CRICKET: Two centuries and a seven wicket hall for Keast put Market Rasen in the driving seat at Broughton

A pair of centuries and a ‘7-fer’ saw Market Rasen Town Cricket Club 2nd XI enjoy the trip to Broughton 2nds in the Lincolnshire League.

Jon Stephenson’s men batted first and the skipper led the way, compiling a second career century.

Rasen’s start had not been spectacular, with last week’s star, Charlie Scales, and Kevin Salmon both back in dressing room with only 40 runs on the board.

However, Stephenson found a willing accomplice in Darren Salmon and the pair added 181 for the third wicket, before the persevering Craig Hall bowled the skipper for an excellent 112.

Salmon took Stephenson’s departure as the signal to turn the screw on a flagging Broughton attack, and the left-hander exploded to smash 40 runs off the last four overs to bring up his own century and see the visitors to an imposing total of 261 for 3. Salmon finished on 104 not out, which was his maiden ton.

Broughton made a steady start and saw off the new ball with some ease. It was not until the 10th over, when 13-year-old off-spinner Nic Keast was introduced into the attack, that the home side started to flounder.

Keast picked up both openers early in his spell and with Salmon snagging a couple of top order wickets as well, Keast was able to rip through the rest of the Broughton line-up.

Only a late wicket for Tom Boryszcuk, making his Rasen debut having transferred from Caistor, saved Broughton from the magnificent Keast, who finished with 7 for 30 from 12.3 overs as Broughton crumbled to 109 all out.

The Sunday 1st XI visited Hartsholme in the Lincoln League and did well to keep the hosts to 193 for 5 from their 40 overs. On a typically flat Hartsholme track, and with a rapid outfield, the Rasen attack put in solid shift as only Richard Genge, 61, was able to make his start count for Hartsholme. Tom Corden was the pick of the Rasen bowlers, taking 3 for 39 from his 10 overs.

Unfortunately for Rasen, their strong batting lineup was unable to make a start on chasing down the runs, as the rain arrived during tea and, eventually, forced the game to be abandoned.

The Sunday 2nd XI also had their game abandoned shortly after tea, thanks to the inclement weather. However, they will take great heart from their efforts with the bat, which saw them post 178 for 6 from their 40 overs, as their young batsmen starred.

Nic Keast capped a superb weekend with his maiden senior 50 for the club and Niall Illingworth compiled an elegant and rapid 35 not out as Rasen accelerated in the closing overs.

Finally, a roundup of the weekend would not be complete without mentioning the U15s, who made it the Northern Final of the ECB’s National Club Knockout Competition at York last Tuesday.

The youngsters gave a great account of themselves, chasing down 133 to win their semi-final against Caythorpe, the champions of Nottinghamshire, with ease.

They found Stockton harder work, as the Durham champions fielded like tigers to defend their total of 136 and win by 15 runs.

All of the players can be proud of how they represented the club and the county. In particular, Tom Keast, who top-scored for Rasen in both games, with 47 against Caythorpe and 42 against Stockton.

This weekend there are only two games as the club are hosting the annual gala on Saturday. The Sunday 1st XI head to Cherry Willingham in Lincoln League, and the Sunday 2nd XI host Hykeham, both 2pm starts.