CRICKET: Woodhall Spa draw match on final ball

Joe Irving claimed two wickets for Spa on Saturday.
Joe Irving claimed two wickets for Spa on Saturday.
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Needing two to win from the final delivery, Woodhall Spa’s final wicket pair of Connor Parsons and Jean-Pierre Prinsloo mustered the one needed to tie the game against rivals Boston in the Lincs ECB Premier League encounter.

Both teams finished 217-9 from their 50 overs and each claimed 13 points.

It was a topsy turvy affair and a game the Spa know they should have won, as from 140-2 with more than 18 overs to go the game was well in control but a flow of middle-order wickets meant that the lower order of Henry Wilson (10), Parsons (6no) and Prinsloo (2no) were left to scrap for every run to inch closer to the winning line.

Spa’s chase had been set up well by openers Jack Luffman and Jack Timby who put on an entertaining 82 run partnership. Timby was impressive with an array of off and on drives while skipper Luffman showed a slight return to form with some nice drives and pulls of his own.

Timby went for 40 but Prasanna Jayawardene continued to bat alongside his captain and together they amassed another 50 run partnership. Luffman went for a well-deserved 57.

Jayawardene continued to play with freedom but the loss of Joe Irving (10), Chris Anderson (4) and then himself for a run-a-ball 61 saw the home side slip from 168-3 to 183-5 which soon became 202-8 before the final drama unfolded.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Spa bowlers and fielders worked hard to keep Boston down to such a low score on what was a wonderful batting surface. Indeed, earlier in the week the PCA England Masters players had described it as a ‘proper cricket wicket’.

It took a slice of luck for the Spa to claim their first wicket via a full toss which was caught well by Prinsloo off his own bowling, but they reduced the visitors to 81-3 and then 141-6. A busy partnership between Sparke and Baxter followed before the returning Irving (2-64) and Prinsloo (3-33) claimed wickets in the dying overs.

Spinners Ross Dixon (2-49) and Paul Timby (1-45) bowled 25 tidy overs between them in the middle of the innings and Parsons claimed the crucial wicket of former Spa player Jonny Cheer for just 15 during his good five-over spell.

Away at the Mayflower, the Spa 2nd XI endured a day to forget in the South Lincs and Border League.

On winning the toss the home side invited Spa to bat and despite 34 from Rob Bee and 12 from Tom Siswick, no other batsman reached double figures in tricky batting conditions as the side were bowled out for just 90.

After the tea interval and with the sun now shining, batting became a little easier and Boston passed the winning line for the loss of two wickets. Spa did manage to get through 28 overs with young Alfie Lindsey the pick with 2-25 off his eight.

On Sunday, the Wanderers 2nd XI beat North Scarle by 21 runs.

Batting first, the home side were bowled out for a good total of 202. Openers Adam Barker (45) and Jean-Pierre Prinsloo (22) batted well and there was an entertaining innings from Chris Anderson (19) and a quickfire 31 from James Harris.

However, the highlight was a maiden senior 50 for under-13 player Ollie Caswell who showed his abilities with a patient and well played half-century.

In reply, the visitors lost wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out for 181. John Temperton picked up 3-42 off his 10 overs and under-13 bowlers Sam Cooke (3-42) and Dewi Bourke (1-41) were once again impressive, particularly during the dying overs.

Away at Grimsby Town, the under-19 side played its first game in the inaugural Lincs U/19 T20 Competition.

Bowling first, the boys, who are made up of mostly under-15 and under-17 players, bowled and fielded well to keep the home side down to 115 off their 20 overs. Off spinner Henry Wilson picked up two wickets.

In reply, Spa finished 15 runs short as the young batsmen found the boundaries hard to come by against a Town side that included five bowlers who have all bowled at Premier League level.

Wilson again was the pick with a retired 50 and he shared in good partnerships with Ben Troops and Tom Caswell. The boys’ next game in the competition is against Lindum on a date to be confirmed.