CRICKET: Duchess of Rutland XI level series with MCC

The two teams with the Duchess of Rutland.
The two teams with the Duchess of Rutland.
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A sprinkling of stardust saw the Duchess of Rutland XI square their series with the MCC 4-4.

The annual feature match, in aid of the Belvoir Cricket and Countryside Trust, took place at Belvoir Cricket Club, Knipton.

Captains Robert Pack and Darren Bicknell at the toss with umpires George Sharpe and  Vic Heppenstall.

Captains Robert Pack and Darren Bicknell at the toss with umpires George Sharpe and Vic Heppenstall.

Playing for the Imogen Skirving Memorial Trophy, the MCC made a flying start to their innings after being put in to bat, with Frazer making a rapid-fire 45 from just 28 balls.

But the visitors were pegged back in the middle overs by the bowling of Latham and former internationals Jamie Dalrymple and Neil Johnson.

Langford (33) counter-attacked for the MCC in the latter stages, helping his team reach 194 for six in their 35 overs.

In reply, the Duchess XI made a solid start through Dobson (34) and captain Darren Bicknell (62no), making his first appearance for two years following a hip operation.

Bicknell anchored the innings, sharing a century stand with Dalrymple who upped the scoring rate, making a fantastic 66 off 46 balls with nine fours and two sixes.

Butler fell cheaply but ex-England star and Trust ambassador Graeme Swann (23 off 9) joined Bicknell at the crease to see the Duchess XI home with six-and-a-half overs and seven wickets to spare.

Winning skipper Bicknell, who is chief executive of the Trust, was presented with the trophy by Her Grace the Duchess of Rutland at a dinner in the State Dining Room at Belvoir Castle, attended by around 100 MCC members and guests.

The Trust has worked with 2,800 primary and special needs children this year, introducing them to the game and running countryside education days on the Belvoir Estate.