David Christmas marked his return to the Minor Counties three-day game with a barnstorming innings which gained Lincolnshire maximum batting points in their first innings at Barrow-in-Furness.

Christmas, sidelined from county cricket by injury for much of last season, powered his way to an unbeaten 73 off 72 balls as Lincs were bowled out by Cumberland for 365 in 94 overs.

Skipper Mark Fell returned to his long-held tradition of losing the toss and saw his side put in to bat on a lively pitch with plenty in it for batsmen and bowlers. The opening partnership of James Clarke and Paul Pollard got Lincs off to an excellent start as they put together a steady stand of 134.

Clarke made 71 off 123 balls, including 10 fours, but was first to go, falling lbw to spinner Horne and Pollard followed shortly afterwards, caught behind off Marcus Sharp for 63, in which he hit eight fours.

Lincs then lost Mat Dowman for 17, lbw Jason Quint to a ball which kept low, and the same bowler dismissed Jon Trower, clean bowled for 10.

Martyn Dobson and Fell both made 28 and Oliver Burford 18, but it was the arrival of Christmas at the crease which got the scoreboard ticking over rapidly once again.

Christmas came out at number nine after Burford became Horne's third victim, caught by Ashley Metcalfe to make it 244 for seven. And when Bob Chapman was caught by Graeme Lloyd off Horne with the total on 265, Christmas and Jonathan Davies added 31, of which Davis hit 12.

Last man Elliot Wilson then joined Christmas as Lincs battled to gain maximum points by making 325 off 90 overs. After the 89th , the total had reached 314 and when five runs had come off the first five balls, Wilson made sure that of valuable extra point with a huge six which cleared the sightscreen behind the bowler.

But from here, it was Christmas all the way as the last wicket stand grew to 69, bowler Jason Quint going for five fours and a six off one over. The innings finally ended with Wilson run out, having contributed just nine runs to the partnership and Cumberland went out to bat with just 13 overs remaining.

But this was long enough for Davies to ensure that Lincs went into the second day in a good position, the former Cleethorpes bowler taking an early wicket as the home side finished on 26 for one.

Lincs main concern at the end of the first day was an injury to wicketkeeper Burford who was hit in the face and had to leave the field for the last few overs, but it is hoped he will be fit to return for the rest of the Cumberland innings.