OAKHAM’S 1st XI pulled off a remarkable great escape for the second year in succession on Sunday.
A year ago the Lime Kilns side needed to beat Ufford Park to avoid relegation; and they did it again this season, against the same team.
Last year it was a final over hat-trick that saved Oakham from relegation to Division three. This year it was a magnificent 130 runs from Carl Fourie.
Ufford won the toss and batted first reaching 238-6, a tough target for the team batting second. However, Fourie took the attack to the Ufford bowlers and when he was eventually dismissed Darren Jones and Tim Hubbard saw Oakham home to a great victory with only two balls to spare.
Oakham’s survival means that there will be more a local feel to the Rutland League’s second tier next season when they are joined by Uppingham and Market Overton.
OAKHAM could still, if results elsewhere favour them, finish the season in third place in division three following a fine victory at home to Kegworth on Saturday.
Kegworth won the toss and opted to bat on a good track with a fast outfield and reached 243-6 with D Wall making 97 for the visitors before falling just short of his century. The pick of the Oakham bowlers was Ashish Patel with 3-46 in 14 overs.
In the absence of captain Sean Cowley, Oakham made a good start to their innings with the opening partnership from Will Stuart-Jones (84) and Rohit Shukla (65) putting them well on the way to victory.
Chris Larsen (51no) and Joff Ward (26no) ensured that Oakham cruised to an easy eight wicket win to consolidate their mid-table position ahead of Saturday’s final round of matches when they travel to Barwell.
l ANY lingering promotion hopes harboured by Oakham’s 2nd XI in division seven, disappeared with a comprehensive defeat at league leaders Loughborough 3rd XI.
Oakham were forced to travel with only 10 men due to unavailablity while against them Loughborough strengthened their side by players from their 2nd XI and possibly 1st XI - both of whom were champions of their respective divisions.
The below-strength Oakham seconds were bundled out for only 104.
Loughborough, with Daniel Wakeling making 67 not out, quickly overhauled this poor total winning by nine wickets.
Oakham’s 2nd XI have one game remaining at the Lime Kilns, against Ratby 2nd XI on Saturday, when hopefully player availability will be improve. A good win could still reward Oakham with a third place finish.