Lincolnshire reach quarter-finals with Cumberland win

Lincolnshire CCC booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy with victory against Cumberland.

The team travelled to Cockermouth for their final group match in the minor counties event, knowing a win would guarantee them a place in the last eight for the first time since 2010.

They made two changes from the side which beat Shropshire, bringing in Conrad Louth and Martin Weightman for Anish Patel and Dan Freeman.

Cumberland won the toss and put Lincolnshire into bat knowing rain was forecast in the late afternoon.

After the early loss of Paul Cook, Sam Kelsall and Louth took the total to 62 before the latter was out for 18.

Runs were difficult to come by against tight bowling, and Lincolnshire lost wickets at regular intervals to be dismissed for 141 in the 44th over.

Kelsall top scored with 44, the only other score of note being 28 by Matt Carter, an innings that would ultimately prove decisive.

Scott Lees (4 for 49) was the hosts’ most successful bowler.

Although Lincolnshire’s total was a modest one, run scoring was not easy and so it proved when Cumberland batted.

The visitors made an excellent start as two early wickets from Alex Willerton and David Lucas left the home side 11-2.

Cumberland’s best stand of the innings followed of 45 with opener Karl Turner dominant. Willerton finally dismissed Turner for 43 and wickets then fell steadily.

Cumberland passed 100 with five wickets down and then lost three quick wickets for one run to slump to 104-8.

At 113-8 off 39.1 overs, the forecast rain fell and would end the match.

Lincolnshire secured victory by virtue of their superior run rate under the Duckworth Lewis method.

Alex Osmond (3 for 13 off five overs) was the away side’s most successful bowler, including the vital dismissal of Gary Pratt.

Carter, Weightman and Lucas all bowled economical spells while Willerton claimed the prize wickets of both Cumberland’s openers.

This victory placed Lincolnshire at the top of their group on a superior run rate from previous leaders Northumberland who suffered a 239-run loss to Cheshire.

Lincolnshire will entertain Norfolk in the quarter-finals on Sunday, June 14.