With rain wiping out two-thirds of Market Rasen Town Cricket Club’s fixtures at the weekend, the Sunday 1st XI notched another fine win as they look to develop a compelling case for retaining their McKinnells Lincoln Sunday League crown.
Tom Baxter, skipper of current Lincoln League leaders Boston, intimated in local reports last week that Market Rasen are the team to watch in the coming weeks as the fixture list catches up.
Premier Division title holders Market Rasen, currently in the lower half of the league, proved Mr Baxter’s concerns were justified, as a crushing 141 run victory over a stubborn Harstholme side on Sunday proved.
Rasen batted first on an indifferent, drying strip. The returning Jason New and Graeme Bell sped to a forceful 45 before Bell, not for the first time this season, misread a full toss and was caught.
Laurence Scott then came to the crease hoping to provide the anchor role to the innings he is becoming well known for at Rase Park. He did not disappoint.
Scott could only watch from the non-striker’s end as Hartsholme quickly picked up the wickets of; New, 24, Robinson and Rutherford, to leave Rasen struggling at 85 for 4 off 25 overs.
Dale Christie then strode out to the middle, and promptly did what he does best, hitting the cover off the ball, hitting the fence, the dressing rooms and even clearing the Hartsholme Park.
An impressive 121 runs were added before Christie was bowled for an amazing 87, which included five sixes and nine fours.
Scott, 53 not out, hung around until the close of the innings with Rasen finishing on a healthy 225 for 6 from their 40 overs.
Lincolnshire seamer Jon Darke opened the attack with the ever improving Will Bradford.
Darke, returning to the side having completed the summer term at Leeds University, and the tall Bradford both bowled beautifully with the new ball.
Bradford showed his worth with an accurate spell of 1-13 off seven overs that included three maidens, regularly forcing the home team batsmen to play and miss.
Darke’s opening spell claimed three important wickets that broke the back of the home line-up.
With the tail exposed it was left to the dependable Simon Bunn, 2 for 18, and Gary Bierlein, 2 for 20, to clean up the tail.
Bunn’s spell suggested that the experienced seamer is now somewhere near full fitness, after a niggling stomach injury in early season and Gary Bierlein proved once again why he was the best bowler in the Lincoln League last year.
Hartsholme finally succumbed to the inevitable in the 30th over, all out for only 84 runs, to seal a convincing all-round team performance for the Rase Park outfit.
Next week brings Stamford Homes to Rase Park in the Lincolnshire League, as the 1st XI look to complete the first double of the season and maintain its 100 per cent record in Division 2, 1.30pm start.
Sunday sees two intriguing fixtures for the club in the Lincoln League, as the 1sts host the villagers of Martin, in a fixture that has proved tricky in the past and the 2nds head over the Wolds to promotion-chasing Revesby.