CRICKET: Masood’s 5-30 equals record

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A BRILLIANT all-round display from Fahad Masood on Saturday kept Bourne’s Lincs ECB Premier League title ambitions firmly alive.

The Pakistani all-rounder hit 70 runs and took 5-30 against Hartsholme to take him equal with the league record of 67 wickets with three matches still to go – and helped his side further reel in leaders Bracebridge Heath.

Bourne batted first at the Abbey Lawn and made 251-8, with Ben Stroud top-scoring on 72. The opener made seven fours, while Masood slapped three sixes and added seven boundaries of his own.

Charlie Hopkins also chipped in with a useful 40 down the order as Bourne set an imposing tally.

Hartsholme didn’t appear to want to chase the score down, as they set about attempting to bat out their overs.

But the deadly duo of Masood and Hopkins (3-27) had other ideas, with the away line-up decimated early on.

Stubborn knocks from Henry Rush (34) and Nick Wilkinson (20 not out) helped deny Bourne though, with Hartsholme batting out their overs.

That left Peter Morgan’s Bourne with a winning draw (nine) and 17 points to show for their efforts.

With Bracebridge’s clash with Market Deeping rained off, the gap between the two is now just 20 points.

The destination of the crown – currently held by Bourne – will likely be decided in the next two weeks. Bourne visit third-placed Boston on Saturday, before making the trip to Bracebridge the following week.