Peterborough Town have had worse weeks.
They clawed back 10 points from a partially successful appeal against a points deducton before claiming a thrilling one-wicket Northants Premier Division at Geddington yesterday (May 26).
The city side will be second once the 10 extra points are added. They’d now be top if they hadn’t turned up to a league meeting on the wrong day.
Last man Jamie Smith - a true number 11 - struck the winning runs and in doing so probably ensured a major diplomatic incident was avoided. Earlier Town had lost key man Vansh Bajaj to a ‘Mankading’ dismissal, one which involves the bowler running out a batsman at the non-striker’s end rather than go through with the act of bowling of the ball.
It’s legal, and interestingly a recent directive from the MCC hardened the law to ensure the bulk of the blame lies with the batsman for leaving his ground early, but it’s still considered a big no-no if a warning isn’t issued first.
Bajaj had made a stylish 43 from 59 balls (eight fours) and his dismissal left Town on 114-5 chasing 191-6. Thankfully Alex Mitchell (48no) got stuck in and with the help of the tail, Town scrambled over the line with 14 balls to spare.
It’s been some start to the season for Town who remain unbeaten despite losing star men Rob Sayer and Lewis Bruce after the first game. Top batsman Asim Butt has also struggled for form and he was one of the early victims as Town slumped to 28-3.
But captain David Clarke (34) stood firm enabling Bajaj and Mitchell to steer their side home.Town had also fought back well in the Geddington innings. The hosts reached 50 without loss in the ninth over, but spin twins Matt Milner (3-42 from 14 overs) and Bajaj (2-54 from 13 overs) dragged them back impressively.
Smith also bowled tightly, but for once made a bigger impact with the bat.
James Kettleborough’s stunning season continued with a third ton in three games for Oundle.
Since falling for 10 in the opening game of the season at Peterborough Town, Kettleborough has gone 112 not out, 105 and now 122, although yesterday’s knock wasn’t enough to help his side to a first win of the season.
Kettleborough starred in an opening stand of 100 with Ben Graves (39) and then 108 for the fourth wicket with skipper Mark Hodgson (57), but visitors Rushton, a shadow of last season’s title-challenging side, showed no interest in chasing 279-9 even though they were given 53 overs to bat.
Falling to 18-3 didn’t help and Rushton blocked from a long way out before closing on 146-6. Teenager Harrison Craig (4-29) bowled best for Oundle who nonetheless climbed to fourth bottom.
Saturday, May 26
GEDDINGTON lost to PETERBOROUGH TOWN by 1 wkt
Geddington 191-6 (A. Reynoldson 37, J. Smith 11-2-28-0; D. Sayer 3-0-24-0; V. Bajaj 13-1-54-2; M. Milner 14-1-42-3; M. Saif 9-1-42-0)..
D. Malik lbw Arif 0
D. Clarke c Armer b Murdoch 34
K. Judd c Reynoldson b Arif 0
A. Butt lbw Kay 13
V. Bajaj run out 43
A. Mitchell not out 48
D. Sayer c Murdoch b Reynoldson 11
C. Milner b Cummins 18
M. Milner c Cummins b Reynoldson 8
M. Saif st O’Callaghan b Reynoldson 2
J. Smith not out 3
Bowling: A. Reynoldson 3-37, A. Arif 2-28)
OUNDLE drew with RUSHTON
Oundle 279 (J. Kettleborough 122, M. Hodgson 57, B. Graves 36, C. Craig 26, M. Steed 5-46, G. Parker 3-62).
Rushton 146-6 (M. Steed 51, J. Parker 38, H. Craig 4-29).