CRICKET: Sharp and O’Kane on fire as Empingham win

EMPINGHAM made light work of their opponents when they returned to the crease after two washed out weeks.

The Rutlanders notched up a third consecutive win to remain top of the Grantham and Melton League Division Two, dismissing Sholay for just 80 and then rattling off the required runs in 15 overs.

Stu Naylor bowled with his usual rhythm and consistency, picking up the first wicket, and he was wel supported by Freddie Turner, who also picked up a scalp to finish (1 for 35 off eight overs).

The pair kept it tight, with Stu bowling brilliantly. His 10 overs went for only 13 runs as well as taking the opening wicket.

This early pressure put Sholay under pressure and they made the mistake of targeting spin sorcerer Dan O’Kane. He ripped through the middle order to pick up four wickets for 22.

Skipper Tom Cooper then ran through the tail effectively, taking two for 18.

All the bowlers were backed up by a near faultless fielding as Sholay folded for 80 all out on what was a good pitch.

In reply, Graham Cooper (36 not out) and Mark Coburn broke the back of the diminutive total with a solid opening stand.

After some eye-catching strokes Coburn was dismissed for 17, bringing Baz Sharp (13 not out) to the crease and he was in an unforgiving mood, hoisting consecutive sixes into separate gardens.

Luckily the only damage done was to the opposition bowler’s spirits as Cooper and Sharp completed a nine wicket victory.

The only question after Sunday was whether Empingham can maintain their early season momentum with away games coming up.