Lincolnshire’s hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals of the National Counties Knock-out Trophy were dealt a blow when they travelled to Mildenhall to face Suffolk and suffered a three-wicket defeat on Sunday.
In a start delayed by rain, Suffolk won the toss and elected to field.
Joe Kendall and Tom Keast gave Lincolnshire a solid start, putting on 71 for the first wicket before Keast was dismissed for 33. Kendall followed for 42 with the total on 91.
Ben Coddington and Ben Wright then added 73 for the third wicket, Wright being stumped for 37.
Coddington fell for 51 with the total on 177-4, while Dan Freeman and Nic Keast fell cheaply before Johnson was dismissed for 41 off 35 balls.
A late rally by captain Carl Wilson with 23 off 20 balls took the final total to 249-9.
Suffolk required exactly five runs per over to win and Lincolnshire would need early and regular wickets to thwart them.
At 51-3 and 129-6, Lincolnshire were well in the game but the former Hampshire and Sussex player Joe Gatting was still at the crease.
From this point the game slowly moved in Suffolk’s direction.
Gatting found a solid partner in Alex Oxley and they added a crucial 96 for the seventh wicket, keeping up the required run rate to take the hosts in sight of victory, which they finally achieved with eight balls remaining.
Gatting was left undefeated on 81 off 119 balls.
Lincolnshire’s hopes of progress will depend on them beating Cambridgeshire at Grantham on Sunday – and results of other matches going their way.