Lincolnshire CCC’s title hopes are ended

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Lincolnshire’s hopes of winning the Unicorns (Minor Counties) Eastern Division title were dashed in a low scoring encounter at Buckinghamshire.

Going into the match Lincolnshire occupied second place in the division, whilst Buckinghamshire were third, so a win for either side would place them in a good position to challenge for the title.

Lincolnshire won the toss and elected to bat.

Sam Kelsall was dismissed early on, but Karanjit Bansal and Conrad Louth then took the total to 92 before Louth fell for 22.

Lincolnshire then slumped to 114-5 with Bansal making 61.

Only Luke Robinson with a patient 49 troubled the scorers further as Lincolnshire were dismissed for 193.

Buckinghamshire suffered similarly when they batted, losing wickets at regular intervals.

They were 58-3, then 113-6.

Only their captain, Michael Payne, with 63 offered any stern resistance to Lincolnshire’s bowling attack.

Early on day two the hosts were dismissed for 181, a deficit of 12 runs with Adam Shepherd taking 5-51.

When Lincolnshire began their second innings the bowlers were again dominant.

Their innings subsided to 59-5 and then 115-9 before Adam Shepherd (23) and Alex Willerton (18 not out) added 33 for the last wicket, the largest stand of the innings.

Lincolnshire were 148 all out leaving Buckinghamshire requiring 161 for victory.

When the home side were 53-3 an unlikely Lincolnshire victory looked possible, but Buckinghamshire’s Charlie MacDonell had different ideas however and his well constructed 66 not out saw them home by six wickets with a day to spare.

Buckinghamshire took 21 points from the match and Lincolnshire five.

Lincolnshire dropped to third place in the division with Buckinghamshire replacing them in second position.

Lincolnshire can now only finish as high as second with one match to play against Norfolk at Cleethorpes commencing on Sunday, August 16.