Beth Smith reports from Fulbeck CC
Sunday saw two Lincs v Norfolk games, with the ladies’ teams and U15 teams both facing each other. The Mini Imps set the visitors a target of 147, with prominent bat Ellie Stanley gaining 78 of Lincolnshire’s runs. The strength of the U15 bowling attack shone through as Norfolk were bowled out for 50 inside 22 overs. The Mini Imps were fortunate as three of the regular Norfolk U15 players had been called up to the ladies squad to face the Lincs Ladies.
Imps captain, Hayley Butts, lost the toss and the hosts were put into field with only 10 players present. With one less player on the field the Imps needed to bowl and field tightly to restrict a strong Norfolk bating team. They did just that. At drinks the Imps had managed to get Norfolk 80-4, a score board which pleased Lincs coach/ manager Alan Ward, and showed promise for the rest of the game if the Imps could continue to be as tight in the field.
For this to be plausible the Imps needed to get rid of opening bat, Tirimanna, which was skilfully done shortly after drinks when India Freeman got her stumped off Amy Halloran. Norfolk ended up all out for 182 with wickets coming for Rachael Dyer (3-38), Becki Brooker (2-24), Beth Smith (2-28), Sarah McDowell (2-27) and Amy Halloran (1-36).
Lincs began not worrying too much about the run rate, just looking to keep wickets in hand. Unfortunately Smith (17) was run-out early on, and McDowell (8) got caught out to a ball that popped widely off the pitch shortly afterwards. India Freeman and Halloran looked to steady the ship and were in the process of building a partnership when Freeman (27) attempted to go over the top and got caught leaving Lincs 73-3. Halloran (13) fell caught behind 8 runs later, and Butts and Brooker added a small partnership of 19 before a direct hit from Hemp dismissed Brooker (13) and left the Imps 102-5.
Wickets fell steadily after that with Butts, Dyer, Coggan, debutant Knapton and Barnes all failing to reach double figures. The extras score kept the Imps total ticking over but it was a landslide away from what they needed, and they were eventually all out for 126. The pick of Norfolk’s bowling and fielding came from Hogg (3-9), Reay (2-8), Cornelius (2-29), and Hemp (1-23), who also ran out Smith and Brooker.
So ended a glorious day for the Mini imps, but a disappointing one for the ladies, who for the team to succeed need one of their top 6 to achieve a big score, like the one that Tirimanna got for the travelling team. The Imps have two months to learn from the game before their next county champs fixture; in the meantime, they head to Ellesmere in a fortnight, where they will open their T20 campaign after last week’s scheduled game ended in a washout.
A full scorecard can be found here.