Cricket: Market Rasen and Caistor make winning start

It's time for cricket!
It's time for cricket!

Market Rasen Cricket Club faced their first action of 2017 on Saturday as the Second XI opened their Lincolnshire County League account at Cleethorpes Third XI.

Rasen finished last season as champions of Division Three and picked up where they left off wit a 42-run victory.

The visitors were struggling at 50-5 after being put into bat first, and when Tom Bradford (25) became Simon Taylor’s third wicket, Rasen were tottering at 96-7.

But Robert Chamberlin (56) came to the rescue with a measured half-century with support from Daniel Clarke (30) as the pair helped the visitors post a competitive 1679=8 from their 45 overs.

Clarke (4-30) then took the new ball and reduced Cleethorpes to 49-5, before Chris Higgins (3-39) mopped up the tail to dismiss the hosts for 137.

Caistor First XI, meanwhile, began their season with a comfortable eight-wicket win at home to Holton-le-Clay in the Premier.

The visitors were put into bat after losing the toss and never really got going despite a knock of 42 from opener Paul Holmes.

First-change bowler Kieran Brooker (4-47) removed four of the top six before Michael Ross (4-7) skittled the tail single-handedly as Holton posted 144 all out.

Peter Briggs (50) have Caistor the perfect start and the hosts were never in danger as Liam Wood (30 not out) and Michael Ross (28 not out) guided them to their target with almost four overs to spare.

The First XI get their Premier Division season under way this Saturday when they host Alkborough at Rase Park (1pm start).

Boosted by the return of captain Matt Rutherford, Rasen will be confident of improving on the struggles of 2016 when they finished just one place above the bottom three in the Premier Division, narrowly avoiding back-to-back relegations.

Caistor Firsts host Bracebridge Heath, while their Second XI travel to Haxey in Division One.

Market Rasen Seconds travel to Crowle to take on Outcasts.