Ajaz Akhtar, one of the greatest local cricketers of all time, rolled back the years to bowl Barnack to a crucial Rutland Division One win yesterday (August 13).
The swing-bowler supreme has been a social media irritant to local players for most of this summer, but he still has the ability to torment on the pitch as well.
Akhtar rarely bowls these days, but he picked the ball up in a big relegation battle against Stamford Town and promptly claimed 7-38 from 10 overs as the bottom club were shot out for just 67 in 19 overs and two balls.
Muhammad Yaseen collected the other three wickets to fall. Yasir Mirza (48), Mohammed Hammad (44), Shahid Muhammed (33) and Akhtar (25) scored the bulk of Barnack’s 183-7.
The other key relegation clash at Bretton Gate was won by Peterborough Town over Market Deeping.
Both clubs try and give club members, however talented, a run-out on a Sunday and Town edged this one after restricting Deeping to 169-9 in their 45 overs.
Teenagers were well to the fore with Nick Green top scoring with 39 and taking two wickets for Deeping, while Connor Parnell, who dismissed the impressive Green, taking two wickets and joining 18 year-old Mohammed Danyaal (31no) in a crucial unbroken seventh-wicket stand.
Kieran Judd, another emerging youngster, top scored for Town with 32, but the city side’s man-of-the-match was 16 year-old off-spinner Mohammed Saif who finished with 5-26 from 12 exceptional overs.
There are now just 11 points separating Market Deeping, who are next-to-bottom, and Ketton, who are sixth.
Ketton were beaten by 33 runs at Bourne yesterday for whom openers Pete Morgan and Jordan Temple both cracked half centuries in a team score of 218-8. Pete Rowe responded with 78 for Ketton.
Leaders Wisbech hammered Nassington by seven wickets as veteran Ali Anthony smacked an undefeated 63.
Skipper Bashrat Hussain struck 75 for second-placed Oundle and bagged two wickets in a 19-run win over Grantham.
BOURNE beat KETTON by 33 runs
Bourne 218-8 (P. Morgan 59, J. Temple 55, J. Evison 41, Z. Manzoor 4-49, T. Aziz 2-72).
Ketton 185 (P. Rowe 78, T. Aziz 26, S. Mahmood 26, B. Stroud 3-31, T. Dixon 3-48, S. Evison 2-19).
NASSINGTON lost to WISBECH by 7 wkts
Nassington 128 (B. Potter 33, M. Shifran 24, L. Jackson 2-3, J. Dunning 2-15, K. Hallett 2-23, A. Whittaker 2-26).
Wisbech 132-3 (A. Anthony 63no, D. Haynes 40, D. Stannard 20).
OUNDLE beat GRANTHAM by 19 runs
Oundle 169 (B. Hussain 75, J. Dobson 4-38).
Grantham 150 (M. Hodgson 3-29, J. Charlton 3-32, B. Hussain 2-24).
PETERBOROUGH TOWN beat MARKET DEEPING by 4 wkts
Market Deeping 169-9 (N. Green 39, Z. Simmonds 38, P. Harrington 21, D. Thomas 20, M. Saif 5-26, C. Parnell 2-26).
Town 172-6 (K. Judd 32, M. Danyaal 31no, C. Milner 31, S. Howard 21, Z. Simmonds 3-34, N. Green 2-37).
STAMFORD lost to BARNACK by 116 runs
Barnack 183-7 (Y. Mirza 48, M. Hammad 44, M. Shahid 33, A. Akhtar 25, S. Chamberlain 3-18).
Stamford 67 (A. Akhtar 7-38, M. Yaseen 3-19).