An outstanding innings from Peterborough Town’s opening batsman Chris Milner delivered victory and a 29-point lead at the top of the Northants Premier Division yesterday (July 6).
Milner was thrust up the batting order at the start of the season thanks to captain David Clarke’s dodgy knee and he’s responded with 493 runs at an average in excess of 50 in 11 innings. Only two top-class players have scored more runs in the division so far this season.
Milner has now recorded five half centuries, but none have been as valuable as yesterday’s as he cracked an unbeaten 69 as Town passed opponents Wollaston’s 105 all out with four wickets in hand. The quality of the knock, and the standard of the Wollaston track, was emphasised by the next Town top score of eight from Scott Howard, who kept Milner company during a match-winning seventh-wicket stand of 41 after the city side had slumped to 65-6.
The absence of Town’s three top seam bowlers helped Wollaston race away to 50 in 10 overs, but the introduction of spin in the shape of former Cambs captain Lewis Bruce and then 15 year-old leggie Karanpal Singh caused a dramatic collapse as the hosts lost their last nine wickets for just 39 runs.
Singh is a real find. He bagged 4-10 from eight overs and two balls, while Bruce collected 3-23.
A draw between the second and third placed teams helped Town pull clear at the halfway stage. The league now switches to win/lose 50 over games which should suit Town who have a fine array of bowling talent.
Oundle Town smashed Brixworth by 157 runs at Milton Road. Captain Mark Hodgson’s 72 pushed the home side up to 230-8 before the Craig brothers, Harrison (4-17) and Conor (3-11) ran through the Brixworth innings as they crashed to 77 all out.
Peterborough Town are at Overstone today (July 7) for Northants T20 Finals Day. They play First Division Wellingborough in the first semi-final (10.30am) and if successful will then meet either Northampton Saints or Finedon in the final.
Saturday, July 6
OUNDLE beat to BRIXWORTH by 157 runs
Oundle 230-8 (M. Hodgson 72, P. Adams 46, C. Craig 28, H. Craig 23, L. Evans 4-41).
Brixworth 77 (H. Craig 7.5-1-17-4; C. Craig 7-3-11-3).
WOLLASTON lost to PETERBOROUGH TOWN by 4 wkts
Wollaston 105 (K. Singh 8.2-2-10-4), L. Bruce 11-3-23-3).
Peterborough Town 106-6 (C. Milner 69no, C. Perry 15-7-21-4)