Narrow semi-final defeat ends Lincolnshire CCC’s chances of reaching final

Lincolnshire CCC’s hopes of reaching the Unicorns Knockout Trophy semi-final were dashed when they lost by 16 runs to Cumberland at Bourne.

Visitors Cumberland won the toss and elected to bat first at the Abbey Lawn.

Lincolnshire took two early wickets to reduce them to 33-2, but Alex Grainger and Michael Slack added 98 for the third wicket before Grainger was dismissed for 65.

The Cumberland scoring rate then increased, led principally by Slack.

After 40 overs they were 173-4 and finally completed their innings on 247-8, with Slack run out for 95.

Lincolnshire got off to the worst possible start in reply, losing both openers with only 12 runs on the board.

Wickets continued to fall regularly and, at 80-6, the game looked lost. Matt Fowler and Azeem Rafiq added 63 for the seventh wicket but when Rafiq fell for 59 the total was 184 for 9, some 64 runs short of victory.

Alex Willerton then took the game to the opponents hitting 40 valuable runs (four sixes and two fours) before he was controversially caught in the outfield, some 17 runs short of victory with 4.4 overs remaining.

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