NORTHANTS LEAGUE: Birthday boy (17) impresses as Peterborough Town win again, Oundle off the mark

Asim Butt finished 69 not out for Peterborough Town at Brigstock.
Asim Butt finished 69 not out for Peterborough Town at Brigstock.
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They might not sustain it, but this is turning into one of the more satisfying Northants Premier Division title campaigns from Peterborough Town of recent years.

The city side suffered so much disruption in the close season, some were predicting a relegation battle rather than a top three finish for the ninth season in a row.

Ben Graves was in excellent all-round form for Oundle against Rushden.

Ben Graves was in excellent all-round form for Oundle against Rushden.

But, some serious talent has emerged from the shadow of the departed superstars, most notably in a bowling attack yesterday (June 9) that contained a hard-working journeyman seamer, a batsman bowling flat off-spinners, a quick bowler returning from two years of injury problems, an unsung hero from Ketton Sports and another off-break bowler who turned 17 on the day Brigstock were beaten by eight wickets with almost 20 overs to spare.

Teenager Saif Mohammed is a potential star. Northants Academy are monitoring him and he picked up 4-29 yesterday as Brigstock were skittled for 142. In fact eight wickets fell to slow bowlers as Vansh Bajaj and Matt Milner collected two apiece during economical spells.

True, Brigstock were missing the first-class players who have helped give them a decent start in their first season at this level, but it was still another impressively ruthless display from Town who remain unbeaten and in second place.

Even the early loss of in-form skipper David Clarke couldn’t derail Town as Asim Butt (69no) found his best form of the summer.

Butt struck eight fours adding 73 for the second wicket with Kieran Judd (28) and 65 for the third wicket with Bajaj (21no).

*OUNDLE recorded their first Premier Division win of the season by eight wickets against Rushden at Milton Road.

Rushden’s 227-8 looked a decent score at half-time, especially as Oundle were without star batsman James Kettleborough because of injury.

But Pete Foster (88no) and Ben Graves (68) put on 142 for the first wicket as Oundle sauntered home. Graves struck his runs from 65 balls and he also bowled well returning figures of 3-24 as Ben Paine (97no) batted throughout the 50 overs of Rushden’s innings.

RESULTS

Saturday, January 9

NORTHANTS PREMIER DIVISION

BRIGSTOCK lost to PETERBOROUGH TOWN by 8 wkts

S. Singh b Bajaj 18

T. Swann c Malik b Smith 28

G. Groenland lbw Saif 32

P. Crocket b Sayer 5

A. Ogden b M. Milner 0

S. Singh c M. Milner b Saif 0

D. Croker b Saif 15

I. Sharp lbw Saif 0

E. Delargy not out 16

R. Pack c M. Milner b Bajaj 6

J. Mills c Clarke b M. Milner 1

Extras 27

TOTAL 142

Bowling: J. Smith 9-2-28-1; D. Sayer 6-0-34-1; V. Bajaj 10-4-22-2; M. Milner 8.1-1-24-2; M. Saif 10-1-29-4.

Town 144-2 (A. Butt 69no, K. Judd 28, V. Bajaj 22no).

OUNDLE beat RUSHDEN by 8 wkts

Rushden 228-7 (B. Paine 97no, B. Graves 3-24, C. Craig 2-39).

Oundle 231-2 (P. Foster 88no, B. Graves 68, M. Hodgson 28no).