NORTHANTS PREMIER DIVISION: Sayer brothers impress, but Peterborough Town are beaten by two top-class centurions

Rob Sayer cracked 113 for Peterborough Town against Rushden.
Rob Sayer cracked 113 for Peterborough Town against Rushden.
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Rob Sayer’s ton wasn’t enough for Peterborough Town who fell 16 runs short of successfully chasing over 300 at sun-kissed Bretton Gate today (July 14).

Sayer and younger brother David added 141 for the second wicket as Town put themselve in prime postion to overhaul Rushden’s imposing 50-over total of 304-6, but some panic when calm was requried, poor shots and some bad game management ensured the city side instead lost a Northants Premier Division game for just the second time this season.

They remain third, but with a lot to do to catch the top two Finedon and Old Northamptonians over the second half of the season.

When the elder Sayer was caught in the deep for 113 Town needed just six an over for the final 12 overs with seven wickets in hand which should have been a piece of cake against a threadbare attack on a true pitch and with the assistance of a super-quick outfield. Asim Butt was still at the crease as well.

But Butt fell lbw for 24 and then it was a procession of suicidal dismissals until victory was claimed with eight balls to spare after late order men Matt Milner and Connor Parnell were caught in the deep from successive balls by the same fielder off an occasional bowler.

Rushden celebrated loudly, but there was doom and gloom in the other dressing room, something that must clear before Brentwood visit the Gate for a National Club KO last 16 tie tomorrow (July 15, 1pm).

The Essex Premier Division side might not have batsmen of the quality of Rushden pair Charlie Thurston and Chanaka Ruwansiri who both bashed Town’s attack for a century apiece. Thurston, who scored a run-a-ball 50 for Northants against Yorkshire earlier this season, wafted a little outside off stump but played some terrific shots before he departed for exactly 100. He was visibly frustrated at not having gone on to make a monster score against a predictable attack which contained four off-spinners and a misfiring fast bowler.

Ruwansire played even better. He’s a Sri Lankan who grew up playing in these conditions against better bowlers than he faced here and his unbeaten 132 was a classy, chanceless affair.

But Town should have got home in these slick batting conditions despite losing in-form skipper David Clarke early on. David Sayer was promoted to open and played well for 69, falling when the score was 185-2.

Oundle won by seven wickets at Brixworth with Harrison Craig (3-19) and James Kettleborough (59) faring best.

RESULTS

Saturday, July 14

PETERBOROUGH TOWN lost to RUSHDEN by 16 runs

Rushden: C. Thurston c Parnell b M. Milner 100; S. Kumar st C. Milner b Parnell 20; C. Ruwanisiri 132no, B. Paine b Bajaj 3; W. Bates lbw Bajaj 10; O. Warwick b M. Milner 12; A. Payne b M. Milner 1; K. Antonaccio not out 1. Extras 25. TOTAL 304-6

Bowling: D. Sayer 7-0-57-0; C. Parnell 7-1-27-1; V. Bajaj 10-3-45-2; R. Sayer 10-0-44-0; M. Milner 8-0-50-3; M. Saif 8-0-61-0.

Town: D. Sayer c 69; D. Clarke c 14, R. Sayer c 113, A. Butt lbw 24, V. Bajaj b 7, A. Mitchell b 16; D. Malik c 1; C. Milner b 7. M. Milner c 10, C. Parnell c 4, M. Saif not out 0. Extras 23. TOTAL 288.

Bowling: C. Law 2-49, C. Ruwanasiri 3-45, C. Thurston 2-57, B. Paine 2-2.

BRIXWORTH lost to OUNDLE by 7 wkts

Brixworth 152 (C. Guest 56, H. Craig 3-19, P. Patel 2-29).

Oundle 156-3 (J. Kettleborough 59, M. Hodgson 38, D. Robinson 35).