Peterborough Town skipper David Clarke was singing the praises of an outstanding player down at Bretton Gate on Saturday.
The only trouble was, that player wasn’t one of his own - it was Rushden all-rounder Chanaka Ruwansiri.
The Sri Lankan professional had just helped the Premier Division strugglers, who were second bottom on arrival in the city, to their first win of the season
They took the honours by four wickets and that was another shock to the Town system. Seven days earlier they had crashed to a first defeat of the season at Brixworth and the latest loss cost them top spot.
“Two defeats on the trot is not ideal but there’s a long way to go yet,” said Clarke, who then proceeded to explain just why they lost .
“Their professional batted really well. He was the matchwinner. It was a green wicket and he played the conditions well.
“He mastered our spin attack and we just didn’t have the answers.”
He scored 80 out of Rushden’s winning reply of 214-6 , which they attained with five overs to go.
Town had ealier totalled 210-8, of which Lewis Bruce contributed 62 not out.
This weekend Town face a trip to Rushton and Clarke is expecting another tough test.
“There are no easy games it seems in this league this season,” he added. “Rushton are going well - they’re second in the table, and they have a very good player in James Kettleborough. He was released by Northants last year and he’s been getting a few runs for them.
“So we’ll need to apply ourselves fully to get any sort of result.”
Town will be without spinner Paul McMahon (work commitments) and paceman David Sayer (injured).
Daniel Oldham and Scott Howard will come into the side.
The new Premier Division leaders - for the first time ever - are Oundle Town, who crushed rock-bottom Wollaston by eight wickets.
With Bashrat Hussain (4-29) and Hanno Kotze (5-12) both in menacing form with the ball, Oundle were able to bowl out their hosts for just 71 in 27.3 overs.
Then Kotze blasted a quickfire 43 not out (five fours and three sixes) to steer Oundle to 74-2 in 15 overs.
There was another solid performance by Peterborough Town seconds in Division Two.
They returned from Wellingborough Indians on the back of a 165-run win after some fine individual performances with bat and ball.
With the bat it was Hewa Atapattu (58), Connor Parnell (40no) and Scott Howard (49) who impressed as Town made 251-7 off their 50 overs and then the best bowlers were Nadir Haider (7-37) and Farhan Adil (3-47) as the Indians were scalped for 86.
Peterborough Town progressed to the area final of the National Club KO competition when defeating Banbury in a third round tie at Bretton Gate on Sunday.
They bowled Banbury out for 170 with Ryan Evans taking 4-17 and then Alex Mitchell (51), Scott Howard (39no) and Clarke (38) did well with the bat.
The area final is at High Wycombe on June 25