Woodhall Spa’s new overseas star Malinga Bandara wasted no time in making an impression last Saturday and left champions Sleaford in a real spin.
The Sri Lanka Test star celebrated his debut in the ECB Lincolnshire Premier League by taking 3-42 as Sleaford - chasing a formidable Woodhall total of 223-8 - were restricted to 155-8.
Woodhall’s second successive winning draw highlighted their potential title pedigree and boosted confidence ahead of this Saturday’s showdown against Bracebridge Heath,
Bandara’s list of victims included Sleaford’s record-breaking Kiwi batsman Tim McIntosh.
Woodhall skipper Jack Luffman admitted: “It was an impressive performance by Bandara and he looks a class player.
“He bowled with a lot of control and hopefully it was the start of things to come.”
It was far from a one-man show as Woodhall overcame their star-studded hosts - and the bad weather which wiped out a number of other games.
Asked to bat first on a damp wicket, Woodhall lost key man Jonny Cheer early on.
However, Sam Evison (46) and Ricky Lovelace (26) re-built the innings although Woodhall were still in some trouble at 114-6 when Bandara fell for a duck.
However, Lincolnshire all-rounder Matthew Sargeant and highly rated young wicketkeeper Jack Hughes came together in what proved to be a matchwinning stand.
They added more than 90 runs with Sargeant hammering two sixes and eight fours in a 67-ball 65. Hughes finished on 39 not out.
Ben O’Brien made early inroads into Sleaford’s reply and Bandara completed a run out to get rid of Louis Kimber.
McIntosh battled his way to 42 before he fell leg before to the wily leg-spin of Bandara to leave the total on 75-4.
Bandara ripped out Sam Cascoygne and Jacob Smith cheaply while Luke Smith and Sargeant also struck.
However, Woodhall could not dislodge Andy Hibberd whose unbeaten 62 denied them maximum points.