Peterborough Town have two big T20 games in two days starting tonight (June 27), but skipper Dave Clarke has no doubts which is the most important.
Weather permitting, and the forecast is poor, Town tackle Oundle at Bretton Gate in the quarter-final of the Northants T20 Cup this evening (6.15pm) before hosting Bourne in the Jaidka Cup Final tomorrow (June 28).
It’s tonight’s clash against the most improved team in the Northants League that’s a priority for Clarke. The winners go to the Northampton County Ground for finals day next month and the winners of that represent the county in the National rounds of the competition. Town reached the national finals in 2014, a feat they’d love to repeat.
“We want to win the Jaidka, but it’s the big one tonight,” Clarke stated. “Reaching the national T20 finals was an outstanding effort which we’d love to do again.
“But beating Oundle will be hard enough, They are playing some great cricket this season.”
South African Hanno Kotze is the obvious threat to Town’s chances. He’s scoring his runs in the longer form of the game at a powerful rate. He’s struck 382 runs in the Northants Premier Division at a strike rate of 106.11 per 100 balls and 505 runs in Rutland Division One at 115.
Former skipper Cameron Wake is back in the Oundle squad after returning from a teaching term in Dubai.
Whether or not he can produce similar figures on the big boundaries at Bretton Gate against a high class attack is debatable. Town are fielding a strong side which includes David Sayer, one of the stars of their best-ever T20 campaign, who has been sidelined by injury recently.
Peterborough Town: D. Clarke, A. Butt, L. Bruce, J. Dawborn, P. McMahon, D. Oldham, J. Smith, S. Howard, D. Sayer, C. Milner, A. Mitchell.
Oundle (from): M. Hodgson, H. Kotze, P. Foster, B. Smith, C. Wake, P. Adams, S. Brooks, J. Bolsover, B. Graves. B. Hussain, P. Patel, H. Craig, K. Jones.