CRICKET: Freeman leads the way as Grantham return to form
Lincs ECB Premier League
Market Rasen 83
Grantham hosted Market Rasen on Saturday and it was a welcome return to form for the home side as they picked up the full 20 points over a side battling to stay afloat in the league.
After losing the toss, Gran-tham were astonished to be asked to bowl on a pitch that had more than a tinge of green and was soft from the previous week’s rain.
The overcast conditions were bound to favour the Grantham seamers and it did not take long for the first breakthrough.
A hooping away-swinger from strike bowler Joe Peck started the Grantham account in the third over when the leading edge was caught by Jamie Brumby at point.
Fellow strike Dan Freeman (5-19) was relishing the conditions and challenged the batsmen all day with aggressive bowling.
There was not much resistance to the Grantham attack as the visitors struggled to a total of just 82.
Not satisfied with five wickets for the day, Dan Freeman then led the batsmen to victory, scoring an unbeaten 51 from the top of the order.
Market Rasen did manage to take away a solitary point from the match as they claimed four wickets in the day, but a comprehensive victory from Grantham saw them draw level with the visiting side.
Grantham are at home again this week against Spalding and they will be looking to repeat the performance against the league’s backmarkers and start securing their place for the 2016 season.
South Lincs & Border League
Grantham 2nd 172-8
Spalding 2nd 113
Grantham’s second string travelled to Spalding knowing that it was a must-win game for both sides and, after losing the toss, were asked to bat first after the covers had leaked in a couple of areas.
Ady Wing and Stewart Mudie (39) opened and soon found that scoring was difficult on a slow wicket, combined with a slow outfield, but both grafted to put on 66 for the first wicket before Mudie was out.
The top order all contributed after Wing (32) became the second of five victims for Answar Hussein. James Cameron-Clarke (21), Martin Parmley (27) and Danny Ashley(32) then pushed the total up to 172.
Recognising that pace off the ball was difficult to score from, Grantham started with Joe Farmer who bowled excellent lines, producing figures of 10-5-0-7, but it was his partner Danny Ashley who took the plaudits with 7-30 and took Spalding apart, giving Grantham a well deserved victory.
Frank Woodhead Cup
As the captains tossed, the green surface on the wicket looked perfect for Grantham’s seamers that caused Oakham grief last time the two sides met.
Oakham won the first battle, however, and chose to have a go at Grantham’s batters first. This decision was justified after just two balls of the match when opener David Whapplington was undone by an perfect in-swinging Yorker.
From that point, Grantham took hold of the game and piled on the runs, as Oakham tried to subdue Rohan Nurse (82no) and Matt Wing (60no). Grantham set a formidable target in just 18 overs.
Oakham were not going to go down without a fight and they were up with the run rate all the way until the 14th over, but eventually finished 20 runs short.
Four catches on the boundary from Matt Tavaré and Rahul Kumar dismissed the key men, and the bowling of Neil Stevenson (4-32) and Joe Peck (2-28) kept the Oakham middle order constrained.