The recall of Louis Kimber to the Lincolnshire team resulted in records tumbling when the county club travelled to Hertfordshire for their penultimate match in the Unicorns Eastern Division.
Rain delayed the start of the match on day one until early afternoon and, on winning the toss, Lincolnshire elected to bat on what proved to be a fine batting surface.
Lincolnshire’s openers, Joe Kendall and Jack Timby, were both dismissed early on and at 35 for 2, Hertfordshire held the upper hand.
Shiv Thakor then joined Kimber (Cleethorpes CC) and steadied the innings and added 129 for the third wicket before Thakor was dismissed for 47.
Sam Johnson then joined Kimber and they gradually assumed control, adding a record-breaking 262 for the fourth wicket.
This beat the county club’s previous highest-ever partnership for the fourth wicket of 217 set in 1990 by Mark Fell and Steve Warman.
Both batsmen were severe on the bowling with Kimber in particular dominant.
He was finally caught on the boundary for 246, an innings which contained 12 sixes and 18 fours.
This became the county club’s highest-ever individual score beating that set by Raymond Frearson (Skegness CC) of 232 against Cambridgeshire at Grantham in 1925.
At the end of their allotted 90 overs, Lincolnshire had totalled 428 for 4, taking maximum batting points with Sam Johnson on 92 not out (7 sixes and 2 fours).
On day two Hertfordshire began the task of trying to overtake Lincolnshire’s huge total and to their credit they made a fine start in attempting to do so.
A first-wicket partnership of 151 saw them in a strong position before Alex Moor dismissed Dominic Chatfield for 70.
The introduction of Adam Tillcock into the attack slowed the run rate and resulted in further wickets falling reducing the hosts to 228 for 4 including the vital wicket of Hamza Ahmed for 95.
Shiv Thakor then assisted in reducing the home side to 331 for 8 before they concluded their 90 overs on 357 for 8, a lead for Lincolnshire of 71.
Thakor 3 for 89 and Tillcock 3 for 99 were Lincolnshire’s most successful bowlers.
Lincolnshire’s second innings started poorly and they were quickly reduced to 59 for 5, a lead of 130.
Hertfordshire were now well in the game.
Shiv Thakor and Adam Tillcock then put on a stand of 77 before Thakor was dismissed for 47.
Tillcock soon followed for a valuable 56.
Carl Wilson and Usman Arshad then extended Lincolnshire’s total past 200, Wilson with 30 and Arshad with 39.
Lincolnshire’s innings concluded on 215, a lead of 286.
A minimum of 50 overs remained in the day for Hertfordshire to score 287 for victory.
At 106 for 1 they were well placed, although their required run rate was slowly climbing.
The dismissal of Chatfield for 57 by Adam Tillcock was crucial.
Thereafter three quick wickets by James Dobson took the game away for the home side as they finished on 189 for 6 off 52 overs.
Dobson with 3 for 17 off 9 overs was Lincolnshire’s most successful bowler.
Lincolnshire took 11 points from the match and Hertfordshire took 9.
Lincolnshire are now fourth in the table and need to finish in the top five to compete in next season’s Eastern Division One.
Their final Championship fixture is at Grantham CC when they meet Bedfordshire commencing on Sunday, September 1 (10.30am).
Before that, however, they are in the T20 finals day at Wormsley on Sunday, where they will meet Dorset in the semi-final (10am).
The winners will meeting either Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire later that day in the final.