CRICKET: Oakham seconds cruise to a 10-wicket win

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OAKHAM’S 2nd XI were in irresistible form on Saturday while the first team found the challenge of the division leaders just too much at the Lime Kilns.

The 1st XI faced unbeaten Enderby in the Everards Leicestershire League’s third division, knowing they were one of only two sides this year to frustrate the leaders, when they drew at Enderby early in the season. But Oakham couldn’t reproduce the form of that day and, batting first on a very good Lime Kilns wicket, they failed to take advantage of a solid start with a middle order collapse that saw them dismissed for a well below par 184.

Top scorer was Bhavin Shukla with 36, followed by skipper Sean Cowly (29), Sam Wills (27) and Rohit Shukla (25).

Table-topping Enderby raced to the total of 184 for the loss of just four wickets in only 30 overs to take maximum points and leave Oakham too close tor the relegation zone for comfort.

In division seven, Oakham’s 2nd XI made light work of Shepshed Messengers 2nd XI, winning by 10 wickets.

Oakham travelled needing to win to maintain their challenge at the top of the league, and skipper Matt Osman continued his good, recent record winning the toss and putting the opposition in on what looked to be a poor wicket.

His judgement was rewarded as Shepshed were quickly two wickets down and the wickets continued to tumble with opening bowler Matt Parnham capturing four wickets with some hostile bowling. He was well supported by Osman and Bob Inchley with 2 wickets each and, after a dogged last wicket partnership from Shepshed they were eventually all out for 105.

Graham Cooper cracked an unbeaten 63, and Matt Edge 38 not out batted carefully on an increasingly difficult wicket and took the sting out of the opposition bowling attack.

As the Shepshed bowlers tired in humid conditions the Oakham openers went on the attack with some fine shots from both Cooper and Edge quickly taking the Oakham score past that of Shepshed and Oakham reached 109 without loss in just 22.1 overs for the maximum 24 points.

They remain in contention for promotion, only one point behind second-placed Hinckley Town 2nds.