Due to an anomaly in the fixtures only one Saturday league game was scheduled for Market Rasen and this saw the ECB clash between Market Rasen 1st XI and Spalding CC at Rase Park.
Following a season of strong bowling performances and with the wicket having a tinge of green Rutherford won the toss and elected to field first.
Spalding looked strong with three overseas players, including South African all-rounder Warren Nel, who opened alongside Sri Lankan Thivanka Rajaratne.
Opening the bowling for Market Rasen were the medium pace duo of Penniston and Fussey. With only one over bowled Fussey was withdrawn from the attack with a reoccurrence of a back injury that has plagued the Rasen youngster’s season so far/ Replacing him in the attack was the catalyst for the first wicket of the game.
Will Bradford beat Thivanka for pace and sent his stumps tumbling, putting Rasen on the front foot. The following over saw Penniston get some movement from the wicket and sent Warren Nel back to the pavilion.
At 5 for 2 from 4 overs Spalding were reeling from another positive start from the Rasen openers. In need of stability, Josh Newton and Henry Charlton steadied the ship for Spalding, who managed to race the score along to 50 without any further loss.
In need of inspiration Rutherford looked to Tom Boryszczuk for a breakthrough and this came with his very first ball of the innings as he trapped Charlton in front for LBW. Bowling from the opposite end Rutherford once again ignited his partnership with Boryszczuk and they set about dismantling the Spalding middle order.
From 50 for 2, Spalding lost three quick wickets and put Rasen in the driving seat as drinks came. Unsure of how to play Boryszczuk Spalding’s batsmen continually went backwards, allowing the ball to turn and with it taking their wickets along the way.
A ninth wicket partnership between Norris and Spalding’s captain Robert Ambrose allowed the visitors to reach a meager 96 before Boryszczuk swept up the tail bowling the captain to close out the innings inside 35 overs.
Posting career best bowling figures of 11.5 overs, 22 runs and picking up 6 wickets, Boryszczuk was the driving force behind an impressive showing from Market Rasen. In what has been synonymous with Rasen’s performances this season the fielding display supported the bowlers superbly and allowed for chances to be taken keeping the pressure firmly applied to Spalding.
With 60 overs at Rasen’s behest and a required run rate of only 1.6 per over it would have seemed impossible to think that the first victory of the season wasn’t guaranteed. Many occasions over this season Rasen have seen winning positions turn into a fight for points.
Opening the batting for Rasen were Bell and Bradford, who made their intentions obvious from the very first over. Not allowing the Spalding bowlers anytime to settle, both batsmen punished any loose bowling and set Rasen flying towards their goal of 97 runs.
Playing one attacking shot too many Bradford went down the wicket to Nuwan Jayasena and was stumped as a result. At the other end Bell fired a powerful 55 ,which included some huge sixes and a number of fours. An opening partnership of over 70 runs allowed the pressure to ease slightly for the batsmen coming in.
Bell was caught off the bowling of Nel and Martin was dismissed on his very first ball to a dubious shoulder height delivery. This allowed Papworth and Boryszczuk to ease over the finish line for Rasen and complete a very impressive victory in only 16 overs.
With the season coming to a close Rasen now climb from the foot of the table and join a three way race for survival. A seven wicket victory over Spalding highlights the intentions and ability of the club and its players to not only stay in the league but compete and beat talented sides in the division.