Cleethorpes Cricket Club failed to halt the progress of Wakefield Thornes in their pursuit of 4 Probate & Wills ECB Yorkshire South Premier League leaders Doncaster Town.
At Chichester Road on Saturday the champions elect won by 5 wickets, but with Doncaster winning comfortably at bottom club Hallam, the gap remains at 12 points. Sheffield Collegiate are hanging onto the tails of Wakefield, and it appears that the race for the title is going to be a three horse race with 4th placed Barnsley a further 16 points adrift.
Star batsman Louis Kimber had to withdraw from the Cleethorpes side due to injury and 15 year old Max Taylor was brought into the side for a league debut. The youngster, who is highly thought of within the Cleethorpes Club, won praise from both sides for an accomplished, and confident, display on his first taste of cricket at this level.
After winning the toss, Cleethorpes chose to bat first on a green looking wicket which would probably assist seam bowling. They may have wished they had chosen the alternative after just a handful of overs had seen their top order blown away. The experienced Mahmood Rasool and Yorkshire seamer Matthew Taylor reduced the home side to 37-4 and their innings in tatters.
Some determined batting from both Alex Osmond and Callum Carter (pictured) halted the visitor’s progress and brought some sanity back to the innings. Scoring was painfully slow, but a necessity, as the visitors were held at bay.
A couple of boundaries from Osmond broke the deadlock and brought about a bowling change. With Carter gaining in confidence and also finding the ropes, the partnership became worth 50 in the 33rd over.
Together the pair added 81 for the 5th wicket before Osmond, on 42, was caught in the deep to give Greg Wadsworth the first of his eventual 5 wicket haul. The partnership had given Cleethorpes a platform to attack, and overseas player Basheeru Walters needed no second invitation.
The boundary ropes were cleared three times as he raced to 38 from only 22 balls and the total rushed past 150. However, spinner Wadsworth claimed his wicket with the total on 160 which brought the youthful Taylor to the wicket for his debut.
Taylor showed his awareness of the situation as he scampered between the wickets, twice turning singles into two’s. His youthful exhilarating display brought his downfall however when he tried to steal a single, but a direct hit to the bowlers end saw him yards short of his ground.
Wakefield soon cleaned up the tail, with Wadsworth finishing with figures of 5-38 and his side set to chase a moderate total of 173 for victory.
Opening batsmen James Wolfenden and Richard Foster made batting look easy as they began the reply. They effortlessly took the score past 50 in the 15th over before the former, who was the more aggressive of the pairing, completed his personal half century which included 9 boundaries.
Jordan Cook eventually broke the stand when, with the score on 92, he trapped Wolfenden leg before. The visitors continued to milk the bowling, keeping themselves ahead of the required rate, before the Meggies tasted any further success.
Harry Costello had the visitors acting captain, David Toft, caught behind with the total on 114, and when the youngster, and Cook, captured a second wicket apiece, Cleethorpes saw a glimmer of hope.
This, however, was soon extinguished by the experienced Wakefield line-up. They displayed their depth of batting as both Satyajeet Bachhav and Faisal Irfan eased their side towards victory. Joe Baker did break his barren spell by capturing the wicket of Bachhav, but it was a case of too little too late, as the winning runs came with 13 balls to spare.