Ahmed leads the way as Thirds claim win

Zubair Ahmed.
Zubair Ahmed.

Louth CC Thirds hosted Keelby Seconds in their penultimate Lincs County League Fourth Division game at Legbourne, aiming for a top-three finish.

Skipper Mat Leeming lost the toss and was put into bat by Keelby, where openers Chatterton and Leeming started cautiously and took the score to 30 in nine overs when Chatterton (20) was caught at square leg of the bowling of Lincolnshire county player Phillips.

Leeming soon followed, bowled by Smith for 12.

Louth needed a partnership to steady the innings and this was duly provided by Luke Johnson and Drew Simmonds, who took the score to 96 when Simmonds was bowled by Bedwell for a patient 15.

Luke Johnson was joined by Zubair Ahmed in the 32nd over.

Both knew they had to increase the run rate with 13 overs left.

Johnson, who was well set, started to attack the Keelby bowlers and hit some delightful pull shorts to complete his well-deserved 50.

Ahmed also started to attack and hit few boundaries.

Luke was run out for 59 with the score on 140 in 40 overs.

With only five overs left, Ahmed - in trying to increase the run rate - was caught brilliantly at the boundary by Skipworth for 22.

Louth’s lower ordered batsman managed to take the score to 169 in their allotted 45 overs.

Keelby started the chase cautiously as they took the score to 60 in 17 overs.

The breakthrough was provided by Harry King, courtesy of a diving catch by father Simon in the gully.

Harry King took another wicket soon to leave Keelby at 72-2 after 20 overs.

Leeming then introduced senior bowler Ahmed - and he did not disappoint as he soon bowled Cooley.

Keelby skipper Andy Sharp however continue to play sensibly and scored runs on anything loose, but Ahmed conceded just 20 runs in his first 10 overs.

Sharp was then caught by Johnson off the bowling of Jono Thorndike for a well-played 47.

Ahmed than ran through the middle and lower middle ordered batters who had no answer to his spin and variations.

With the score at 153-7 rom 42 overs Keelby needed 17 runs from three overs.

But Harry King and Ahmed (pictured) bowled magnificently as Keelby were all out in the last over for 158 with Smith stranded on 26 not out.

Ahmed finished with impressive figures of 14.2-3-32-6 in the 11-run success.

Louth Thirds end their season at Scunthorpe this weekend, and hoping to continue their winning form and leapfrog Horncastle into third place.

Louth Firsts suffered a 138-run defeat at home to Market Deeping in the Lincs ECB Premier, leaving them ninth in the table.

Thomas Cuthbert and Sebastian Darke top scored with 24 runs each, while Xander Pitchers and Andy Carrington both claimed three victims with the ball.

On Saturday the Firsts travel to fourth-placed Woodhall Spa.

The Seconds are sixth in the Lincoln County League First Division following Saturday’s seven-wicket loss at Haxey.

Sam Marshall (42) and Steven Sandy (35) batted well, while Regardt Koen led the way with the ball.

The Seconds host Outcasts on Saturday.