County side lose two finals in a week


Lincolnshire’s hopes of avenging their Knockout Cup final defeat to Berkshire four days earlier were dashed as they also lost the Unicorns Championship final at Banbury to the same opponents.

Lincolnshire won the toss and elected to bat.

Their batsmen were soon in difficulty, slumping to 99 for 5, with only Matt Lineker’s 40 making any substantial contribution.

Four further wickets fell for 22 runs before a last-wicket stand of 61 between Alex Willerton (39 not out) and Andy Carter (24).

Lincolnshire, who were all out for 182 in 57 overs. struck back quickly as Willerton dismissed Ollie Wilkin with the second ball.

Jack Davies and Euan Woods added 77 before Matt Carter dismissed Davies for 30.

The Berkshire middle order collapsed to 108 for 6 and by the close of play on day one they were on 174 for 6 with Woods on 81 not out.

On the second day Lincolnshire captured the remaining four wickets for 41 to trail by 33 on the first innings.

Lincolnshire were reduced to 75 for 4 in their second innings, but Lineker accumulated runs.

By the close of play on the second day they were 222 for 6, a lead of 189, with Lineker undefeated on 119 and Carl Wilson on 22 not out.

The pair extended their partnership to 98 the following day before Wilson fell for a valiant 42, made in over two and a half hours.

Shortly afterwards, Lineker was caught for a magnificent 148, having batted for six and a half hours to put Lincolnshire in with a fighting chance of victory.

Lincolnshire were dismissed for 319, setting Berkshire 287 for victory.

Willerton again bowled Wilkin for a duck and Woods and Freeman took wickets to leave Berkshire on 120 for 3. at the close of play.

Early morning rain on day four delayed the start until mid-afternoon and almost immediately Carter had James Morris caught behind for 8 to leave Berkshire on 135 for 4.

Lincolnshire were again well in the match, but Andy Rishton and Davies put together an unbroken 156 for the fifth wicket to take Berkshire to a six-wicket victory.