Lincolnshire CCC claim victory over Suffolk

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Lincolnshire left Bury St Edmunds with a victory over Suffolk in their first Unicorns Championship Eastern Division match of the season.

They were without Matt Carter, who had been called up to play for Nottinghamshire’s Second XI, and Martin Weightman, injured the previous day in a club fixture.

Lincolnshire won the toss and on a good looking pitch elected to bat first.

This decision seemed the wrong one as they slipped to 54-2, which included a fluent 39 from Karanjit Bansal, containing nine fours.

Conrad Louth and Anish Patel added 90 before the former was dismissed for 54, including 10 fours and one six.

Patel fell shortly afterwards for 55, also including 10 fours.

Carl Wilson was dismissed cheaply and Dan Freeman and Luke Robinson added 76 before Robinson fell for 41.

Freeman continued to bat with great maturity and aided by Alex Osmond (28) pushed the total past 300.

Freeman was eventually out for 74 as Lincolnshire’s innings closed on 341 in the 72nd over.

In the two overs available to them before the tea interval, Lincolnshire struck immediately when Alex Osmond trapped opener Nathan Poole for six.

After the interval Lincolshire continued to dominate as Suffolk were reduced to 50-4 with only Martyn Cull and Simon Guy offering any resistance.

Guy was eventually bowled by Bansal for 37 and wicket keeper Mansfield fell to Shepherd as Suffolk closed day one on 118-6.

Next day wickets fell steadily although Cull continued to score vital runs for the home side.

He added a vital 72 with Jack Beaumont (38) before he was last to be dismissed with the home side’s total on 240, a deficit of 101.

The Cleethorpes duo of Alex Osmond (3-47) and debutant Alex Willerton (3-33) were Lincolnshire’s most successful bowlers.

Lincolnshire’s second innings began disastrously as they fell to 15-3 and then 57-4.

Dan Freeman and Luke Robinson then restored some respectability to the score before Robinson was dismissed for 57 with the score on 137-5, a lead of 238.

Osmond and Shepherd were dismissed cheaply.

Willerton and Freeman then added 115 for the eighth wicket before Willerton fell in the final over of the day for a fine 47 as Lincolnshire closed on 281-8, a lead of 382.

On the next morning Bansal, who had broken a finger the previous day whilst fielding, joined Freeman and attacked the Suffolk bowling as the pair added 68 in seven overs before Lincolnshire declared on 349-8 a lead of 450.

Bansal was 46 not out off 35 balls with seven fours and two sixes, whilst Freeman was undefeated with 137, his maiden century for the county club.

Suffolk required 451 to win from a minimum of 100 overs.

They progressed steadily to 61-2 and 140-4, but at all stages were behind the required run rate.

Cull and Guy again dominated their batting until Shepherd dismissed Cull for 87.

Guy and Mansfield added a further 103 before Shepherd made the breakthrough to remove Guy for 75.

Time was now the only thing standing in the way of a Lincolnshire victory.

Alex Osmond trapped Mansfield LBW for a defiant 40 and quickly removed Poulson for nought.

Willerton then dismissed Beaumont, caught behind and Shepherd clean bowled Reece for 35 to complete the victory.

Shepherd with 5-68 was Lincolnshire’s most successful bowler.

Lincolnshire took a maximum 24 points from the match and Suffolk took six points.