CRICKET: Brilliant Bandera bamboozles Grantham

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Overseas star Malinga Bandera produced an outstanding all round performance to help Woodhall Spa continue their promising start to the new ECB Lincolnshire Premier League season.

The former Sir Lanka Test ace was too hot to 
handle with both bat and ball as Spa cruised to a nine wicket win at newly promoted Grantham on Saturday.

Bandera bamboozled Grantham’s batsmen with his leg spin to pick up 6-49 off 13 overs as the hosts were dismissed for 148 on Saturday.

And he followed up with an unbeaten 41 - including five boundaries - as Spa romped to a winning score of 150-1 off 35 overs.

Not that it was a one-man show in a positive performance by Spa’s new-look side which must have delighted skipper Jack Luffman.

It was Grantham, though, who made a positive start with openers Daniel Webb and Stewart Mudie adding 41 for the first wicket.

Seamer Luke Smith kept a brake on the early scoring, but Joe Irving and Jack Cooke both proved expensive.

Smith delivered the first strike, dismissing Webbb for 24 and it wasn’t long before Luffman turned to the skills of Bandera and South African teenager Etienne Botha.

From 41-0 and then 11-1 Grantham lost wickets at regular intervals with teenager ‘keeper Jack Timby in fine form behind the stumps.

Home skipper Rohan Nurse did make 41 before falling to Bandera and with Botha weighing in with 3-24 from 8.4 overs, Spa were in control.

In fact, Grantham’s last nine wickets fell for just 37 runs as Bandera and Botha weaved their magic.

Still, Spa had to get the runs and Sam Evison teamed up with Luffman in pretty much a matchwinning stand.

Producing some fine strokeplay to all parts of the ground, they took their first wicket stand to 95 before Lufmann was clean bowled for 39.

However, Evison (46no) then teamed up with Bandera to see their side home to a 20-point victory with no further alarms.