CRICKET: Impressive Lincolnshire start their season in winning style

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Lincolnshire began their season in fine style, defeating Cheshire at Grantham by 93 runs in their opening group match of the Minor Counties Knockout Trophy.

Cheshire won the toss and put Lincolnshire into bat.

Sam Kelsall, making his debut for Lincolnshire, opened the innings with Kranjit Bansal and it was not long before the latter and Conrad Louth were dismissed with the score on a worrying 35-2.

There then followed the best stand of the match as Kelsall and Paul Cook put on 69 before Kelsall fell for 34 in the 24th over.

Cook continued to dominate the bowling and added a further 63 with Carl Wilson (33) before being dismissed for 88, which included 11 fours and 3 sixes.

Lincolnshire looked to be on target to reach 275 or even 300 but this was not to be as apart from a rapid 37 from Dan Freeman no-one managed a substantial score.

They were dismissed for 247 in 47 overs. Adam Syddall with 4-36 was Cheshire’s most successful bowler.

Lincolnshire made quick inroads into the Cheshire top order as skipper David Lucas dismissed both Warren Goodwin and Rick Moore with only 11 on the board.

From then on, wickets fell at regular intervals as all Lincolnshire’s bowlers kept a tight rein on the Cheshire batsmen.

At 102-6 off 22 overs , Cheshire were in front of the required run rate but crucially had lost too many wickets.

It was not long before the end came for them as they were dismissed in 35 overs for 154, only Rob Jones with 48 making any real impact for them.

Alex Osmond with 4-20 off eight overs led the way, ably supported by Lucas with 3-24 off seven overs.

Lincolnshire took the maximum points from the game which will put them in good heart for the long trip to Swalwell near Newcastle to play Northumberland this Sunday (April 26) in their second Group match.