CRICKET: Market Rasen take points and positives from Spalding defeat

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Market Rasen 1st XI made the long journey to visit Spalding with a side that saw a number of changes since their last game against Bourne.

The batting was boosted by the return of Graeme Bell and youngster Nic Keast who made his debut in the ECB side.

On a good surface Spalding batted first looking to make a significant total. The opening partnership of Warren Nel and Thivanka Rajarantne looked to score runs from the start.

With attacking shots in mind Spalding took on the Rasen bowling and quickly established themselves a position of strength. With 130 on the board for the loss of no wickets Rasen were looking at a big score to chase.

With some bowling changes made, the breakthrough came through talismanic captain Matt Rutherford. From 130-0 Spalding slipped to 130-3 with three wickets in four balls in a devastating display.

A mature bowling spell from Nic Keast saw him take an impressive two wickets in a 12 over session. With fielding still a consistent positive for the Rasen side they restricted Spalding’s scoring opportunities and they finished on 238-9 off their 50 overs, helped in no small measure by another five wicket haul for Rutherford.

It was the first time this season that Rasen had conceded more than 200 runs, but confidence was high that a successful chase could be made.

In response, Rasen lost early wickets with Papworth and Fussey falling. With a number of good batting displays behind him, but failing to convert these into a score, Will Bradford sensed the time was right to establish himself on the ECB run trail.

With the loss of another wicket Rutherford came to the crease and began to build a match winning partnership with Bradford.

With a partnership of 85 built, Rutherford was stumped by Ambrose on 35, Bradford was dismissed 4 overs later on an impressive 64. This brought the returning Graeme Bell to the crease who fell to Barrett after getting trapped in front for 5.

Rasen were at fault again and lost 4 wickets for 7 runs, reducing their ability to attack the total needed.

A partnership of 52 by Paul Martin and James Fussey drove Rasen into the bonus points for batting and ensured that Rasen were to finish 50 runs short.

With 11 hard earned points the trip to the south of the county was by no means wasted. With each game that comes the team continues to grow stronger, over the last two games against the leagues title contenders Rasen have taken 20 points.

The Market Rasen 2nd XI needed to get back in winning ways after a defeat and a fortnight without cricket. Travelling to the opposite end of the county Rasen visited Barton.

Batting first Rasen lost early wickets with Stephenson and Scales falling to the opening bowlers.

A disappointing dismissal for Christie, Darren Salmon came to the crease. With a confident knock of 27, and an excellent score of 47 from Kev Salmon and a contributory 24 from Liam Scales, Rasen built a competitive score of 140 from 42.5 overs.

Knowing that full points were available Rasen started well with Darren Salmon claiming the opening wicket with some wicked swing bowling.

Middle order resilience came from Barton and it was left to the Rasen youngsters to unlock the wickets that would ensure victory.

A great bowling spell from Sam Williams, 6 overs 9 runs claiming 1 wicket, set the tone of the contest for Rasen.

With the scores looking close Rasen turned to the bowling partnership of Luke Freeman and Rory Miller. In just under six overs the Rasen pair demolished the Barton batting order, taking a total of six wickets for 10 runs to give Rasen victory.

On Sunday, Market Rasen 1st XI lost to Cherry Willingham in a close fought game. Rasen batted first and scored 163 for 8 off their 40 overs.

In reply Cherry Willingham continued their excellent form against Rasen and chased down the total for the loss of 7 wickets.

Market Rasen Sunday 2nd XI had a difficult trip away to Aisthorpe. Batting first, Rasen relied on scores from Adam Ramsey and Liam Scales, but unfortunately lost all their wickets for a total of only 67.

In reply Aisthorpe made easy work of chasing down the total in only 14 overs.

Next week will see the 1st XI welcome Skegness to Rase Park looking to capitalise on their first home game of the season.