CRICKET: Lincs CCC book place in KO Trophy quarter-finals

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Lincolnshire CCC have booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy, following victory in Cockermouth.

The team travelled to play Cumberland in the final of their group matches in the minor counties event, knowing that victory would guarantee them a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

They made two changes from the side which beat Shropshire, with Conrad Louth replacing Anish Patel and Martin Weightman replacing Dan Freeman.

Cumberland won the toss and put Lincolnshire into bat knowing that rain was forecast in the late afternoon.

After the early loss of Paul Cook, Sam Kelsall and Conrad Louth took the total to 62 before Louth was out for 18.

Runs were difficult to come by in the face of tight bowling by the Cumberland attack.

Lincolnshire lost wickets at regular intervals and were eventually dismissed for 141 in the 44th over.

Sam Kelsall top scored with 44, the only other score of note being 28 by Matt Carter, an innings that was ultimately to prove decisive.

Scott Lees (4-49) was the hosts’ most successful bowler.

Although Lincolnshire’s total was a modest one, run scoring was not easy and so it proved when Cumberland batted.

Lincolnshire made an excellent start with two early wickets by Alex Willerton and David Lucas leaving the home side on 11-2.

There then followed Cumberland’s best stand of the innings of 45 with opener Karl Turner being dominant.

Eventually, Willerton dismissed Turner for 43 and thereafter wickets continued to fall steadily.

Cumberland passed 100 with five wickets down and then lost three wickets in quick succession for one run to slump to 104- 8.

At 113-8 off 39.1 overs the forecast rain fell and the players left the field.

No further play was possible and Lincolnshire secured victory by virtue of their superior run rate under the Duckworth Lewis method.

Alex Osmond (3-13 off his five overs, including the vital dismissal of Gary Pratt) was Lincolnshire’s most successful bowler.

Matt Carter, Martin Weightman and David Lucas all bowled economical spells whilst Alex Willerton claimed the prize wickets of both Cumberland’s openers.

This victory placed Lincolnshire at the top of their group on a superior run rate to that of the previous group leaders, Northumberland, who suffered a 239-run loss to Cheshire.

Lincolnshire will now progress to the quarter-finals where they will meet Norfolk at Grantham on Sunday, June 14.