Match report: Grimsby Town suffer four-wicket defeat against Market Deeping

Grimsby Town Market Deeping match report

Match report: Grimsby Town suffer four-wicket defeat against Market Deeping

Grimsby Town’s first team lost by four wickets when they travelled to Market Deeping at the weekend.

In a keenly contested, low-scoring match, Deeping’s opening bowler Hayatullah Niazi claimed five for 25 and batsman Josh Smith produced a match-winning innings as he finished undefeated on 64.

The pitch at Outgang Road kept the bowlers interested all day and Grimsby were invited to bat first.

Youngster Toby Blake was offered the chance to open the batting for Town and he stepped up to the challenge, playing a determined innings for his side. Blake put on 31 for the second wicket, with Kasun Ekanayake hitting 12 before the Sri Lankan overseas player got a leading edge and was caught at backward point by Hafeez off the bowling of James Hook.

Hook, the hosts’ captain, proved very economical, taking two for six from his seven overs – five of which were maidens. All of the home side’s seamers bowled with good control and made run-scoring difficult.

Grimsby were making slow but steady progress towards drinks and the halfway stage when Smith came on to take two crucial wickets with his off-spin. Before the break, Smith trapped Town’s captain Steve Crossley LBW and then, with the first ball back, he clean bowled Blake, who made 29 from 81 balls.

This left Town on 65 for five in the 26th over. Andrew White came in and decided to attack the home side’s spinners, hitting three big sixes as he raced to 22 off his first 10 balls.

Deeping brought back opening bowler Niazi, who was certainly fired up. He trapped White LBW for 25 and took four wickets in 12 balls as he made short work of Grimsby’s lower order.

Niazi was the league’s top-wicket taker last year and the Afghan-born, Norwegian International was dangerous, bowling his left-arm deliveries full and straight.

Jack Wilson – batting at seven – was the visitors’ top scorer and played some well-timed shots as he finished undefeated on 30. Wilson struck five fours, the best of which saw him use his feet to hit Smith straight down the ground.

Unfortunately, Wilson ran out of partners and his side were all out for 118 in the 39th over.

Grimsby’s opening bowlers, Hayden Tice and Rory Ronaldson, performed impressively as they bowled the first 20 overs unchanged, to leave the home side 50 for five. At one stage, Deeping were 31 for five and Town looked favourites, but they had to dismiss Smith, who set his stall out to bat through.

Tice claimed two for 29 but was frustrated to overstep, as he clean-bowled Smith when he was on nine with a no-ball. Ronaldson bowled with good rhythm, varying his pace well and took three for 21 from his 10 overs.

Grimsby’s ground fielding was impressive and wicketkeeper Crossley took a good diving catch to stump Niazi (16) off White to leave Deeping 66 for six.

With such a low score to defend, the hosts could afford to take their time and Smith did just that. He showed great discipline as he held the innings together to score 64 runs from 143 balls. Joe Malton scored 20 not out and added 55 for the seventh wicket, with Smith seeing Deeping home.

Report by David Evans

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