Lincolnshire began their Unicorns Eastern Division Championship fixtures with a comprehensive maximum points victory over Bedfordshire at Sleaford.
In hot sunny conditions Bedfordshire won the toss and elected to bat in front of a sizeable crowd.
They made a good start and had reached 78 before their second wicket fell.
Thereafter wickets fell at regular intervals as the Lincolnshire bowling attack kept the visitors run rate under control.
At 182/9 Bedfordshire looked likely to be dismissed for less than 200, but a last wicket stand of 61 (the largest of the innings) between Adam Wheatcroft (52 not out) and former England spin bowler Monty Panesar (17) took the total to 243, the final wicket falling in the last of their allotted 90 overs.
The run rate of 2.7 was a modest one in what were ideal batting conditions. Lincolnshire used eight different bowlers, seven of them taking wickets, with Jonny Tattersall with 2 for 19 being the most successful.
When Lincolnshire batted openers Ross Carnelley (52) and Jonny Tattersall (44) gave them a fine start with a stand of 94, their running between the wickets being particularly impressive.
Louis Kimber with 45 on his home ground and Dan Freeman with 50 added 66 for the fourth wicket and kept up the pressure on the Bedfordshire bowlers. The Lincolnshire innings was however dominated by Dominic Brown who made a superb 95 not out from 120 balls, including nine fours and two sixes, which together with a quick fire 34 from Luke Robinson added the necessary impetus to the Lincolnshire innings.
The home side’s innings closed on 378 giving Lincolnshire a substantial lead of 135.
Bedfordshire lost a quick wicket in their second innings as Alex Willerton bowled opener Luke Thomas for a duck. Again Lincolnshire kept a tight rein on the visitors scoring rate as they worked their way through the batting line up.
By the close of play on day two Lincolnshire’s seven bowlers had reduced the visitors to 117 for 8, still 18 runs in arrears.
On day three it was not long before they were all out for 136 with only captain Andy Reynoldson offering any stern resistance with 46 before being last out. Jonny Tattersall with 5 for 23 was Lincolnshire’s most successful bowler giving him match figures of 7 for 42. Lincolnshire only required two runs for victory and this they quickly achieved.
Lincolnshire took a maximum 24 points from the match and Bedfordshire took six.
Lincolnshire’s next fixture is away to Hertfordshire commencing at Hertford on Sunday, 3rd July.