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Lincs into semis after Birch ton

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Dan Birch

Dan Birch's superb unbeaten 169 helped Lincolnshire to a comfortable victory over Cheshire to book their place in the semis

An unbeaten 169 from Lincolnshire opener Dan Birch laid the platform for a four-wicket victory against Cheshire in the MCCA Trophy quarter-finals.

The hosts had to work hard for the win after Chester Boughton Hall batsman Warren Goodwin’s fine 140 - off just 149 balls - fired Cheshire to 285 all out at Grantham CC.

But Lincolnshire, boosted by former Derbyshire batsman Birch’s superb contribution, comfortably knocked off the required runs with 4.1 overs to spare to book a semi-final showdown with Wiltshire.

"It's disappointing to have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage, but we were probably 20-30 runs short of where we should have been," admitted Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.

"But on saying that, we posted a good total and they batted well to chase down the runs.

"It was a good match. Warren batted brilliantly for us, but Daniel Birch played really well and won them the match.

"We have to concentrate on the Championship programme now and make sure we defend our Western Division title."

Louis Bentley (34) and Hall (23) contributed valuable late runs for Cheshire who, having been 204 for three, lost their last seven wickets for just 81 runs having threatened to top the 300-mark at one stage.

In reply Lincolnshire were wobbling at 63 for three and had work left to do at 193 for five, but Birch's batting saw them home.

The former Derbyshire and Kent 2nd XI hard-hitting left-hander smashed six sixes and 19 fours in his 147-ball knock.

Goodwin hit three sixes in his fine innings and 18 fours en route to his first century in the one-day competition.

Charlie Hopkins (4-59) and Brent Houston (3-50) were the pick of the Lincolnshire bowlers, while Nathan Dumelow finished a respectable 2-38 return from 10 accurate overs.

All-rounder Richard Logan weighed in with 2-49 for Cheshire, but it was Lincs who deservedly progressed to the next stage.