MARKET Rasen Town Cricket Club won two from two over the weekend, as both the 1st XI and the Sunday 2nd XI bagged contrasting wins at home over Appleby Frodingham 2nds and Sleaford Sunday 2nds respectively.
The 2nd XI’s promotion campaign was dealt a blow by the weather, as Hykeham’s ground was under water.
The 1st XI were again grateful to Matt Rutherford, as his well-paced and stylish 75 was the backbone to Rasen’s total of 238 for 5.
Inserted on a green track, Rasen built a steady start into a commanding position, thanks to Jason New, 27, Rutherford and Ian Williams, 57 not out.
Dale Christie then put the icing on the cake with a 16 ball 38 that broke the spirit of an industrious Appleby Frodingham side.
Some energetic late hitting from the middle order after Christie’s demise, guided by the veteran Williams, saw Rasen close their innings on 238 for 5. Mo Ayub was the pick of the Appleby Frodingham attack with 3 for 60 from 15 overs.
Will Bradford gave Rasen the start they were looking for with the ball, trapping Paul Taylor LBW in the fourth over.
However, Appleby Frodingham’s top order dug in and looked to sell their wickets dearly. On a slow track there was little room for error with the ball, as the visitors had found earlier, and although Rasen’s trio of spinners all found plenty of movement off the track, App Frod were able to bat out their 45 overs, closing on 124 for 8.
Rutherford, Gary Bierlein and Karl Bierlein all finished with a pair of wickets apiece, with Bradford and James Fussey the other wicket-takers for Rasen.
In the field, excellent catching from Christie, with a brace, and Darren Salmon, who poached three, saw the home side backing up their bowlers more effectively than in recent weeks.
The 18 points from the game were enough to keep Rasen at the top of Division One, although Bracebridge Heath 2nds have now joined them at the summit.
The Sunday 2nd XI won a remarkable game against Sleaford Sunday 2nds at Rase Park by 14 runs.
Asked to bat first in what was to be a low-scoring encounter, Rasen were bundled out for only 62 in the 21st over.
Only Gary Bierlein, 22, and Ian Williams, 15, made it into double figures against the visitors from the south of the county.
Undaunted by the task ahead of them, Bierlein’s side suffocated the Sleaford lineup, with 12–year–old Nic Keast bagging a remarkable 3 for 10 from 8 overs on his senior debut for the club.
With Bierlein himself completing an impressive all-round match with 4 for 11 and Gavin Korytnickyj picking up 2 for 7, Rasen’s trio of spinners spun Sleaford to defeat, dismissing the visitors for 48 in the 33rd over.
The win puts the Sunday 2nds up into second place in Division Four of the Lincoln League and has ignited hopes of a promotion push.
This weekend sees both of the club’s Lincolnshire League sides in action; the 1st XI host Horncastle, where they will be looking to avenge their defeat earlier in the season and the 2nd XI travel to Hibaldstow to play Scunthorpe Town 3rds, both games start at 1.30pm.
The club doesn’t have any Lincoln League fixtures this weekend.