SKIPPER Sean Cowley blasted seven sixes including one that cleared a house as Oakham drew at Enderby on Saturday.
Oakham were unlucky not to beat the side who currently sit top of the Leicestershire League’s third division after reaching 262-6 in their innings.
Issac Whiteley-Smith claimed two early wickets in the first over of Enderby’s reply but the hosts dug in to hold onto their vital final wicket.
It was an excellent display all round from Oakham with number four batsman Bhavin Shukla hitting a half-century as he and Cowley struck a partnership of more than 100.
Once in the field, Oakham kept up the pressure with wickets shared among the bowling attack and with excellent fielding throughout.
The Oakham skipper was delighted, saying: “We were away at Enderby, who are top of the table and have blasted teams away this season.
“Will Stuart-Jones and Dave Ramshaw got off to a good start, I played alright and Bhavin scored his first half century of the season with an array of shots around the ground.”
Shukla thumped four sixes but that tally was eclipsed his captain who sent one massive boundary sailing over a nearby house.
“There was a lot of big hitting,” said Cowley. “I think that was as good a knock as I have played for Oakham.”
After Oakham’s devastating batting performance, they were looking for a strong start in the field - and they got it with Whiteley-Smith taking two wickets in his first over.
The young swing bowler was playing for Oakham’s 2nd XI last season and has impressed Cowley with his development, saying: “He is a player who has come through the juniors and continues to go from strength to strength.”
But Enderby proved stubborn and going into the final few overs all three results were still possible. Enderby’s hopes of a remarkable win realistically came to an end when Ashish Patel claimed their dangerman with a magnificent caught and bowled for 66.
Unfortunately for Oakham, they had to settle for a draw and despite picking up 17 out of a possible 24 points, they remain low in an extremely tight table. The division is so even, that had they claimed the last wicket, they would have rocketed to third.
Oakham play Shepshed Messengers at home tomorrow afternoon.
n OAKHAM’S 2nd XI picked up their second successive win last Saturday, beating Shepshed’s 2nd XI at the Lime Kilns.
The visitors put Oakham in to bat and after a steady opening partnership of 41 between Tom and Graham Cooper, Tom was dismissed for 19. This brought the experienced Maz Edge to the wicket and he and Graham Cooper took the game to Shepshed.
Excellent stroke play and strong running between the wickets left the Shepshed attack in disarray. The pair put on 156 for the second wicket before Cooper was run out for 93, chasing one quick single too many.
U15 player Albert Radford then scored a quick 22 not out to help Oakham to a fantastic 255-2 with Maz Edge remaining unbeaten on 97.
Shepshed were never in the hunt chasing such a large total and despite some big hitting in the middle order they found Matt Parnham (3-31) and Tom Cooper (2-10) too hot to handle, finishing on 144 all out leaving Oakham winners by 111 runs.
They were not helped by a number of run outs due to the excellent Oakham fielding.
Oakham 2nd XI travel to Billesdon tomorrow.