Lincolnshire CCC unable to force victory in Cambridgeshire
Lincolnshire CCC travelled to March to face Cambridgeshire in the third of their National Counties Eastern Division One matches.
Lincolnshire made four changes to the side that had salvaged a draw against Staffordshire due to injuries and unavailability.
Ross Carnelley, Jack Nightingale, Don Butchart and James Dobson replaced Jaden Fell, Jordan Cook, Louis Bhabra and Ben Coddington.
Morning rain delayed the start until noon and on winning the toss Lincolnshire elected to bat.
In previous matches the batting had been weak, but on this occasion the top order excelled.
Joe Kendall and the recalled Ross Carnelley put on 88 for the first wicket before Carnelley was dismissed for 53 including eight fours.
Kendall was next to go also for 53 with the total on 123.
Hassan Azad and Jack Nightingale then upped the tempo, adding 110 before Nightingale became Harrison Craig’s third victim.
His hard hitting 71 included six fours and two sixes. Azad followed shortly after for 49.
Don Butchart became Lincolnshire’s fourth player to reach a half-century and a rapid 35 by skipper Carl Wilson saw Lincolnshire reach 363 for 8 after their allotted 90 overs with maximum batting points secured.
Craig with 4 for 142 off 37 overs was Cambridgeshire’s most successful bowler.
Rain delays on day one had resulted in Lincolnshire’s first innings extending into day two.
Cambridgeshire made a poor start and slipped to 26 for 3 and 88 for 6 as all Lincolnshire’s bowlers struck to put them firmly in control.
A stand of 122 by Kieren Mackenzie and Callum Guest put Cambridgeshire back in the game before a smart stumping by Carl Wilson off Hassan Azad saw Mackenzie dismissed for 59.
Guest continued to press on and was finally out for 105, an innings that had put his side back in the match.
Cambridgeshire were finally dismissed for 287, James Dobson taking 3 for 29 for Lincolnshire, thereby securing maximum bowling points.
With a first innings lead of 76, Lincolnshire needed to press home their advantage and by close of play on day two had reached 69 for none.
Joe Kendall was dismissed early on day three and Ross Carnelley reached his second half-century of the match before falling to Harrison Craig.
All of Lincolnshire’s batsmen tried to force the pace but found the fine bowling of Craig hard to master.
No other batsmen reached 50 as the Lincolnshire innings folded on 213, a lead of 289.
Craig’s line and length had been outstanding and his figures of 8 for 76 reflected this.
Cambridgeshire now had more than 60 overs, including 17 in the final hour, to reach their target.
They made a steady start to this task and at 150 for 3 off 43 overs were well placed.
The dismissal of opener, Aaron Thomason, to a fine catch by James Dobson off Mark Footitt for 73 was the second of four wickets to fall for 13 runs as the home side fell to 171 for 7.
Lincolnshire were now in the driving seat but try as they could on an easy paced wicket they could not force the victory, Cambridgeshire finishing on 205 for 7.
Mark Footitt’s 3 for 58 off 21 overs was a fine effort on an unresponsive pitch.
Lincolnshire took 12 points from the match and Cambridgeshire took 10.
Lincolnshire’s final three-day Championship match of the season is against Suffolk at Sleaford commencing on Sunday, 15 August (11 am start).