A scorching weekend brought a full selection of games for Market Rasen CC and the 1st XI travelled away to Lindum CC in a clash that saw Matthew Rutherford return to a former club he once captained.
Winning the toss, captain Rutherford elected to field first and give Lindum the opportunity of setting a score on a track that provided little hope for the bowlers.
With temperatures soaring Rasen took the field and opened up with Penniston and Martin. A chance from the very first ball of the game saw the ball drop inches from Christie’s reach at first slip, Lindum opener G.Middleton lucky to escape with his wicket intact.
A conservative start from both sides saw the score move to 52 for 0 before the breakthrough came from Penniston ,who managed to cling onto a straight drive from Bishop for a neat caught and bowled.
Only eight balls later Lindum number three Charlie Tomlinson’s loose attempt at a drive saw him edge Penniston behind and turned the game in favour of Market Rasen.
Rutherford sensed the opportunity to put the pressure on Lindum and let Penniston have a rest after finishing his opening spell with figures of 11 overs, 3 maidens, 23 runs for a return of 2 wickets.
The spin partnership of Rutherford and Boryszczuk began to tighten Rasen’s grip on the game and reduced Lindum to 110-4, with another Rasen old boy Luke Robinson at the crease. After escaping a close appeal early on Rutherford captured his wicket as Robinson attempted another sweep only to find himself trapped in front for LBW.
With 10 overs remaining in the innings Lindum looked to accelerate their scoring, but a mixture of controlled bowling and excellent fielding restricted them to less than 50 runs during this spell.
Standout fielders for Market Rasen were Seb Darke, whose direct hit on the run claimed the wicket of Ryan Sneddon, and Dave Papworth, who provided another excellent display of athletic fielding.
With conditions not easy for the fielding side Rutherford will be happy that his players stuck to their task and restricted Lindum who finished with 165-9 from their 50 overs. The partnership of Rutherford and Boryszczuk claimed six wickets in total and from 27 overs conceding only 80 runs along the way.
Set a modest total, Market Rasen were in confident mood that the opportunity hard fought for in the field would be transferred into their first victory of the season.
Opening the batting for Rasen, Papworth and Bradford started confidently against some aggressive bowling from Lindum fast bowler Sneddon and swing bowler Guilliatt.
The early loss of Papworth and Darke, who both looked to be in fine form, put Rasen on the back foot. Going into drinks Bradford dispatched Sneddon for a thunderous four off another short ball putting Rasen in control.
From drinks Lindum looked to find a breakthrough and this came as Bradford attempted to sweep Miller and was trapped in front for LBW.
This brought all-rounders Rutherford and Boryszczuk to the crease who looked to reassert Rasens authority in the game.
Confident strokes from both players saw them accelerate the scoring with Lindum changing the bowling in an attempt to find a wicket.
With a 50 partnership complete, Rutherford’s ill attempt to hook a poor delivery went straight to cover, a disappointing finish to his innings and a let off for Lindum.
With the score at 106-4 and plenty of overs still remaining, victory was still well within Rasen’s grasp. Lindum sensed an opportunity to change the course of the game and brought back opening bowler Sneddon, who quickly claimed the wickets of Boryszczuk and Christie.
Rasen found themselves having lost three wickets for zero runs and were now 106-6 with overs ticking by quickly.
In need of stopping the rush of wickets Rasen batsmen Bell and Martin were brought to the crease. A controlled effort from both players saw a partnership of 40 reached, with some excellent shots and quick running. Martin’s wicket fell in the final over with 23 remaining for victory.
Rasen will be disappointed that they failed to convert an excellent position into their first victory of the season. But with a number of points claimed for their bowling and batting the progression demanded from Rutherford is plain for all to see.
A significant step up for the club this season now sees them competing with established ECB teams and forming a resilient reputation for the side as a tough nut to crack.
Rasen 2nd XI welcomed the visit of Outcasts 2nd XI to Rase Park on Saturday, fresh from a victory in their last full game Rasen were hoping to add to this good start to the season.
Outcasts won the toss and elected to bat first on a good track with temperatures rising for the fielding side. An early wicket from Liam Entwhistle was the only bright-side of a difficult start for Rasen as Outcast’s batsmen Lawson and Lupton built an impressive early partnership.
Rasen’s bowlers stuck to their task admirably and their patience paid dividends as wickets began to fall. Nick Keast and Rory Miller were the pick of Rasens blowers, Keast completed an impressive 15 overs claiming three wickets along the way and Miller impressed with a controlled display of blowing claimed three wickets off his seven overs.
Set a challenging 206 to win from their 45 overs, Rasen got off to the worst possible start losing in-form Stephenson early on.
Outcasts opening bowlers were treated to some defiant shots from Rasen’s young number three Charlie Scales (35), who provided the anchor for important partnerships with Salmon and Keast.
But with wickets falling at regular intervals Rasen’s lower order provided little resilience to the Outcast attack. With the loss of Scales and Keast Rasen lost their remaining wickets quickly and were bowled out for an eventual 99 off 30 overs.
With confident displays from their junior players Rasen will look to next week and their senior members to add their strength and get Rasen back on winning ways.
There was differing success for Rasen’s Sunday sides. The 1st XI saw the visit of Hartsholme, with an historically strong squad, Rasen were looking to build on a steady start to the season.
A fantastic combination of fielding and bowling completed a whitewash for Market Rasen, who bowled out Hartsholme for only 40 runs. Captain Will Bradford was among the wickets as these were shared between the Rasen bowing attack, with Liam Entwhistle claiming three wickets from three overs.
Looking to finish the game early, Rasen opener Keast was out for the first ball of the innings, in an exciting first over which saw 20 runs and one wicket. Seb Darke and Geoerge Fussey completed the romp to victory in only three overs.
The Sunday 2nd XI were not as fortunate as they were lost to a strong Waddington side by five wickets.
Next week the 1st XI will welcome fellow ECB new boys Billingborough to Rase Park and the 2nd XI travel away to Appleby Froddingham