CRICKET: Karl Bierlein and Market Rasen 2nds steal the spotlight at Laportes

With no 1st XI game at the weekend, the 2nd team took centre stage for Market Rasen Town Cricket Club on Saturday and enjoyed the limelight, bagging a crucial three wicket win away at Laportes.

This was largely thanks to a third five-fer of the season for Karl Bierlein and 47 from Seb Darke.

Buoyed by the 2nds’ victory, the Sunday 1sts smashed their way to a 112 run win over neighbours Owmby and a brave performance from an inexperienced and under-strength Sunday 2nd XI was not enough at Hykeham, as they lost by nine wickets.

A parsimonious bowling performance from Jon Stephenson’s 2nd XI at Laportes set the scene for a vital Rasen victory on Saturday.

Liam Entwistle, 1 for 15 from 6 overs, and Ryan Penniston, 1 for 23 from 10 overs, ensured that the home side did not make a rapid start and once Seb Darke, 1 for 12, had removed Laportes’ number 3 the scene was set for Karl Bierlein to work his magic and the experienced twirler did not disappoint, picking up 5 for 24 and ripping the heart out of the hosts’ batting.

Michael Francis, 43, Michael Hanson, 29, and Graham Clarke, 21, ensured that Laportes would have something to bowl at, but when Charlie Scales cleaned up the last two batsman to leave the hosts 120 all out in the 36th over, it appeared that they were some way short of a testing total.

Michael Barton, 3 for 65, and Gill Singh Palli, 4 for 24, both did their best to derail Rasen’s chase. However, a well-constructed 47 from Seb Darke at the top of the order laid the foundation for the visitors and a rollicking 29 from Rob Chamberlin took Rasen to within sight of victory before Bierlein and Scales ensured the win by three wickets.

Half-centuries for Matt Rutherford, 67, and Tom Corden, 59 not out, and a solid display from the rest of the Sunday 1st XI’s top order allowed Rasen to post an imposing total of 260 for 5 from their 40 overs at Owmby.

The hosts managed to bat through their allocated overs, but never looked like getting the runs, as they closed on 148 for 9, with Ciaron Deegan unbeaten on 52.

The Sunday 2nd XI were bowled out for 62 at Hykeham with Adam Ramsey top-scoring with 24. The home side took advantage of the wide open spaces in the outfield to knock the runs off in quick time for the loss of only one wicket, which was claimed by Nick Hawke.

This weekend sees the 1st XI travel to second-placed Alkborough, for what is certain to be a stern examination of Matt Rutherford’s side (1pm start) and the 2nd XI welcome Old Lincolnians to Rase Park (1.30pm start). The Sunday 1st XI host Bracebridge Heath (2pm start) with the Sunday 2nds having the day off.