Peterborough Town should relish the presence of fast bowler Joe Dawborn for as long as possible.
Dawborn, who has played regularly for Leicestershire seconds this summer, has two one-day matches for Northants seconds this week and it would be a mighty surprise if he isn’t snapped up full-time by a first-class county by the end of the summer. Twenty-one year-old bowlers who swing the ball both both ways, with great pace and with terrific accuracy surely can’t be that easy to find?
There were outstanding individual displays as Town demolished arch-rivals Finedon by 131 runs at Bretton Gate yesterday (June 27), but Dawborn’s 6-38. which included the fourth hat-trick of his career, was the brightest and best. Someone who should know insisted at the half-way point that Finedon’s batting line-up was the strongest the club had assembled in over a decade and yet Dawborn rushed through it with a barnstorming display.
Somehow the visitors, faced with a daunting target of 245 in 55 overs, reached 47-1, but then lost seven wickets for a further 23 runs. Even the two wickets collected by professional off-spinner Paul McMahon in that spell may have belonged in part to Dawborn’s hostile excellence at the other end as batsman tried to acculumate runs quicky when the fear of physical harm had diminished
Two Finedon players were dismissed without playing a shot after failing to read Dawborn’s in-swinger. His hat-trick started fortunately with a caught behind decision that former Northants player David Murphy contested strongly, but his second Premier Division hat-trick ended emphatically with stumps scattered around the playing area.
Dawborn now has 37 top-flight wickets and the season hasn’t yet reached half-way. When he was taken out of the attack, Finedon’s ninth wicket pair survived 19 overs with considerable ease against two successful Minor Counties spinners before unheralded seamer Kieran Jones dismissed them both in just eight balls to wrap up win number seven with 40 balls to spare and move Town above Finedon into second place.
There was also much to admire in Town’s batting. Top man Asim Butt fell early and there was little contribution from numbers three and four as Town struggled to 65-3 against an accurate attack which included slow left-armer Shane Devoy, a man tipped to break into first-class cricket in Australia next season.
But David Clarke essayed some handsome drives to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the difficult early stages and then batted with great intelligence alongside skipper Lewis Bruce during a fourth-wicket stand of 104. The great friends seldom took unnecessary risks and ran well between the wickets.
Bruce smacked two big sixes in a welcome return to form. This was a first half century of the campaign for the stylish strokemaker, while Clarke was finally caught for 89 - his third score in the 80s this season - to confirm his current status as the club’s most reliable run-maker.
The efforts of Bruce and Clarke enabled McMahon to play with freedom towards the end of the Town innings and he responded with a superbly-struck 55 from just 37 balls. He hit a six and seven fours before falling in the final over of the innings.
Town still expected a tough battle to force victory. Instead ‘Deadly’ Dawborn ensured they won with plenty in hand.
A. Butt c Hoffbauer b Patel 3
D. Clarke c Berrill b Goode 89
T. Young c Murphy b Patel 4
M. Howard lbw Devoy 10
L. Bruce c Murphy b Devoy 60
P. McMahon b Goode 55
J. Dawborn b Devoy 5
S. Williams not out 4
C. Milner not out 1
TOTAL (7 wkts) 244
Bowling: P. Patel 14-1-48-2; W. Sneath 9-1-36-0; S. Devoy 17-0-70-3; C. Goode 9-0-57-2; A. Nunn 6-0-28-0.
G. Evans b Dawborn 27
S. Davis c Clarke b Dawborn 9
C. Berrill b McMahon 10
D. Murphy c Milner b Dawborn 14
S. Devoy b Dawborn 4
G. Hoffbauer lbw McMahon 1
T. Austwick b Dawborn 2
A. Nunn b Dawborn 0
C. Goode b Jones 18
P. Patel b Jones 21
W. Sneath not out 4
Bowling: J. Dawborn 16-2-38-6; J. Smith 7-0-27-0; P. McMahon 15-6-25-2; L. Bruce 9-2-19-0; K. Jones 1.2-0-4-2.
Oundle came close to doing Peterborough Town a mighty favour by beating leaders Rushden at Short Stocks.
But despite four-wicket hauls for Petrus Jeftha and Richard Cunningham and excellent knocks from in-form pair Alex Martin and Zeeshan Manzoor, Oundle fell to a 15-run defeat.
Christian Davis smacked 121 of Rushden’s 228 all-out and a heavy win for the home side looked likely as Oundle were reduced to 4-2 from three balls.
But Martin (63) and Manzoor (48 from 36 balls) rescued Oundle before Jack Bolsover’s 24 almost got them over the line.
Rushden have won all nine Premier Division matches they’ve started this season and lead second-placed Peterborough by 28 points
Rushden 228 (C. Davies 121, R. Cunningham 4-53, P. Jeftha 4-59).
Oundle 213 (A. Martin 63, Z. Manzoor 48, P. Adams 24, J. Bolsover 24, J. Gaul 4-48, S. Branston 4-57).