Dismal Lincolnshire performance prompts Brett Houiston to seek vast improvement
Brett Houston has promised a dramatic improvement as the inquest into Lincolnshire's humiliating ten-wicket defeat at Cumberland gathers pace.
The Imp County were soundly beaten inside a day and a half's play and now face an uphill task if they are to salvage anything from the Minor Counties Championship campaign.
A draw seemed a formality after play fell victim to the poor weather on day one.
However, the writing was on the wall as soon as the visitors crumbled to a disastrous 95 all out on the morning of day two.
After limiting the hosts to 201 in their reply, there was hope Lincolnshire could salvage a draw.
But a second collapse, this time of 108, meant Cumberland had the easiest task of knocking off three runs to win.
"We will not be that bad again this season, I am sure of it," said Houston.
"We will not let this happen again because we are too good a side to be getting beat like this.
"It is a one off. We were all bitterly disappinted in the dressing room afterwards.
"Mark Fell (Lincolnshire director of cricket) made it obvious he wasn't happy with the batting department. Other than that he didn't say too much.
"What is there to say? We lost and we must improve.
"We need to go back and practice and practice. It's the only thing we can do."
Houston was the one bright spark to come out of the loss after he claimed eight wickets at the expense of 54 runs.
"From a personal point of view I have to be pleased with eight wickets to be fair. It isn't often that happens to any bowler.
"I didn't start particularly well. My first five overs were not the best but I came back well in the end.
"Wicketkeeper Oliver Burford was brilliant as always and he made some good catches which helped my figures.
"But it is a team effort and we lost so my effort doesn't mean much.
"To be bowled out for 95 in any game is just not good enough.
"Once that happens you are falling down the hill.
"Cumberland are a decent side and they have a good left-arm spinner.
"But we could have batted better against him."
Boston youngster Jonathan Cheer top scored with 27 in Lincolnshire's first innings. Akhil Patel, brother of England international Samit, scored a quickfire 17.
Cumberland spinner Toby Bulcock scooped four wickets.
Houston's splendid figures handed Lincs a lifeline in limiting the home side to 201.
But the visitors failed to capitalise and were again dismissed cheaply.
Stand-in skipper Dan Birch top scored with 64, including two sixes and eight fours.
The rest of the visiting team failed to reach double figures.
Cumberland reached their target in 13 balls.
Houston has urged his team-mates to make amends when they entertain Norfolk in Cleethorpes on July 8.
"We still have strong ambitions this season and we need to win our remaining four matches – starting with Norfolk," added the South African. "We can turn this around."