Peterborough Town’s potential first-class star can help clinch the Northants Premier Division title, Oundle Town chase club record finish, Market Deeping re-sign Sri Lankan

Josh Smith in action against Desborough. Photo: David Lowndes.
Josh Smith in action against Desborough. Photo: David Lowndes.
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Peterborough Town believe star batsman Josh Smith could break into the first-class game.

Smith fell an agonising four runs short of Town’s record individual score of 184, held by Saleem Mohammed, in last Saturday’s Northants Premier Division rout of Desborough at Bretton Gate (August 31).

Smith followed that up with an innings of 130 for Cambridgeshire in a Unicorns Championship match against Hertfordshire at Saffron Walden the following day. That was a second Cambs ton in a row for the 19 year-old.

Smith’s form is one reason why Town could clinch their first Premier Division title for five years with two games to spare by beating reigning champions Finedon at Bretton Gate tomorrow (September 7, 11.30am).

The opener was unfortunately run out when backing up too far as captain David Clarke hit a straight drive that was tipped back on to the stumps by a Desborough bowler.

“Josh would have hit a double ton,” Clarke said. “It was an awesome innings by a fantastic cricketer. We are proud to have him at our club.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the first-class counties started having a look at him as he’s that good. He was a cracking signing in the winter and one reason why we are going so well in the league.

“One win from our final three games would probably be enough to win the title. If we beat Finedon that will definitely do it, but we’d still be in control even if we do get beaten.

“Finedon are an excellent side though. They have a lot of batting so if the weather holds I’d expect a high-scoring game.”

Oundle Town have never finished higher than fourth in the Premier Division. They are currently third after eight wins in a row and travel to fourth-placed Old Northamptonians tomorrow.

Market Deeping have confirmed Sri Lankan leg spinner Sachithra Perera will return to Outgang Road for a third season in 2020. Perera was the leading wicket-taker in the Lincs Premier Division with 60 in 2018. He has 33 so far this season ahead of Deeping’s final game of the season at home to Bracebridge Heath tomorrow (noon).

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday, September 7

NORTHANTS LEAGUE

(11.30am) Premier Division: Old Northamptonians v Oundle Town, Peterborough Town v Finedon.

LINCS PREMIER DIvision

(Noon): Boston v Bourne, Market Deeping v Bracebridge Heath.

Sunday, September 8

RUTLAND LEAGUE

(12.30pm) Division One: Grantham v King’s Keys, March Town v Oundle Town, Peterborough Town v Market Deeping.