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Lincolnshire move up to second place

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Lincolnshire CCC moved into second place in the Eastern Division table with a healthy eight-wicket win over leaders Buckinghamshire, in the third of their three-day fixtures of the season.

On a very hot and sunny first day Buckinghamshire won the toss and elected to bat.

Lincolnshire quickly made inroads into the home side’s batting order and reduced them to 28-5, with Dan Freeman (4-22) accounting for three of their wickets.

The visitors continued to force home their early advantage and two further wickets saw the total reach 81-7.

Matt Rance and Cameron Parsons then put together the highest stand of the innings, adding 58 for the eighth wicket before Matt Fowler dismissed the dangerous Rance for 33.

Fowler (3-10) then removed the remaining Buckinghamshire batsmen as the home side were dismissed for 147 in the 66th over.

Joe Kendall and Chris Jones opened for Lincolnshire and put on 123 together before Jones was dismissed for 66. Louis Kimber joined Kendall and they took Lincolnshire into the lead and by the end of day one they were 168-1.

Day two was another scorcher as Kendall passed his century, as did Kimber, as the total passed 300 and then 400. Kimber was finally out for 137, his maiden century for Lincolnshire in Championship cricket, having added 282 with Kendall for the second wicket.

His innings contained 18 fours and two sixes and was meticulous in technique and concentration. Bilal Shafayat joined Kendall who soon passed 200 as the pair added 78 in quick time before Shafayat fell for 28.

By the end of Lincolnshire’s allotted 90 overs, they had reached 486-3, breaking their highest ever Championship total of 483-3 against Bedfordshire at Dunstable in 1999.

Kendall with 230 not out (33 fours and one six) was just two runs short of Lincolnshire’s highest ever individual score of 232 set at Grantham in 1925 by Raymond Frearson against Cambridgeshire.

Kendall becomes only the fifth ever Lincolnshire player to score a double century in Championship cricket.

With a first innings lead of 339, Lincolnshire were now in a commanding position with plenty of time left in the game to enforce a victory. They made a sensational start when Buckinghamshire batted again with Alex Willerton reducing the home side to 4-2.

Alex Woodland (68) and Michael Payne added 161 for the third wicket before Willerton struck in a starring role for Lincolnshire, taking 7-92 from 28 over.

Payne reached a fine hundred on day three before debutant Alex Moor trapped him lbw for 125, leaving the hosts on 233-7.

Matt Fowler then had Matt Rance caught for 29 with the score on 261, some 78 runs short of ensuring Lincolnshire had to bat again. Cameron Parsons and Tom Hampton then took the attack to the tiring Lincolnshire bowlers adding 87 for the ninth wicket before Willerton dismissed Hampton for a valiant 48. Willerton also accounted for last man Burden, leaving Parsons not out on 64 and the final Buckinghamshire total on 375.

Lincolnshire required just 37 for victory and reached this target for the loss of two wickets in mid-afternoon.