MARCUS Stoinis bagged a hat-trick as Peterborough Town turned a near-certain draw into a maximum-points win in dramatic fashion at Stony Stratford today (Saturday).
Weather delays meant the city side had just 39 overs to dismiss their hosts and some stubborn resistance in the face of some high-class spin bowling from Paul McMahon meant Stony looked like holding out.
But after McMahon had returned the ridiculous figures of 5-12 from 15 overs, skipper Ajaz Akhtar tossed the ball to his recent overseas signing.
The response wasn’t immediate, but from nowhere Stoinis grabbed three wickets in three balls and then struck again with nine balls of the match remaining to clinch a nerve-jangling victory.
Akhtar was probably the most relieved man in Northamptonshire as his decision to bat first in seamer-friendly conditions against one of the best swing bowlers in the Northants Premier Division looked a bit iffy for a while.
Table-topping Town lost four main batsmen for a combined total of 11 runs to Steve Bellew (3-17 from 17 overs) and Ken Wijesinghe, but Stoinis (39), who scored a ton on debut for Kent seconds earlier this week, started a recovery to 192 that was completed by Lewis Bruce (59) and man-of-the-match McMahon (56).
McMahon now has 48 wickets this summer. He put on 113 for the sixth wicket with his Cambs Minor Counties team-mate, Bruce
A. Burton lbw Bellew 5
D. Clarke c Pretorious b Wijesinghe 0
A. Butt c Pretorious b Bellew 6
M. Stoinis c Stanbrook b Richardson 39
M. Cafferkey lbw Bellew 0
L. Bruce b Strong 59
P. McMahon c Baxter b Strong 56
A. Akhtar lbw Wijesinghe 0
C. Budd c Choksi b Wijesinghe 4
R. Sayer not out 2
B. Hussain c Sambrook b Wijesinghe 8
Bowling: S. Bellew 17-8-17-3; K. Wijesinghe 11.1-1-61-4; N. Allen 1-0-18-0; S. Richardson 9-4-16-1; R. Scott 4-0-21-0; A. Strong 9-0-54-2.
R. Scott c McMahon b Akhtar 5
A. Strong c Sayer b McMahon 42
N. Allen c Butt b McMahon 0
M. Choksi c Budd b McMahon 11
M. Avery c Clkarke b McMahon 0
J. Pretorious c Butt b McMahon 6
J. Baxter c Budd b Stoinis 0
S. Bellew lbw Stoinis 4
K. Wijesinghe b Stoinis 0
S. Richardson lbw Stoinis 0
I. Sambrook not out 5
Bowling: A. Akhtar 7-2-19-1; B Hussain 2-0-6-0; P. McMahon 15-9-12-5; L. Bruce 5-3-12-0; M. Stoinis 8.3-1-24-4