Peterborough Town ran into a brick Wall at Bretton Gate yesterday (May 19) as their bid for a second Northants Premier Division win of the season was thwarted by Horton House.
And that was a shame for Town skipper David Clarke who’s brilliance with the bat - he finished six short of his career best Premier Division score of 129 - was followed by skilful handling of an under-strength bowling attack.
Unfortunately a flat pitch, batsman friendly temperatures and Horton House batsman Ben Wall ensured a draw was the ultimate outcome. Wall batted for most of the visitors’ 202-7, made in reply to 252-6, for an unbeaten 83.
Town picked up enough points (17 as opposed to Horton’s seven) to move off the bottom of the Premier Division. They will hope to rise further when an appeal against a 20-point deduction is heard next week.
A positive verdict would complete a great week for Clarke who was outstanding as he led Town safely from the perils of 10-2 after just three overs. Asim But fell in the first over for a duck to continue his quiet start to the campaign before young Kieran Judd was clean bowled, both were victims of William Knibbs.
But once the shine had disappeared from the ball batting became easy against a threadbare bowling attack. Clarke shared successive stands of 87 with Vansh Bajaj (30), 65 with Alex Mitchell (27) and 57 with emerging teenager Danyaal Malik (18) to push Town to a formidable 50-over total.
Clarke, who drove and pulled with great control, was caught on the boundary after a chanceless innings of 123 which included 14 fours and a six.
Town’s opening bowlers Jamie Smith and Mark Edwards bowled accurately at the start of Horton’s reply, but off spinner Matt Milner claimed the key wicket of teenage Northants second team opener Ewan Cox with a lovely piece of flight for 47. Cox was the top flight’s top scorer with over 1200 runs last season.
Milner went on to take 3-50 with his clever variations while Smith also bowled well for 3-46. He claimed two wickets in one over to end any chance of a visiting win, the first with the help of a smart stumping off a leg side wide by Chris MIlner.
Bajaj also bowled accurately, but running right through a team who started the day hoping for a draw proved impossible.
Town’s Northants T20 tie scheduled for Rushton today (May 20) has been conceded by the home side.
PETERBOROUGH TOWN drew with HORTON HOUSE
Town 252-6 (D. Clarke 123, V. Bajaj 30, A. Mitchell 27, D. Malik 18, C. Milner 11no, B. Wall 4-77, W. Knibbs 2-76).
Horton House 201-7 (B. Wall 83no, E. Cox 47, J. Smith 14-3-46-3, M. Milner 14-0-50-3; V. Bajaj 12-1-35-1).
Oundle blew a golden chance to steal a famous win at Finedon. The hosts piled up an imposing 283-6, but James Kettleborough (105) and Dan Robinson (77) added 188 for the second wicket as Oundle reached 217-1.
But from there a batting rot set in and seven wickets fell for 49 as Oundle settled for a draw at 266-8.
RESULT FINEDON drew with OUNDLE
Finedon 283-6 (D. Brierley 79, C. Bell 50, S. Davis 42, M. Swan 41, H. Craig 3-72, C. Craig 2-54).
Oundle 266-8 (J. Kettleborough 105, D. Robinson 77, D. Brierley 4-33, J. Chopping 3-76).