Josh Smith on song for Peterborough Town and Market Deeping, but with very different outcomes, newcomers excel at Oundle, Bourne and Wisbech

Reigning champions Peterborough Town fired out an early warning to the rest of the Northants Premier Division with an eight-wicket win at last season’s runners-up Finedon.

By Alan Swann
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 8:10 am
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 8:28 am
Peterborough Town's Josh Smith.

It was a tale of two high-class centruries with Josh Smith’s unbeaten 120 for Town trumping the undefeated 125 posted by Finedon opener Callum Berrill. Berrill’s brilliance boosted the home side from 26-3 to 215-8 in their 50 overs.

But Smith added 50 for the second wicket with skipper David Clarke (29) before dominating an unbroken third wicket stand of 145 with Sulemain Saleem who finished unbeaten on 54. Smith faced 128 balls and struck 24 boundaries as Town eased home with almost six overs to spare.

Returning all-rounder Danny Mohammed bagged two early wickets for Town and ended up with three wickets as did Mark Edwards. Smith started a wonderful day by collecting two wickets

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There was also a fast start for Oundle under new captain Dan Robinson who beat Overstone by seven wickets as star all-rounder Conor Craig hit his stride on opening day.

Craig bagged 3-35 as Overstone were dismissed for 161 and then cracked 63 from just 55 balls (11 fours, one six). Opener Sam Jarvis, a summer transfer from Peterborough Town, finished unbeaten on 52, a first half century at this level.

Lincs Premier Division champions Bourne also made a successful start to a new season with a five-wicket win at Louth. The club’s summer recruitment paid off immediately with new arrivals Carl Wilson (62) and Jonny Cheer (52) rescuring Bourne from 12-2 as they chased 195. There was also a useful all-round contribution from Rob Bentley, who was singled out as one-to-watch this season by skipper Courtney Kruger, who followed a spell of 3-26 with a knock of 37 not out).

Market Deeping were agonisingly beaten by three runs at home to Nettleham despite an outstanding all-round effort from Josh Smith. He bagged 4-19 as the visitors made 201-9 and then smacked 95 of Deeping’s 198. Opener Smith was ninth man out when just eight runs were needed to win.

Spalding’s prediction of a season of struggle could prove to be accurate as they were beaten by 10 wickets by Sleaford after posting a modest 144.

In the sole Cambs Division One match to take place Wisbech crushed Stamford by 100 runs. The Fenman were in trouble at 55-4, but debutant Jamie Seabrook blasted a 97-ball 117 (14 fours, one six) to take them up to 305 all out.

New skipper Tim Juggins (3-39 & 61) played well for Stamford.

Results

Northants Premier Division

Peterborough Town 216-2 (Josh Smith 120no, S. Saleem 56no) beat Finedon 215-8 (C. Berrill 124no, M. Edwards 3-43, D. Mohammed 3-62, Josh Smith 2-46) by 8 wkts

Oundle 162-3 (C. Craig 63, S. Jarvis 52no) beat Overstone 161 (C. Craig 3-35, D. Costello 3-47) by 7 wkts.

Lincs Premier Division

Bourne 199-5 (C. Wilson 62, J. Cheer 53, R. Bentley 37no) beat Louth 195 (R. Bentley 3-26, P. Morgan 3-22, C. Cheer 2-47) by 8 wkts.

Nettleham 201-9 (J. Smith 4-19, W. Naylor 2-35, A. Hafeez 2-40) beat Market Deeping 198 (J. Smith 95, D. Sargeant 36) by 3 runs.

Sleaford 147-0 beat Spalding 144 (E. Lawrence 30, B. Andrews 25no) by 10 wkts.

Cambs Division One

Wisbech 305 (J. Seabrook 117, T. Juggins 3-39, S. Chamberlain 3-55) beat Stamford 205 (T. Juggins 61, J. Garner 3-32, K. Haynes 2-42) by 100 runs.