Northants Premier Division teams might struggle to beat Peterborough Town, but the weather gods have started to bother the reigning champions.
For the second Saturday in a row, Town were denied a probale victory by rain and yesterday (June 20) they lost ground on top two Rushden and Finedon who both managed to complete victories.
Town’s deadly duo of paceman Joe Dawborn and off-spinner Paul McMahon had hosts Old Northamptonians on the back foot throughout their innings, but constant interruptions for rain meant the city side were left with an impossible batting task.
When Town finally started their innings it was 7.30pm and they had just 17 overs to score 141 to win. Without the fielding restrictions found in one-day and Twenty/20 cricket that’s a task that would be beyond Bairstow, Buttler and co.
Town had a nominal go, but closed on 88-6. And this being the Northants League - a competition which can see a team lose five points just for losing the toss - the team who played less well collected the most points.
Once a Northants League game starts, the team batting first can still use their full allocation of 55 overs no matter how many weather interruptions they suffer, and, after a poor start that’s exactly what ONs sensibly tried to do.
Town’s failure to break a stubborn ninth-wicket partnership of 33 early enough was costly which was tough on Dawborn (5-52) who was exceptional again at the top of the innings and McMahon (5-27) who was excellent towards the end.
David Clarke hit a big six in his his 41 for Town who now face a massive game at home to Finedon next Saturday (June 27).
T. Webb b Dawborn 11
R. White b Dawborn 36
B. Baker b Dawborn 0
Z. Khawaja c and b Dawborn 12
J. Mellor c Milner b McMahon 24
T. Hall c Williams b McMahon 1
M. Cory c Butt b McMahon 1
J. Grayson b Dawborn 8
D. Waite c Clarke b McMahon 18
T. Heathfield not out 18
T. Pedel c Williams b McMahon 0
Bowling: J. Dawborn 17-3-52-5; J. Smith 7-0-37-0; P. McMahon 16.3-6-27-5; K. Jones 4-2-7-0; L. Bruce 3-0-10-0.
A. Butt b Webb 18
D. Clarke c Grayson b Heathfield 41
T. Young b Heathfield 5
P. McMahon c Khawaja b Webb 1
M. Howard c Baker b Pedel 7
J. Dawborn c Khawaja b Pedel 7
L. Bruce not out 6
C. Milner not out 0
TOTAL (6 wkts) 88
Bowling: T. Webb 6-0-37-2; T. Heathfield 6-1-28-2; T. Pedel 5-1-21-2.
Alex Martin finished unbeaten on 100 when Oundle completed their seven-wicket win against Stony Stratford at Milton Road.
Martin’s runs came from exactly 100 balls and included 16 fours and one six. His six brought up his hundred and sealed victory with over 12 overs to spare.
Zeeshan Manzoor was also in typically free-scoring form. He finished undefeated on 41 from 34 balls, an innings that included three sixes and three fours.
Stony had been dismissed for 231 with Richard Cunningham taking 4-59.
Stony Straford 231 (Praveen Chandran 69, Prasanna Chandran 50, R. Cunningham 4-59, J. Bolsover 2-60).
Oundle 234-3 (A. Martin 100no, P. Foster 42, Z. Manzoor 41no, B. Groom 37).
Oundle will host Division Two side Rothwell in the quarter-finals of the Northants Twenty/20 competition on Tuesday, June 30.
Oundle are one win away from County Finals Day at the County Ground, Northampton. They have yet to play a top-flight side in the competition.
Draw: Oundle v Rothwell, Finedon v Old Northamptonians, Horton House v Rushton, East Haddon v Stony Stratford.