CRICKET: Much changed Market Rasen don’t enjoy being down by the seaside

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With a fantastic weekend of weather for cricket, Market Rasen completed a full complement of four games over Saturday and Sunday.

The 1st XI travelled to the seaside for a tough trip to Skegness CC and the 2nd XI welcomed Barton Town CC to Rase Park.

A number of changes to the side that beat Spalding saw Rasen make the journey to Skegness with a different looking side.

Losing the toss, Rasen were put into bat and looking to capitalize on good conditions to post a first innings total.

Opening the batting for Rasen was Bell and Bradford, who both started well as they looked to score some quick early runs. Bradford was the first to lose his wicket and this was to follow a number of Rasen batsmen who failed to make a dent on the score.

Scoring consistently, Bell looked to be in good form until he also misjudged an attempted drive and lost his wicket. Rasen all-rounder Seb Darke produced the most success with the bat as he battled to a well-earned 60 with support from Dave Papworth.

The Rasen batsmen never looked comfortable and this was echoed in the score line as they reached 154 all out.

In reply, the Rasen bowling attack looked slightly different with Darke and Martin opening up. Seb made the early breakthrough, but Skegness’s intentions were clear from the outset. Some big hitting started to make the run rate look small, although Martin produced his best bowling performance of the season claiming three wickets.

Nest weekend’s final game of the season against Grimsby Town will decide the final standings and in what division the 1st XI will play cricket in next season.

In the Lincolnshire Division Three clash at Rase Park it was a mid-table battle between Rasen and Barton.

On a flat track Rasen won the toss and elected to bat first, with Liam Scales and Ivan Nash opening.

Early efforts to build a strong start were helped by excellent shot choices in the early exchanges, with the batsmen not being drawn into any rash shots and pouncing on the poor deliveries when available.

Very quickly the opening pair had built a partnership nearing the 50 mark before Barton opener Andrew Tester lured Nash into a rash shot, leaving him short of his ground and stumped by the Barton ‘keeper. This brought Kev Salmon to the crease who quickly enjoyed the same excellent form as both openers.

Barton’s bowlers struggled to find their line and length and this was punished by expansive shots from both batsmen. Scales soon reached the 50 mark and showed no signs of stopping, boundaries were followed by good running between the batsmen and left Barton’s fielders chasing the ball.

Salmon will be disappointed that his well-earned 43 was not turned into a higher score as he fell to Ian Andrews, who held onto a fantastic caught and bowled.

Tom Bradford came to the crease hoping to emulate the previous scores. Unfortunately with only one run added to his name he was bowled by Alan Sanderson, this brought Chris Higgins in.

With Scales nearing his century and with limited overs remaining, both batsmen elected to punish the Barton attack and put a very competitive total on the board. In defiant fashion Higgins played and bludgeoned his way to 65 not out while Scales finished on a whopping 120 not out.

Posting a first innings total of 291 for 3 from their 45 overs Rasen put themselves in a great position to record a much needed victory and remain in their rightful top half position in Division 3.

With a concentrated spell of disciplined bowling Entwhistle made the breakthrough, claiming the wicket of Barton opener Ian Andrew. The second Barton wicket was harder to come by and was achieved through some excellent fielding from Aaron Wells, who dismissed Barton danger man Alan Shreeve, who he ran out on 64.

Continuing the good form of the Rasen bowling, Katy Darke restricted the Barton batsmen further with 9 good overs and claimed the wicket of Danny Harris for a duck.

The highlights of the day though were not reserved just for the youngsters, as the experienced Simon Bunn dusted off his cricketing shoes to bowl 8 overs and claim the valuable wicket of Barton ‘keeper Mat Waller.

With Barton now standing 150 runs short of their total, Rasen turned to Ivan Nash to close out the game. As time ran out for the Barton batsmen so did their patience, as rash shots allowed Ivan to pick up three wickets during his 8 overs.

Claiming full points from the fixture, the home side walked away with a 143 run victory and plentiful positives to take into the forthcoming winter break.