STAFFS v LINCS Match Report
Report from Allan Smith - 090719
Staffordshire moved into second spot in the Eastern Division table with a convincing 260 run victory over Lincolnshire who have won the division for the past three seasons. The victory meant Staffs kept up their run of successes on the West Bromwich Dartmouth ground, as this was the sixth consecutive season they had recorded a win deep in the heart of the West Midlands.
Apart from an opening session which was shared, Staffordshire totally dominated proceedings but even so the game had entered its last hour before Staffs claimed the final wicket to inflict a first away defeat for the visitors in the championship since 2015. Staffs had declared on their overnight score leaving the visitors a highly improbable victory target of 477 and themselves a minimum of 102 overs to claim the 10 wickets required for the maximum 24 points success.
Lincolnshire were to prove to be obdurate in their efforts to deny Staffs the win but through patience and perseverance Staffs gradually whittled their way through the defence offered by the visiting batsmen until, with just 12.5 overs to go Paul Byrne returned to the attack to claim the final wicket.
Staffordshire utilised seven bowlers in their attempts to force the victory and all seven struck with good support from their fielders. Opening bowlers Mitchell Spencer and James Cox both claimed two wickets as did left arm spinner Paul Byrne including the final wicket. There was a wicket each for Kadeer Ali, Matthew Morris, Tim Maxfield who claimed the important wicket of former Notts player Bilal Shafayat at a crucial time, and one for first innings hat trick hero Dan Richardson.
For Lincs there was resistance from Ben Coddington (41) Tom Keast (42) and Daniel Freeman with 39 but for all their defiance they were finally bowled out on a wicket which offered little assistance to the bowlers.
Winning the toss on the first day, Staffs powered their way to a massive 451-6 before declaring after 89.3overs. Michael Hill and Tim Maxfield shared a fourth wicket partnership of 194 as they took apart the visitors attack. Maxfield departed caught on the mid-wicket boundary for 117, which included 13 four and 5 sixes while Hill powered on to pass his previous highest score for Staffs of 149, achieved on the same ground, to reach 153 before falling in similar fashion to Maxfield having found the boundary on 18 occasions as well striking two maximums. Sam Kelsall had scored an important 41 early in the innings while Spencer Byatt and Dan Richardson enjoyed some late hitting to boost the total, with Byatt finishing with 50 not out and Richardson unbeaten on 35. By the close of play Staffs had claimed three Lincolnshire wickets for 55 with Mitchell Spencer picking up 2 and James Cox the other.
On the second day Staffs bowlers kept up the pressure and only a defiant 98 not out from Shafayat offered any serious resistance. Cox went on to finish with 4-56 and Spencer 2-31 before Richardson came to the fore to claim the final three wickets and perform only the ninth championship hat trick by a Staffordshire player in the competition in their long history. He dismissed Nic Keast and Curtis Free with the fifth and sixth deliveries of his 15th over before claiming the wicket of last man Alex Willerton with the first ball of his next over to finish with figures of 4-28 and see the visitors dismissed for 214 and leave Shafayat stranded on 98 with no more partners.
Despite the early loss of Kadeer Ali in their second innings after having not enforced the follow on, Staffs set about extending their first innings advantage of 237 and this they did in some style. Sam Kelsall was unfortunately run out for 41, Matthew Morris made his second half century for the county finishing with 54 before Hill and Peter Wishaw entertained the crowd with a display of power hitting. Hill hit 54 off 44 balls while Wilshaw required just 22 deliveries in smashing 46 which included 4 sixes, some of which endangered the golfers on the adjacent course. By the close of the second day Staffs had made 239-6, an overall lead of 476, which was to prove to be far too many for their opponents and gave their bowlers the chance to grind out the win on the final day.
Staffs 1st innings 451-6 declared. Staffs 2nd innings 239-6 declared.
Lincs 1st Innings 214 all out. 2nd Innings 216 all out
Points Staffs 24 Lincs 3
Staffs are next in action in a championship match at North Mymms against Hertfordshire staring on Sunday 21st July while it has been confirmed that their 50 over One Day semi-final against Cumberland on Sunday 11th August will be played at Carlisle,.