CRICKET: Jayawardene is star of convincing Woodhall Spa victory

Ross Dixon bowling for Woodhall Spa at Nettleham, where he bagged three wickets. Photo: Nigel West
Ross Dixon bowling for Woodhall Spa at Nettleham, where he bagged three wickets. Photo: Nigel West

An unbeaten Prasanna Jayawardene century secured a convincing 16-point victory for Woodhall Spa on Saturday in their latest Lincolnshire ECB Premier League encounter at bottom of the table Nettleham.

Chasing the home side’s 194, Jayawardene was the standout performer with a run-a-ball innings that also included 15 boundaries. The bulk of the run-chase had been hauled in after he shared in a 107 run partnership for the second wicket with under-15 player Henry Wilson, who had opened the innings in the absence of Jack Timby.

Woodhall Spa 2nd batsman John Giles is trapped lbw against Belton Park. Photo: Nigel West

Woodhall Spa 2nd batsman John Giles is trapped lbw against Belton Park. Photo: Nigel West

Wilson showed some real potential against the new ball and his innings of 40, his best at this level, was greeted with much appreciation from his team. Aggressive and timely knocks from Joe Irving (10), Chris Anderson (18) and Tom Dixon (14) took all the pressure off the Sri Lankan star, and the winning line was reached inside 41 overs.

Earlier in the afternoon, Spa had stuck to their task well in the field in sweltering conditions to keep the home side to such a low score. On a placid pitch, it was Spa’s slow bowling that came to the fore on this occasion as spinners Ross Dixon and that man Jayawardene made run scoring a difficult pastime. Jayawardene took 1-39 off his 13 overs but it was Ross Dixon who was the pick with 3-44 off his 17. Namesake Tom Dixon was also in good form behind the stumps and executed two fine stumpings.

At Jubilee Park, the second XI endured a day to forget against fellow South Lincs and Border League Premier Division strugglers Belton Park.

The visitors batted first and amassed 230 on a superb batting pitch. Jack Cooke took two wickets, Sam Cherry three and Kieran Richardson four.

In reply, the Spa’s innings was in disarray at 27-8 but some hard hitting from Richardson gave the score some respectability as Belton bowled them out for 92 to register their first win of the season.

On Sunday, Chris Anderson’s Wanderers first XI continued their winning run with a smashing seven wicket victory at home to Hartsholme.

The visitors batted first and were simply blown away by some superb Spa bowling. Jean-Pierre Prinsloo (3) and Alfie Lindsey (2) ripped through the top order in their opening spells, Prinsloo bowling all three of his victims.

Matt Haslam took three wickets for just one run and there was a wicket apiece for Ollie Caswell and Jack Luffman as the men from Ashby Avenue were skittled out for just 66. Stand-in keeper Anderson took three fine catches behind the stumps.

In reply, Ross Dixon was in no mood to mess around and smashed 24 from just 10 deliveries before his dismissal. Henry Wilson continued his good from with 27 not out and it was left to Caswell to hit the winning runs to complete the fine win.

At Heighington, the Wanderers second XI returned with eight hard fought bonus points to keep hold of second spot in the league. With a completely different side from the week before, they battled hard to finish on 162-6 in reply to the home side’s 231-8.

With the ball, John Temperton, Kieran Richardson and Dewi Bourke each took two wickets, with one apiece for Danny Wells and Jackson Draper, while with the bat the top three all made good contributions.

The opening stand of 83 between Alex Hodson (23) and Adam Barker (63) was particularly pleasing. Nathan Carter showed a return to form with an impressive 32, while skipper Pete Epton (18 not out) and Wells (17 not out) secured some additional batting points as the game reached its conclusioin.