RUTLAND LEAGUE: Ajaz batters old club, Stamford are down, but Deeping fight on

Ajaz Akhtar finished 88 not out for Barnack against Peterborough Town.
Ajaz Akhtar finished 88 not out for Barnack against Peterborough Town.
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Ajaz Akhtar battered a former club to keep Barnack’s head above water in Rutland Division One.

Akhtar, a life member of Peterborough Town thanks to his outstanding service to the club, smacked an unbeaten 88 at Bretton Gate yesterday (September 3) as Barnack beat the top city side by seven wickets,

Shakir Mahmood made 67 for Ketton against Oundle.

Shakir Mahmood made 67 for Ketton against Oundle.

And it was a vital win for the villagers as Market Deeping, their main rivals in the race to avoid relegation alongside Stamford Town, picked up maximum points from a 155-run hammering of Nassington.

There are now nine points between the teams with two games remaining. They clash on the final day of the campaign at Barnack on September 17.

Town’s innings subsided quickly to 175 all out once openers Hassan Azad (71) and Chris Milner (38) departed, but Barnack had to work hard after losing two early wickets including that of current Town star Asim Butt for just three.

Yasir Mirza (34) kept Akhtar company in a crucial third-wicket partnership. Mohammed Shahid took four wickets for Barnack.

Town are not quite safe from the drop themselves as they have only one game left at Nassington this Sunday (September 10).

Nassington were smashed at Deeping as high-class teenager Nick Green (87) again excelled in a team total of 270-7 before Aussie Zac Simmonds (5-38) starred with the ball.

Wins for Barnack and Deeping confirmed Stamford’s relegation, but they went down in style by winning at champions-elect Wisbech by 20 runs.

Wisbech are stumbling over the line, but serious challengers are refusing to appear.

Second-placed Bourne were likely to win when rain washed out their home match with Grantham and third-placed Oundle went down by three wickets at Ketton despite 84 from Mark Hodgson and 52 from Pete Foster.

Shakir Mahmood (67) and Josh Gallimore (53) batted well for the home side as they passed Oundle’s 242-7 with three balls to spare.

RESULTS

Wisbech lost to Stamford by 20 runs

Stamford 254-8 (M. Green 50no, A. Birch 47, A. Hulme 37, L. Dave 29, M. Chaudhary 24, J. Young 4-45).

Wisbech 234-7 (J. Bowers 52, P. Patel 47, J. Young 43, D. Oldfield 29, A. Anthony 21, R. Field 3-34, A. Birch 3-38).

Bourne v Grantham abandoned

Bourne 224 (Q. O’Connor 58, J. Berry 46, P. Morgan 45, R. Kumar 3-64).

Grantham 112-5 (J. Berry 3-22).

Ketton beat Oundle by 3 wkts

Oundle 242-7 (M. Hodgson 84, P. Foster 52, P. Rowe 3-15, Z. Manzoor 2-42).

Ketton 243-7 (S. Mahmood 67. J. Gallimore 53, P. Rowe 34, J. Miller 30no, T. Aziz 23, B. Hussain 3-57).

Market Deeping beat Nassington by 155 runs

Market Deeping 270-7 (N. Green 87, D. Holden 33, M. Adatia 31, P. Harrington 25, J. Pope 3-27, A. Nawas 2-28).

Nassington 115 (M. Shifran 31, A. Nawaz 22, Z. Simmonds 5-38, J. Andrews 3-31).

Peterborough Town lost to Barnack by 7 wkts

Town 175 (H. Azad 71, C. Milner 38, M. Shahid 4-38).

Barnack 178-3 (A. Akhtar 88no, Y. Mirza 34).