Peterborough Town must contest the Jaidka Cup Final tonight (July 14, 6pm) against the srong men of Bourne side without star all-rounder Lewis Bruce.
Bruce, a class batsman, potent off-spin bowler and high quality fielder, has family commitments which also keep him out of tomorrow’s’s Northants Premier Division game against struggling Stony Stratford at Bretton Gate (July 15, noon).
Town, who went back to to the top of the Premier Division after crushing bottom club Wollaston by eight wickets last weekend, should still see off Stony without their talisman, but Bourne, a crack Twenty/20 outfit who have also won their last nine completed Lincs Premier Division games, are a different proposition.
Thankfully Town have been boosted by the availability of all-rounder Paul McMahon for the Jaidka final, also at Bretton Gate.
“The Jaidka is a key target for us,” Town skipper David Clarke stated. “We will miss Lewis, but we will still field a strong side. Bourne are a strong, very aggressive team, but we are at home and we need to make the most of every advantage. Our own Twenty/20 form has been much better this season so we’re confident of a win.”
Bourne beat Town in last year’s Jaidka final, but the city side are through to the last four of the Northants Twenty/20 Cup for the first time in three years after sneaking past Oundle by five runs in a quarter-final tie last week when Bruce top scored, took a great catch and claimed a couple of key wickets.
Clarke expects the Northants Premier Division title race to go down to the wire.
“It’s great to be top again, but we have plenty of tough games left. There are only 26 points between the top five sides so the games between the title rivals will be key.
“We can set ourselves up nicely for the first of those games against Oundle by beating Stony Stratford.”
Opening bowler Jamie Smith will replace Bruce tomorrow.
Jaidka Cup Final squads
Peterborough Town: (from) David Clarke, Hasan Azad, Asim Butt, Joe Dawborn, Scott Howard, Paul McMahon, Chris Milner, Alex Mitchell, Danny Oldham, David Sayer, Jamie Smith.
Bourne: (expected) Peter Morgan, Jack Berry, Carl Wilson, Sam Evison, Rob Bentley, Quewin O’Connor, Tom Dixon, Matt Kidd, James Keywood, Colin Cheer, Jordan Temple.