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LINCOLNSHIRE CCC v STAFFORDSHIRE CCC
For their second Unicorns Eastern Division Championship match of the season, Lincolnshire hosted Staffordshire at Sleaford. Amongst a number of enforced changes for the home side was a debut for Sam Evison of Bourne.
On a hot and sunny day and in front of a good crowd, Staffordshire won the toss and decided to bat. The early dismissal of Tom Steele by Alex Willerton was then followed by the highest stand of the innings as Kadeer Ali and Ross Coates added 186 for the second wicket, Coates falling to debutant Evison for 78. Thereafter the visitors’ innings collapsed somewhat as 9 wickets fell for the addition of 86 runs, Kadeer Ali with 104 being the only other score of note. Staffordshire were 296 all out in the seventy-ninth over. Dominic Brown (3 for 44) and Andy Carter (3 for 60) were Lincolnshire’s best bowlers in what were very hot and humid conditions.
Louis Kimber and Dan Freeman gave Lincolnshire a solid start and put on 70 for the first wicket before Kimber was adjudged lbw for 30. Nightwatchman Alex Willerton was also dismissed in the final over of the day as Lincolnshire ended on 79 for 2.
Day two dawned hot, sunny and humid. Lincolnshire’s batting however fell well short of the standard they had reached last season and they lost wickets steadily throughout their innings with only Matt Lineker (48) and Dan Freeman (46) making any substantial contribution. Staffordshire bowled well in bowler friendly conditions and whilst Lincolnshire’s innings lasted into the seventy-seventh over they never got to grips with the Staffordshire attack. They were finally all out for 189, a first innings deficit of 107.
Lincolnshire made early inroads into the Staffordshire batting and reduced them to 43 for 3. Thereafter Kadeer Ali and Tim Maxfield saw them reach 136 for 3 at the close of day two.
Immediately on day three Staffordshire set about the Lincolnshire bowling and pushed the total to 180 before Maxfield was stumped by Wilson off Wood for 63. Kadeer Ali continued to dominate the Lincolnshire bowling, hitting them to all parts of the ground. He was eventually bowled by Brown for a superb 148 as the visitors declared on 285 for 6, setting Lincolnshire a target of 393 for victory off a minimum of 80 overs.
Kimber and Freeman again gave the home side a good start, putting on 108 for the first wicket until the former was caught immediately after making 50. Freeman fell for a fine 65, and then Lineker, Brown and Knight went cheaply as Lincolnshire were reduced for 185 for 6. Wood stood firm with a solid knock of 41 as Lincolnshire endeavoured to bat out for a draw. With Wood’s dismissal at 215, debutant Evison was joined by Carnelley and they batted soundly to take the home county to safety. Carnelley went just before the close, but Evison and Wilson saw out the draw.
Lincolnshire took 9 points from the match and Staffordshire took 11.
Lincolnshire’s next three-day Championship match is at Grantham commencing on Sunday, 2nd July when they play Buckinghamshire.
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