Bacon and Carpenter to return for Bedfordshire

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Bedfordshire go into their final Unicorns Championship match of the season against Lincolnshire at Ampthill Park on Sunday looking for the win that would lift them to a respectable mid-table position.

Although they have yet to register a victory, Bedfordshire have picked up sufficient bonus points to keep them clear of the bottom even though they were deducted two points for a slow over rate in the recent game with Cambridgeshire.

They will be desperate to improve on the performance which saw them beaten in little more than two days by likely Eastern Division champions Staffordshire two weeks ago.

All-rounder Jon Carpenter and paceman George Bacon, who missed that match, return on Sunday, but Bedfordshire will be without batsman Dan Blacktopp who is not available.

The selectors have to decide whether to replace him with another batsman or go with an extra bowler and push wicketkeeper Alex Martin, an accomplished batsman, up the order.

Much will depend on whether Jamie Hewitt is free of Middlesex commitments though.

Martin has batted well on a number of occasions over the last couple of seasons and has also made runs for Oxford University.

He could go in at three, although skipper Andy Reynoldson may choose to move Sam Johnson up from number six.

Bedfordshire will be hoping that Bedford School captain Charlie Thurston can continue his good form at the top of the order where he has formed a solid opening partnership with Luke Thomas.

Although the race for the Eastern Division title would appear to be between Staffordshire and Cumberland, Lincolnshire are in third place and will be ready to pounce on any slip-ups, so both sides have plenty to play for this weekend.

County matches at Ampthill usually provide run feasts so there should be plenty of entertainment on offer for spectators.

Play starts at 11am and entry is free on all three days.