The sun finally shone on Lincolnshire as half-centuries from Jason Harrison and Steve Plumb earned a first-day points advantage of 4-1 against Minor Counties visitors Northumberland at Sleaford.

After the total wash-out of the Bank Holiday fixture with Bedfordshire at the same venue, the weather at last relented, but damp conditions were still a feature of a day that saw the batters forced to graft for each and every run. Northumberland made particularly hard work of reaching 176 for six off 67 overs, crawling along at below three an over in reaching 124 for five off 50.

The Lincolnshire reply of 178 for four off 49 overs was built around an opening partnership of 118 in 37 overs between Jason Harrison and Steve Plumb. Both hit six fours and a six before debutant teenage leg-spinner Chris Beever split them by bowling Harrison for 57 made off 117 balls.

Plumb was caught behind off Graeme Angus for 55 off 125 balls, having nibbled further towards becoming the all-time leading runscorer in the Minor Counties game. The former Norfolk stalwart, caught behind off a no-ball just before tea when he was on 10, has now scored 11,790 career runs, and is 923 runs away from equalling Mike Nurton's Oxfordshire record of 12,713.

Sleaford: Northumberland 176-6 Lincs 178-4 (JC Harrison 57, SG Plumb 55)