CRICKET: Final win sets Lincs CCC up for KO Cup quarter-final at Grantham’s Gorse Lane

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Lincolnshire County Cricket Club travelled to Jesmond to face Northumberland knowing that their place in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy quarter-finals was virtually guaranteed, having won all three of their opening group stage matches in convincing style. Andy Carter returned to the starting 11 after illness, replacing Woodhall Spa’s Jack Timby.

Northumberland won the toss and put Lincolnshire into bat. This was the fourth consecutive time that Lincolnshire had batted first in this season’s competition and yet again they got off to a fine start. Jonny Tattersall and Louis Kimber put on 89 for the first wicket before Kimber fell LBW for 29.

Matt Lineker was stumped for 19 and Jonny Tattersall caught behind for a fine 71 at which point Lincolnshire were 130 for 3. Adam Tillcock went cheaply and then Dan Freeman and Dominic Brown put on 64 for the fifth wicket before Freeman was dismissed for 35.

Brown and Tom Knight then took the total to 265 before Knight was out for 26 off 17 balls, Brown carrying his bat for 71 from 48 balls, including five fours and six sixes. At the end of their allotted 50 overs, Lincs were 271 for 7.

The Northumberland innings started in dramatic fashion with Alex Willerton dismissing Jack Jessop for one. He quickly followed this with the dismissal of the other opener, Matt Whaley, for six and then took the prized wicket of Northumberland captain Jacques du Toit for a duck.

At 23 for 3, Northumberland now faced an uphill task, and at 31 for 4 the match looked beyond them. The highest stand of their innings then followed as Matthew Brown and Alasdair Appleby added 41 for the fifth wicket.

From 72 for 5, the home side’s batting fell away as they were finally dismissed in the 38th over for 114. Tillcock with 4 for 18 was Lincolnshire’s most successful bowler, but Willerton’s 3 for 23 in nine overs had proved decisive.

Lincs won by 157 runs to top their group and will meet Devon in the quarter-finals at Grantham CC’s Gorse Lane next Sunday (June 11).

+ With confidence obviously high, last year’s Unicorns Eastern Division champions Lincs CCC begin their league campaign when they travel to Saffron Walden to play Cambridgeshire on Sunday (June 4).

The three day fixture commences at11am and Lincs will select from C. Wilson (capt & wkt.), D. Brown, A. Carter, M. Carter, D. Freeman, L. Kimber, T. Knight, M. Lineker, J. Tattersall, A. Tillcock, J. Timby, H. Warwick and A. Willerton.