Peterborough Town’s hopes of winning the Northants Premier Division title suffered a severe setback with a two-wicket defeat at Horton House today (August 4).
The home side clinched victory after a match full of twists and turns with seven balls to spare. Town actually gained a little ground on Old Northamptonians, the team that started the day on top as they lost heavily to Northampton Saints, but Finedon stormed moved to the top after a comfortable success at Oundle Town, and the new leaders have a game in hand on their closest rivals.
Town, who again played without star men Lewis Bruce and Rob Sayer, were 14-2 and 51-3 early on at Horton before skipper David Clarke and Vansh Bajaj added 134 for the fourth wicket. Clarke, who cracked a ton against this opposition earlier this season, fell for 92 and Bajaj soon followed for 50 before Chris Milner’s 30 from 23 balls pushed the city side up to a competitive 238-8 in their 50 overs.
The home side started off quickly, but from 59-0 they slumped to 105-4. Northants second team regular Ewan CoX, the top Premier Division run scorer of 2017, stood firm though and looked set to steer his side to a comfortable win when reaching three figures.
But teenager Mohammed Saif dismissed Cox for 101 and when Matt Milner picked up the eighth wicket Horton still required 18, but the ninth-wicket pair stayed cool to seal their first win over Town for a some time in the penultimate over.
Off-spinners Saif and Milner both picked up two wickets as did seamer Jamie Smith, while Bajaj delivered a fine economical spell.
Oundle have lacked bowling strength all summer and a total of 198 was always going to be too few against a strong Finedon side who duly raced home with five wickets and
almost 14 overs to spare.
Ben Smith struck 52 for Oundle and Liam Fresen claimed four wickets.
Peterborough Town can cheer themselves up in tomorrow’s Area Final of the National T20 Cup at Bretton Gate (August 5). Town face Leicestershire champions Kibworth in the first semi-final at 10.30am. Slough and Berkswell (Birmingham) meet in the second semi-final (1pm approx) with the final scheduled for 4-4.30pm.
HORTON HOUSE beat PETERBOROUGH TOWN by 2 wkts
Town 238 (D. Clarke 92, V. Bajaj 50, C. Milner 30)
Horton House (M. Milner 2-40, M. Saif 2-41, J. Smith 2-62)
OUNDLE lost to FINEDON by 5 wkts
Oundle 198 (B. Smith 52, M. Hodgson 49, J. Kettleborough 37).
Finedon 200-5 (J. Keeping 55no, L. Fresen 4-51).