Oakham skipper Matt Osman has called on his side to kick-start their season with a maximum points haul at the Lime Kilns on Saturday.
Oakham’s 1st XI sit just below the mid-table pack in division three of the Leicestershire League but, on paper at least, will not have a better chance to boost their standing than when bottom side Shepshed Messengers visit.
“It’s a must-win game for us and I am looking for a solid performance.
“Shepshed are bottom and I don’t think it’s disrespectful to aim for 24 points.
“We are still a top half side on paper. We just need a win to get us going.”
Osman expects to be without Rohit and Bhavin Shukla for a couple more weeks but has been boosted by the arrival of 16-year-old Cameron Down.
Oakham School player Down took six wickets for 46 on his debut for the side in their defeat at Mountsorrel Castle last weekend and his skipper was impressed.
“He played one game for the seconds last year but hasn’t been available for us until now,” added Osman.
“It was a bowler friendly wicket but he made the most of it. He has been coached very well and got a good variety of wickets.”
Mountsorrel batted first and made a good score of 182 all out. Unfortunately Down’s work exploits with the ball were not matched by Oakham’s top order who quickly collapsed to 20 for 5, leaving the lower order with an uphill task to win or save the game.
Despite the efforts of Osman (30) and bowling star, Down (17), they were unable to get near the target and were dismissed for 113.
Osman felt they should have done better but the loss increases the pressure on Oakham who need to start putting together some better results to prevent the season turning into a relegation battle.
l Oakham’s 2nd XI hung on for a losing draw at home to a young but talented Lutterworth 3rd XI on Saturday. After two days of rain, the Lime Kilns was green but hard and, expecting some assistance for the seamers, stand-in skipper, Andrew Counsell, put Lutterworth in to bat.
Oakham started well with tight bowling from opening bowlers Nathan Excel (2 for 36) and Darran Jones. However, with the exception of Harvey Stafford (2 for 45) Oakham’s second string bowlers proved expensive and Martinez (60) and Fairbrother (49) took full advantage, helping Lutterworth to a competitive 217 for 6 in 45 overs.
Oakham’s reply started well with Matt Edge and Counsell taking the score to 40 before both were dismissed when well set. A number of batsmen made decent starts with Mark Worthington (22) and Eddy Loring (25) before falling to some outstanding catches and wickets fell steadily.
Last pair Harvey Stafford and Hayden Vokes faced nine overs at the wicket but with some fine defensive batting defied the opposition and held on as Oakham finished on 145 for 9.
It was an unsatisfactory result for Oakham, who had harboured hopes of promotion at the start of the season. They face bottom of the table, Shepshed Messengers 2nd XI on Saturday.