Originally published in the Lincolnshire Echo on June 13th 2013.
Lincolnshire Director of Cricket Mark Fell has blasted Suffolk CCC for their negative approach in their three-day Minor Counties Championships Eastern Division draw.
Lincolnshire made 401 in the first innings to give them a lead of 64.
However, Suffolk batted through the final day with Simon Guy making 216 as they posted a stifling second innings of 527.
“The spirit of our side was absolutely brilliant,” said Fell. “It all came together for us . We batted and bowled really well against Suffolk, who are one of the better sides in the county.
“But I was disappointed that Suffolk set their total and played so negatively.
“We played first-class cricket and the way we played the game, with our positive attitude, was fantastic.
“It’s quite a compliment to us that they played like that, as they must have thought that our lads could do them some damage.”
Adam Shepherd gave Lincolnshire a great start in their opening match, bowling Tom Huggins at two for one for the first of his eight wickets.
Martyn Cull, Tom Rash and Sahsa Ward then added half-centuries before Andrew Mansfield held strong, with Suffolk declaring at 337 for eight.
Lincolnshire came out and attacked, with Conrad Louth smashing 14 fours on his way to 85, while captain Brett Houston made a half-century.
Wicketkeeper Oliver Burford hit a century from 91 balls before being bowled by Matthew Hunn.
“Burford was brilliant,” said Fell. “The experienced lads have to stand up and be counted and he came in and made sure we got to 400, which was a big bonus. It was great, positive cricket that put Suffolk on the backfoot.”
On Houston’s 53, Fell added: “That’ll do him the world of good.”
19-year-old Harry Clewett reached 56 on his debut as Lincolnshire finished the first innings all out for 401.
He was one of four debutants, as Matthew Carter, 17, Ben Powell, 18, and Harry Warwick, 19, were also given their first MCC starts.
However, a huge second innings from Guy, led Suffolk to an unattainable score.
“In the second innings, we played carefully. We were never going to beat them,” said Fell. “But I can only take positive things from the game.
“It was a very flat wicket and we bowled very well. We stuck to our task well.”
Opener Justin Bishop made 88, with 12 fours, and James Finch squeezed in a half-century before Suffolk declared.
Shepherd claimed four wickets in each innings in a pleasing opening match for Lincolnshire, who next face Hertfordshire on June 23.
“Shepherd bowled very quickly and kept going, kept his head up just as the rest of the team did. I’m delighted with the way we performed.”