Louth CC: Pitchers hits ton as Taverners hold their nerve

Louth Taverners made a winning start in the Cleethorpes sunshine EMN-181105-104224002
Louth Taverners made a winning start in the Cleethorpes sunshine EMN-181105-104224002

Louth Taverners travelled to Cleethorpes in their first league match of the season under the captaincy of new skipper Khawar Naeem.

The visitors won the toss and batted first on a sunny afternoon at Chichester Road.

Xander Pitchers is showing some fine early-season form in his second season with Louth EMN-181105-104248002

Xander Pitchers is showing some fine early-season form in his second season with Louth EMN-181105-104248002

Louth’s hope for a good start were soon disrupted by the Cleethorpes’ Australian bowler Zaine Welch whose fast and accurate spell of hostile bowling left them reeling at 38/5 after 11 overs.

Overseas signing Xander Pitchers was joined by former skipper Zubair Ahmed and they rebuilt with an 88-run sixth-wicket stand.

Pitchers played brilliantly, exploring the gaps and punishing any bad ball, bringing up his 50, and was supported well by Zubair who was then caught at mid-off by Arnold as he tried to up the run rate.

Khawar continued to support the Namibian with some fine pull shots of his own as Pitchers moved on to a well-deserved century.

The captain added a quickfire 27 as Taverners posted 186-6 from their 40 overs, a good comeback from their earlier position.

Cleethorpes started cautiously as Welch and Robinson negotiated a good spell of fast bowling by brothers Ed and Harry King.

They took the score to 46 when Robinson was clean bowled by first-change bowler Sam Ryder.

Fergus Ringland was introduced for his senior debut and the youngster bowled very well with good line and length, taking two wickets to leave Cleethorpes at 70-3.

With the game in the balance spinners Pitchers and Ahmed came on and bowled tightly to maintain the pressure.

Pitchers claimed the big wicket of Welch for 47, caught by Bell, and at 104-4, Cleethorpes kept the scoreboard moving, but saw boundaries dry up and the run rate increase.

Needing 23 off the last two overs, Ahmed’s penultimate over went for just six, and young Ed King was given the responsibility of bowling the crucial final over.

After starting with two wides, he came back well to restrict the Cleethorpes batsmen and give Taverners an eight-run win.