Grantham and Melton Cricket: Buckminster & Sproxton march on

Steve Allen (2 for 25) opened the bowling for Buckminster and Barrowby EMN-190406-170339002
Steve Allen (2 for 25) opened the bowling for Buckminster and Barrowby EMN-190406-170339002
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Buckminster and Barrowby edged a rain-affected game in a tense finish to make it four wins out of five in Grantham and Melton Association Division Two.

Having won the toss and batted first in a match reduced to 30 overs a side, Stamford opener Williams set his stall out from the beginning with the punishment of any bad ball.

But opening bowlers Colin Atter (1 for 12) and Steve Allen (2 for 25) dismantled the top order around him before Dale Hardy weighed in with the fourth wicket from only his third ball to further tighten the screw.

Williams took him to task in a three-over spell which defined the innings before Titch Warner’s in-swinger removed Whoolf’s middle peg as Stamford battled to 127-5.

Buckminster began slowly under threatening skies, losing Dave Allen early before Steve Harper set about stabilising the innings with a belligerent 15.

After Kilburn fell for two, Colin Atter set about the Stamford attack with useful cameos from both Hardy boys and Warner to put Buckminster within sight of victory.

When Atter fell, caught late on having amassed a vital 51, it looked like the hosts wouldn’t quite make it.

Simon Higgs blocked everything in sight in order to get Jack Berry on strike who, in the final over with four needed to win, launched a monstrous six into the street to seal victory to the Maples and Swans.

The win kept Buckminster and Barrowby top by eight points ahead of Sunday’s trip to Melton Mowbray (2pm start).

* In a Sunday schedule blighted by rain and cancellations, Sproxton went 37 points clear at the top of Division One with their fifth straight win at Belvoir.

Facing a reduced allocation of 30 overs, Sproxton skipper Ben Ryder (81) was again prolific opening the batting.

He received good support from Jonathan Watchorn (30) and Keith Smith (25 not out) as the visitors racked up 199-4.

In reply, Belvoir’s top three of Seb Newton (38), Ben Robinson (20) and Joe Creasey (33) gave the hosts a solid start, but despite contributions all the way down the order, no-one could produce a match-winning knock.

Watchorn (3 for 27) helped restrict Belvoir to 180-8 as Sproxton won by 19 runs.

Second-placed Barkby slipped further off the pace after a five-wicket defeat at Grantham.

Jack Johnson hit 56, supported by Sid Pillalamarri (32) and runs down the order as the visitors compiled 180-5 from their 30 overs.

But despite two wickets apiece from Joshua Grant and Perry Stewart-Halford, an unbeaten 69 from skipper Ben Kennedy-Short eased Grantham to victory with 22 balls to spare.

The only other game to see a result was in Division Three at Croxton Kerrial where the nine-man hosts were bowled out for just 74.

Earlier Queniborough Second XI had set the hosts 182-7 to chase largely thanks to Mukul Pravin’s unbeaten 89.