who pressed on, especially in the latter part of the innings for a well made 41 not out.

Meanwhile at the other end, Barker began to cut loose as he went to his 100 off 104 balls before being bowled by Frieston bowler Kirtley next ball. Louth eventually concluded their innings on 233, which appeared to be well above par considering the unpredictable way in which the pitch was playing.

After the interval, Frieston set about chasing the mammoth total. However, they were soon put under pressure as Zubair Ahmed (3-1-9-2) and Tom Ryder (6.2-1-29-2) both took wickets to leave Frieston 28-2. Following Frieston’s slight recovery to 56-2, Adie Smart (8-1-28-1) removed the dangerous looking Zeeshan Saeed, who up until that point had been hitting the ball all round the ground with great force.

Luke Freeman then removed the Frieston lower middle order (taking 6-1-25-3) and the game was all but won. Though Frieston batsman Warrington and Kirtley offered some resistance thereafter, the result was never in doubt and Louth eventually bowled Frieston out for 130 to win by 103 runs as they collected maximum points from the fixture and closed the gap on Alford and Graves Park.

Next Louth take on Tetford at London Road and will be determined to continue to win all their remaining matches, especially as they are expecting several key players to return to the side which will only serve to boost Louth’s title push as they head into the last few rounds of fixtures. Thanks to match ball sponsor Thompson and Smith.