Win over Grantham boosts 1st XI to third in league

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The recent bad weather that had blighted the mid-week cricket fixtures relented and gave way to a full weekends cricket.

Market Rasen 1st XI welcomed ECB newcomers Grantham Town to Rase Park who are under the tutelage of Lincolnshire Minor Counties Manager Mark Fell.

Along with Mark, Grantham have made a number of signings over the summer which have strengthened their squad with the most significant of these being Karanjit Bansal from Lindum.

Winning the toss and looking at the opportunities the wicket may provide,, Rutherford elected to have a bowl and give Grantham the task of setting a total.

Grantham started their task well and built a solid 34 run partnership between Webb and Bansal before Darren Salmon claimed his first ECB wicket of the season with Ian Williams snaffling his first of five catches during the innings.

As always, James Fussey looked dangerous bowling from the river end and it wasn’t long before the prized wicket of Karanjit fell as Tom Bradford held onto one behind the stumps and reduced Grantham to 55 for 2.

Grantham again made the beginnings of a partnership before Rutherford struck twice, bringing Ian Williams his second and third catches of the game. Sensing an opportunity to turn the pressure on Grantham, Rasen’s Will Bradford blew through the middle order pairing of Brunby and Whapplington reducing Grantham to a critical state of 103 for 6.

Coming back into the attack, with support from Rutherford, Fussey claimed the last three Grantham wickets ending their innings for just 133 from 39.3 overs.

Another brilliant fielding display was epitomised by Ian Williams, who finished with five catches to his name. More importantly Rasen had earned themselves an extra 10 overs to chase down the 133.

Starting in the worst possible fashion both openers, Bradford and Scales, lost their wickets within the first seven balls of the innings. Another wicket followed shortly after and reduced the home side to miserly 19 for 3.

This led the irrepressible Liam Scales joining forces with Matt Rutherford and they set about steadying the ship. Building another match winning partnership of 70, both players played a patient waiting game and looked to score runs of the bad balls.

The fourth wicket fell with the score on 89 as Liam Scales was dismissed for a very well earned 38 and leaving 45 more runs to achieve victory.

Ian Williams couldn’t reproduce his heroics in the field, but still managed to put on 15 runs with Rutherford before getting trapped LBW for 8. Following his fine form at Grimsby Town last weekend Dale Christie relieved the pressure from the chase as he smashed three fours in quick succession and took Rasen over the line in 46.5 overs.

The third victory of the season for Rasen 1st XI sees them continue their unbeaten run and are now placed in third position in the Lincs ECB table. A fantastic effort from the lads, and a few new faces in the team will give confidence to the depth of the Rasen squad this season.

This coming weekend will see Market Rasen 1st XI travel away to Market Deeping whilst the 2nd XI welcome Brigg Town to Rase Park for a 1.30pm start. On Sunday the Development XI host Old Lincolnians at Rase Park in the afternoon and Market Rasen Under 9s continue their season against Nettleham from 10am.