Louth CC First XI played out the first tie of the Lincs ECB Premier season in a thrilling finale at Market Deeping on Saturday.
Namibian international Xander Pitchers helped Louth to 226-6 from their 50-over allocation, and the match swung both ways in the reply before skipper Andy Carrington removed Deeping’s last man in the final over with the scores tied.
Louth lost opener John Medler for 14, but Pitchers joined Laurence Scott and produced a fluent innings, at almost a run-a-ball.
The pair put on 52 for the second wicket until Scott was caught behind for 33.
Pitchers continued his recent fine form with the bat, adding a further 71 with Matthew Hamilton (25) who became wicketkeeper David Sargeant’s second victim of the day with the score on 149-3.
The overseas signing finally fell for 75 to Zac Simmonds (4 for 86), made from 79 balls, and when Graham West departed soon after, Louth were in danger of wasting the good work at 179-5.
But valuable knocks from Seb Darke (22) and a late cameo from Paul Martin, with a 17-ball unbeaten 30 which included three sixes, helped the visitors to a competitive total of 226-6.
Carrington gave Louth the perfect start in reply when he had Deeping opener Josh Smith caught by Scott for three.
James Hook (25) and home skipper Sargeant then built a sizeable second-wicket stand of 74 which was broken by Pitchers.
Darke took the prized wicket of Sargeant for a 57-ball 60, providing Scott with his second catch of the day, and when Pitchers made James Witt his second wicket at 119-4, the game tilted the visitors’ way.
The game shifted dramatically in Louth’s favour when Carrington trapped Ross Barnes in front for 21, sparking a middle order collapse.
Darke bowled David Gillett and then had Ashley Fisher lbw before Hamilton ran out Connor Gillett as Deeping subsided from 140-4 to 154-8, still more than 70 runs shy of their target.
But then came a counter-attack from Simmonds as he and Lee Peacock (16) took the hosts past 200 with a frustrating 47-run stand for the ninth wicket.
Carrington kept plugging away and finally bowled Peacock with the hosts still needing 27 for victory.
But Simmonds (46 not out) remained a danger, plundering two sixes as he took his side single-handedly towards victory.
Crucially, Louth kept the Deeping bowler off strike in the last over, and with three balls remaining and the scores tied, Carrington (4 for 55) tempted last man Thomas Anderson out of his crease and Graham West completed the stumping.
The draw keeps Louth ninth, fittingly locked on the same points as Saturday’s opponents.
Louth: L. Scott 33, J. Medler 14, R. Pitchers 75, M. Hamilton 25, S. Darke 22, G. West 6, P. Martin 30*, H. Tye 8*, Extras 13. Total: 226-6.
Bowling: A. Carrington 13.3-1-55-4; P. Martin 6-0-39-0; T. Cuthbert 3-0-21-0; R. Pitchers 14-0-67-2; S. Darke 8-1-29-3.