Oakham 1sts face a must-win match against Kegworth on Saturday to move away from the relegation-threatened sides in the division.
The game has taken on more emphasis following Oakahm’s home defeat on Saturday to Billesdon who lead Leicestershire Cricket League Division Three.
Oakham were always going to struggle against the league leaders and their cause was not helped by the late withdrawal of opener Will Stuart-Jones who suffered a suspected fracture in a midweek game.
Batting first, Oakham’s top six struggled against the best bowler in the league, Chris Elliot (5-56), and it was only late runs from Ash Patel (42) and skipper Matt Osman (27) that pushed the score to a well-below par 170 all out in 40 overs.
This was always going to be a tough score to defend on an excellent batting wicket though in reply Billesdon were made to work hard for their runs.
Only James Nourish (42) and Dan Snaith (35) made it past 30 but they eventually passed Oakham’s total for the loss of six wickets in the 37th over to win fairly comfortably by four wickets.
Pick of the Oakham bowlers was Rory Brown who though a little expensive took 4-81 in his 13 overs.
It leaves Oakham in ninth, one place below Saturday’s rivals Kegworth. The match is away.
* Oakham’s Saturday 2nds travelled to Billesdon for the Leicestershire Cricket League Division Seven match and were put into bat on the notoriously poor Billesdon wicket.
The home side’s young opening bowler was pretty rapid but fortunately he was also erratic and contributed the vast majority of the 60 extras (wides, byes, no balls) for the innings – by some way the top score!
After a very shaky start, which saw Oakham 15-3 after only five overs, Counsell (32) and Worthington (14) managed to deal with the hostile bowling until Worthington fell to a leading edge.
This led to another mini collapse until Lyle Copeland came to the wicket and smashed a quick 25 to take the score to a respectable 179 all out on a wicket with extreme variable bounce.
In reply Billesdon started well but then Darran Jones (7-34 in 16 overs), who was well supported by Ryan Thwaites (2-35 in 15 overs), got to work and Billesdon collapsed to 72-8 in only 20 overs.
Unfortunately this brought two senior players to the wicket who were intent on saving the game and they defended resolutely until the ninth wicket fell.
With only two overs left it brought the number 11 to the wicket but he survived and Billesdon finished on 133-9. A winning draw that really should have been a victory given Billesdon’s situation at the 20-over mark.
* Oakham Sunday 1sts took on Ufford in Rutland League Division Two and batted first.
They were given an excellent start by V Naker (47) and the in-form Joe Kendall (76) before some middle order impetus was provided by Rory Brown (30).
Their efforts helped take the score to a respectable 207-8 in 45 overs with Ufford’s Joe Harrington picking up 4-46.
In reply Ufford were soon in disarray with Oakham’s young opening attack of Spencer Shepherd (4-24) and Ben Lemon (2-14) reducing them to 15-6. The first four were clean bowled.
Only a fine 51no from Joe Harrington gave the score any respectability and Harvey Stafford, stepping up from the 2nds, finished off the Ufford innings with the last three wickets for 14 runs.
Ufford were all out for 108 and Oakham were convincing winners by 99 runs.
This victory keeps alive Oakham’s hopes of avoiding relegation as there are now only five points separating the three teams in the final relegation spot and they have a game in hand.