Lincolnshire travelled to West Bromwich Dartmouth CC to face Staffordshire CCC in their second Unicorns Championship match of the season.
On winning the toss, Staffordshire elected to bat. Lincolnshire struck first, removing Kadeer Ali and Matt Morris with the total on 31. Staffordshire then added 66 for their third wicket and thereafter took control of the match. Tim Maxfield and Michael Hill added 194 for their fourth wicket and by tea on day one they had reached 347 for 5. Hill with 153 and Maxfield with 117 dominated the Lincolnshire attack with Spencer Byatt (50 not out) and Dan Richardson (35 not out) adding useful middle order runs to see them reach 451 for 6 declared in the ninetieth over. Lincolnshire’s bowlers toiled hard with Nic Keast 3 for 134 being the most successful. By the close of play Lincolnshire had lost three wickets for 55 and faced an uphill task to save the match.
On day two Lincolnshire’s batsmen struggled to handle the Staffordshire attack and only Bilal Shafayat with a fine 98 not out withstood the pressure. Lincolnshire were finally dismissed for 214 in the seventy-fifth over, still 237 runs in arrears. Richardson with 4 for 28 and James Cox with 4 for 65 were Staffordshire’s most successful bowlers. Staffordshire did not enforce the follow-on and by the close of play on day two had reached 239 for 6, a lead of 476, Hill again top scoring with 56. Nic Keast with 3 for 78 was again Lincolnshire’s most successful bowler.
Staffordshire declared on the morning of day three and Lincolnshire now faced an uphill task to save the game and to their credit they made a tremendous effort to do so. They survived into the ninety-eighth over with every player battling hard against the strong and varied Staffordshire attack. Tom Keast with 42 off 93 balls, debutant Ben Coddington with 41 off 91 balls, and Dan Freeman with 39 off 92 balls all played their part in a rear-guard action. The last wicket fell in the final hour of play, Lincolnshire being dismissed for 216, leaving Staffordshire victorious by 260 runs.
Staffordshire took 24 points from the match and Lincolnshire 3. This result leaves Lincolnshire fourth in the Eastern Division table.
Lincolnshire’s next match will be held at Cleethorpes CC commencing on Sunday, 21 July when they host the current Eastern Division leaders, Suffolk. Play commences at 11 am with free admission to the ground.
Photo show Lincolnshire batsman, Bilal Shafayat, who was the County’s top scorer with 98 not out.