Lincolnshire CCC began their 2019 season in fine style over the weekend when they hosted Northumberland CCC at Grantham in the Unicorns T20 competition.
The Imp County triumphed in both matches that were played and currently head their group table.
In the first match, Lincolnshire batted first and, despite the early loss of Tom Keast, opener Joe Kendall stood firm and held the innings together with a fine 66 not out.
He had strong support from Louis Kimber (23), Azeem Rafiq (23) and Dan Freeman (24 not out).
After 20 overs Lincolnshire had totalled 161-4, scoring evenly throughout their innings.
In reply, Northumberland made a steady start before five wickets fell for the addition of 13 runs with Alex Willerton and Azeem Rafiq doing the damage.
By this stage, Northumberland were behind the required run rate and faced an uphill task.
Some limited resistance came from their lower order, but by the end of their allotted 20 overs they were short on 120-8. Willerton, with 3-11 off his four overs, inspired Lincolnshire to victory by 41 runs.
In the second match Lincolnshire again batted first, with Usman Arshad this time holding the home county’s innings together, making 65 off 54 balls before being dismissed in the final over.
Azeem Rafiq (32) and Joe Kendall (25) gave solid support.
Northumberland set off at a quicker pace in this innings and by six overs had reached 60-2.
Thereafter their innings faltered somewhat, as wickets began to fall.
By their final over the visitors required 21 for victory, with two wickets remaining.
Willerton duly bowled a double-wicket maiden to end with 4-12 off three overs and left Lincolnshire winners by 20 runs.
Lincolnshire’s next match in this competition is on Sunday, May 26 (11 am start) when they face Cumberland at Penrith.