Market Rasen CC pipped by Grimsby in low scoring thriller

Cricket news.
Cricket news.

The tightest of defeats on Saturday left Market Rasen First XI just a handful of points above the Lincolnshire County League Premier bottom two.

A one-wicket defeat to Grimsby Town, who started the day in the relegation places, left Rasen in ninth, just six points above second-bottom Cleethorpes with five games left.

Grimsby won the toss at Rase Park and encouraged by the wicket, put Rasen in to bat first.

Rasen made a disastrous start, losing Lee Chambers without scoring, caught behind by Cerri James off Hayden Tice, and fellow opener Will Bradford soon followed as the skipper fell to the same combination for eight.

And Rasen were 17-3 when Neil Davies was bowled by Robert Brice for one.

In the midst of the carnage, Joe Atkin entered the fray and seemed to be batting on a different wicket to everyone else.

After David Papworth fell for five (36-4), Atkin and Daniel Clark steadied the ship with a fifth-wicket stand of 41 – the highest of the match – before Clark departed for 16 to Usman Aziz.

Atkin brought up his half-century, but soon after fell for 54 with the score on 89-6.

This sparked another collapse as Rasen lost their final five wickets for just 10 runs to be bowled out for 99, with Dale Christie (10) the only other batsman to reach double figures.

For Grimsby, Dylan Claesen (3 for 19) and Aziz (3 for 22) were the main wicket-takers, while James took four catches behind the stumps.

With such a low total to defend, the home side needed a quick breakthrough and got it when Clark had opener Ashley Blake caught by Christie for six.

Grimsby moved to 33-1, but Rasen had hope rekindled when the visitors lost two wickets on the same score, Bradford removing remaining opener Elliott Drinkell (16) and Clark having James caught and bowled.

While no Grimsby batsman was able to establish himself, all of the middle order contributed double-figure knocks to move them closer to their target.

Richard Woodward top-scored with 17 until Atkin had him caught behind the timbers by Chambers.

At 90-5, the visitors looked home and hosed, only to then suffer an almost identical collapse from the same score as Rasen.

Konrad Ramsey (4 for 19) wrought havoc as Grimsby lost their next four wickets for just three runs to slump to 93-9 as the visitors sensed a remarkable win.

But last man Aziz (8 not out) steered the visitors to their target with just one wicket to spare.