Lincolnshire CCC earn draw in Hertfordshire run feast

editorial image

Lincolnshire travelled to Hertfordshire for the second of their Unicorns Eastern Division Championship fixtures.

Steve Crossley (Grimsby Town) and Joe Peck (Grantham) made their Championship debuts, while Harry Warwick (Cleethorpes) returned to the side, and Bourne’s Carl Wilson stood in as captain in the absence of the injured David Lucas.

On an excellent batting wicket, Hertfordshire won the toss and put Lincolnshire in, and from this point onwards, the bat dominated the ball.

Lincolnshire began steadily and despite the early loss of Ross Carnelley (Grantham), Warwick and Louis Kimber (Sleaford) added 142 for the second wicket, before the latter was caught behind for 64.

Warwick and Dan Freeman (Grantham) added 61 before Warwick was bowled one run short of a century. Adam Tillcock (WI Cavaliers) and Freeman were quickly into their stride and attacked the Hertfordshire bowling.

They added 115 for the fourth wicket, Freeman completing 108 in 105 balls before being run out in the 84th over. Two more wickets fell quickly before Lincolnshire reached 379-6 in their allotted 90 overs with Tillcock 74 not out.

By the close, Hertfordshire had reached 77-2 off 24 overs.

Day two was another warm day and Hertfordshire took advantage, with Dom Chatfield (69), Harry Palmer (56), Reece Hussain (54), Tanveer Sikander (46) and Steve Gale (42) all making significant contributions as Lincolnshire’s bowling attack tried to keep them in check.

On reaching the target of 325 for maximum batting points, the hosts declared on 327-6 in the 87th over, giving the visitors a 52-run lead.

In their second innings Lincolnshire again lost Carnelley early, but Kimber (47) and Warwick (44) added 99 before they were both dismissed,

Freeman and Tillcock continued as they had left off in the first innings and by the close, Lincolnshire were 220-3, a lead of 272.

Freeman (76) was dismissed early on day three after putting on 138 with Tillcock who carried on the attack and reached 106 off 121 balls before falling.

His wicket brought the declaration on 308-7, leaving Hertfordshire to score 364 for victory off a minimum 81 overs.

To many Hertfordshire supporters this was a very generous declaration and their views seemed correct as their openers put on more than 200. Opener Cooke (110) fell to Freeman, and with 18 overs left, the hosts needed 112 for victory.

Weightman and Freeman put the Herts batsmen under pressure, and backed by excellent fielding, took six wickets for the addition of only 41 runs, including Gale who made a fine 118.

By the close, the hosts had reached 308-7, still 56 runs short of victory.

The points gained from the draw put Lincolnshire in fifth place in the Eastern Division with a game in hand over all of the four teams above.

Lincolnshire next host Suffolk at Cleethorpes on Sunday.