Bedfordshire avoid wooden spoon despite Lincolnshire loss

There was to be no happy ending for Bedfordshire as they suffered a five-wicket defeat to Lincolnshire in the final Minor Counties Championship game of the season on Tuesday.

Thursday, 22nd August 2013, 10:00 am
MBTC-27-05-13- County Cricket Bedfordshire v Cornwall. Cople Cricket Club. Bedfordshire batsman Andy Reynoldson( green helmet) and George Thurstance( blue helmet).

Bedfordshire at least picked up enough bonus and draw points during the season though to save them from the indignity of finishing bottom of the Eastern Division table, the wooden spoon going to Northumberland.

The last game was much closer than the margin of victory would suggest, Lincolnshire, having been set to score 214 to win, getting home with only a few balls to spare after being restricted by some tight bowling. And it took a flurry of fours in the penultimate over to see them to victory.

Bedfordshire recovered well after being bowled out for 196 in the first innings and then allowing Lincolnshire to rattle up 334-8.

Despite a useful opening to their second innings by skipper James Hewitt (40) and Luke Thomas (28), at 90-3 Bedfordshire looked to be heading for a heavy defeat.

However, George Thurstance and Andy Reynoldson then batted quite beautifully in a partnership which stretched well into the third morning.

Suddenly it was Bedfordshire who were calling the tune with Thurstance seemingly heading for his third century of the season.

Unfortunately he fell on 96, trying to hit part-time bowler Anish Patel for the boundary, which would have brought his century, as a third-wicket partnership worth 179 ended in unlikely fashion.

Reynoldson did reach a fine century, but added only six more, being bowled by former Bedfordshire paceman Adam Shepherd with his first delivery with the new ball.

After that Martin Weightman made 27, but there were no other worthwhile contributions as Bedfordshire collapsed after lunch to be all out for 351, a stupid run out not helping their cause.

Lincolnshire seemed to have plenty of time to reach their target, but Weightman and Colin Griggs kept their batsmen in check and spinners Tim Kingston and Dan Vernon caused problems.

Weightman returned to dispose of the dangerous Alan Cheer when he had made 58 and, at 178-5, Lincolnshire were behind the clock and clearly rattled.

Skipper Brett Houston was dropped low down at square-leg and a lofted drive by David Lucas just cleared mid-off. Lucas then decided to chance his arm against Kingston and four fours in Kingston’s last over saw Lincolnshire over the line.

Scores: Bedfordshire 196 and 351. Lincolnshire 334-8 and 217-5.