KLincs ECB Premier: Market Rasen and Spalding play out tense draw

Matt Rutherford passed 50 wickets for the season against Spalding
Matt Rutherford passed 50 wickets for the season against Spalding

Market Rasen had Spalding in a spin at Rase Park on Saturday as they denied bottom side Spalding a rare ECB Premier Division win.

Captain Matt Rutherford lost the toss and the home batsmen were challenged to set a competitive total, something which had eluded them for most of this season.

Rasen began well, scoring off the bad balls and seeing off the new ball. Papworth and Darke took the score past 50 and looked comfortable until Papworth fell to Warren Nel.

Spalding’s quick over rate caught out Rasen, and when drinks were called after 25 overs the hosts had only reached 68-3.

Ian Williams provided the ballast as Rasen progressed, albeit slowly, past the 100 mark, but Rutherford, Bradford and Williams all returned to the clubhouse without making double figures.

Young Paul Martin and Charlie Scales played with confidence and built a 60-run stand. Martin raced to 40 with several powerful aerial shots, while Scales added 17 with some sumptuous shots as Rasen finished on 190-8 from their 50 overs.

Rasen were happy following their earlier position at drinks, but still felt they were 30 or 40 runs short of a par score.

Tom Boryzczuk, playing his maiden First XI game of the season following a back injury, took the new ball with James Fussey.

The prized wicket of Warren Nel came first as Boryzczuk tempted him into playing across the line and Rutherford took a difficult chance at mid-wicket.

Losing their talismanic batsmen, Spalding looked shaken and Rutherford took two wickets in two balls to put the game in the balance at 70-3 at drinks.

Talented young batsmen James Hook and Ben Smith saw Spalding catch up with the run rate.

But going into the final overs, James Fussey bowled a brilliant spell from the River End to ensure the visitors fell short of their target on 177-8.

Rasen’s deadly spin partnership of Boryzczuk and Rutherford ended with eight wickets and saw Rutherford pass 50 for the season, leading many Lincolnshire cricket followers to question whether a recall to the senior county squad is on the cards.