CRICKET: Town chase down formidable total

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Spalding turned in another fine display on Saturday to beat basement side Hartsholme by seven wickets.

The result was even more impressive for Town, who had to do without Zimbabwean import Campbell Light who has unfortunately had to return home for personal reasons.

On a great pitch Hartsholme decided to bat first. Town’s opening bowlers Mike Kearns and Jack Barratt bowled very well early on and the latter was rewarded with the wicket of Christian Millar with the score on 18.

Kearns removed the other opener Louis Kimber for 20 as Town worked hard in the field to restrict the home side. Skipper Mat Woolridge was the next to go, dismissed by a superb diving catch from Max Cusack off the bowling of Barratt.

This brought Tim Brown and Richard Genge to the crease and the two Kiwis started to build an impressive partnership for Hartsholme and put them into a strong position for their final overs.

Genge was run out for 36 after being sent back by Brown, who was then joined by Nick Wilkinson, who came out all guns blazing.

He struck three sixes and a four in his 20-ball 34 before being bowled by Warren Nel. Tim Brown was next out for a fine 88, again undone by Nel.

Liam Moore Holland (20no) took his team’s score on to 245-8 at the end of the Lincoln club’s allotted overs, leaving Town an awful lot to do.

Skipper Rob Ambrose and Mike Kearns got off to a positive start with Ambrose punishing anything full. Kearns(2) fell to a dubious caught behind and Ambrose(23) was out lbw not long after to leave Town wobbling at 25-2.

Josh Newton joined Nel and the pair looked in sublime form. The pair kept Town on course with the run rate throughout their partnership.

When Newton departed for a fine 79, they had put on 135 for the third wicket – their second hundred partnership in as many weeks.

Chris Dring joined Nel and they chipped away at Hartsholme’s total. Considering Dring had not played an awful lot of cricket in recent weeks, he looked in great touch.

As Town moved closer to the target the home team’s heads dropped and Nel and Dring took advantage to comfortably see the visitors home in the 46th over and secure another valuable 18 points.

Skipper Rob Ambrose said: “We have had a difficult couple of weeks with Cam returning home so to get another win will really help with our belief.

“To chase down 245 is always difficult but the way Josh, Warren and Chris batted they made it look a lot easier than it actually was.”

Town have a difficult game at home against third-placed Grimsby on Saturday.