Woodhall Spa batsman Sam Evison helped Lincolnshire round off the Minor Counties Eastern Division season with a thrilling seven run win against Bedfordshire at Ampthill this week.
Lincolnshire made four changes to the side that lost narrowly to Buckinghamshire at Grantham in their previous game with Carl Wilson and Rob Cook making their debuts and Adam Shepherd and Ben Powell returning to the side.
Early morning rain caused a delayed start but when play got underway Lincolnshire took full
advantage of winning the toss by deciding to bat.
Evison and Karanjit Bansal put on 101 for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 27.
Bansal and Conrad Louth continued to dominate the bowling, Bansal reaching his third century of the season before falling for 111.
Louth continued the run feast ably supported by Carl Wilson with 34 and Alex Osmond with 36 as Lincolnshire reached 353 for 6 declared shortly before close of play on day one, Louth being undefeated with 101.
There was time before the close for David Lucas to dismiss opener Thurston leg before for one.
On day two, the Lincolnshire bowlers gradually worked their way through the Bedfordshire batting line up and dismissed them for 184 with only Martin Weightman showing any resistance with an attacking 40.
Bansal continued his good form in the match taking 4 for 37.
With a lead of 169, Lincolnshire did not enforce the follow on and opted to bat again themselves.
Their second innings was a complete contrast to the first and they were dismissed for 174 in 49 overs with only Louth with 46 showing any significant resistance.
For Bedfordshire, Andy Reynoldson with 5 for 32 and Martin Weightman with 4 for 40 were their outstanding bowlers.
Bedfordshire required 344 for victory with over a day remaining and they set about their task in attacking mode and reached 142 before their second wicket fell.
On 202, the vital wicket of Sam Johnson fell to Alex Osmond for 60 which together with opener Thurston’s 67 had placed the hosts in pole position to reach their target.
Osmond and Bansal continued to take wickets and at 292 for 8 Lincolnshire looked slight favourites.
They had reckoned without the dangerous Weightman who continued to attack the bowling and keep the strike.
At 312 the ninth wicket fell but still Weightman was there. With eight required for victory, he attempted a quick single in order to retain the strike but a brilliant throw by Ben Powell shattered the stumps to run out last man Griggs - giving Lincolnshire victory by seven runs. Weightman was undefeated on 83 and for Lincolnshire, Alex Osmond’s 5 for 72 proved decisive.
Lincolnshire took a maximum 24 points from the match to finish joint third in the Eastern Division table.
It was without doubt a tremendous game of cricket and a fitting end to Lincolnshire’s fine season.