Carlisle Cricket Club professional Michael Slack led the way as Cumberland beat Lincolnshire to reach the Unicorns Trophy semi-final.

There was little expectation of Cumbrian success, as hosts Lincolnshire had already defeated Cumberland three times this season in T20s and a three-day match.

Jacques du Toit, Cumberland’s captain, won the toss on Sunday and elected to bat first.

Batting proved to be challenging for the first 20 overs, with Carlisle opener Ben Davidson (4) and Cockermouth’s Matthew Sempill (11) dismissed early.

But that brought Cockermouth stand-in skipper Alex Grainger (65) and Slack (95) together, with the pair then able to construct a 98-run third-wicket partnership as Cumberland ended on 247/8.

This total seemed inadequate to start with as Lincolnshire scored 12 of the first three balls of their innings.

A few balls later, though, the home team were 12-2 after Adam Syddall (Lostock CC) and Toby Mowat (Barrow CC) had picked up a wicket apiece.

Several overs later, Slack, who ended with figures of 2-38, then took two wickets to leave Lincolnshire reeling at 73/4.

Lincolnshire regrouped before Matt Siddall (Blackpool CC) put pressure back on with four wickets, two of which were excellent caught and bowls. Slack contributed in the field, as well, with three catches.

With Lincolnshire nine wickets down but Alex Willerton at the crease, landing four sixes, the tension rose.

But a magnificent diving catch by Marcus Stables (Cockermouth CC) earned Cumberland the final wicket they needed and a 16-run win.

The victory earns Cumberland a home semi-final match against Staffordshire on August 11.