Willerton takes ten wickets in match as Lincolnshire romp home

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Deadly Alex Willerton took ten wickets in the match as Lincolnshire continued their flying start to the cricket season with a second victory in the Eastern Division of the Unicorns Championship.

Taking on Cumberland in a three-day fixture at Sleaford, Lincolnshire shot out the visitors for just 90, with Willerton taking 4-25 from 13.1 overs.

After posting a total of 235 in reply, they sent Cumberland reeling again in their second innings, dismissing them for 168, with Willerton grabbing 6-51 from 15.4 overs.

That left Lincolnshire the academic task of easing to 27 without loss to complete a ten-wicket victory that cemented their place at the top of the table.

Cumberland elected to bat on winning the toss, but were soon in big trouble as their first wickets fell with only 36 on the board.

Willerton was well supported by Curtis Free, who ripped through the top order for figures of 5-29 from 12 overs, and as wickets continued to tumble, both wicketkeeper/captain Carl Wilson and Nic Keast held on to three catches.

Ben Howarth (26) and Ben Davidson (17) were the only two visiting batsmen to muster double figures before the innings folded in the 43rd over.

In reply, Lincolnshire lost two frontline batsmen, Tom Keast and Bilal Shafayat, for ducks, but opener Jack Timby was a steadying influence with a patient 50 (six fours).

Timby was the anchor-man in key stands of 51 with Azeem Rafiq (36, one six and five fours) and 60 with Daniel Freeman, who went on to fire a fine 74, which contained one six and nine fours.

Wilson added an important 27 (six fours) as Lincolnshire successfully defied sterling bowling spells by the Cumberland duo of Adam Syddall (6-62 from 22 overs) and Toby Bulcock (4-82 in 19 overs).

Faced with such a heavy first-innings deficit, the visitors badly needed to bat well second time around. But although several players got in and made it into the 20s and 30s, none could go on.

The main reason for that was Willerton, who posed problems from the off. Freeman (2-29 in ten overs), Free and Rafiq also struck as wickets fell at regular intervals. The last four went for only 15 runs before opening bats Joseph Kendall (20no) and Timby completed the win.