OAKHAM enjoyed their best weekend of the season by far with four wins in four games and several superb individual performances last Saturday and Sunday.
Jamie Oakley was perhaps the star of the show helping himself to 11 wickets, with eight during a mesmerising 10 over spell for Oakham’s 1st XI on Sunday.
Oakley claimed eight for 26 after bagging three for 24 off 10.5 overs against Kegworth a day earlier. But he wasn’t alone in finding form.
New recruit Richard Worrall smacked a century on his Oakham debut, as Oakham 2nds beat Castor and Ailsworth 2nds. Matt Osman chipped in with a half-century as Oakham scored 214-4 to win by 32 runs in the Rutland League’s sixth tier on Sunday.
Chris Larsen struck a half century for Oakham in the Leicestershire League on Saturday, making 63 against Kegworth, and Matt Edge made 83 not out for the Sunday first team who then over-ran Stewarts and Lloyds Corby, also in the Rutland League’s second division, largely thanks to Oakley’s lethal spell.
“It was probably the best spell of bowling I’ve seen for a few years,” said Sunday 1st XI skipper Rory Brown.
“He bowled well on Saturday but even better on Sunday. He got so much turn and bounce; some balls were unplayable.”
Brown opened the bowling with Charlie Baker on Sunday and felt they were not getting enough movement. He brought in leg-spinner Oakley and Dave Falconer, and the tactical switch paid dividends
“Dave bowled some fantastic balls as well but Jamie was on a different level,” said Brown. “I was stood at gulley and the batsmen had no idea what to do. He’s got everything, including a fantastic quicker ball.”
Among Oakley’s victims were the visitor’s number three batsman who had a go at hoisting the leg spinner towards the boundary and a talented opener, who Brown described as “the dangerman”. These two wickets formed part of a trio that Oakley sent walking in one over as he narrowly missed out on a hat-trick.
“The third wicket was strange,” added the Oakham skipper. “The ball was edged behind and came up off Joe Lemon (Oakham’s wicketkeeper), who kneed it up to short cover where it was caught (by Mark Romasiuk). Joe had a very good game behind the stumps.”
On Saturday, all-rounder Steve Mendes bagged two wickets in the final over to ensure Oakham took maximum points against Kegworth 2nds in the Leicestershire League’s third division.
Oakham dismissed Kegworth for 153 after posting 239-7 in their 45 overs. Dave Ramshaw opened with 49, James Booth struck a typically quick 36 and Paul Haynes was 37 not out after Australian Chris Larsen had top-scored with 63.
Brown, who plays for Oakham’s Saturday and Sunday 1st teams, said: “Larsen has not played much over the last few years but he’s a class act. He will punish any bad bowling.”
With the cricket year at the midway stage, Brown expects Oakham to have a strong second half to the season.
He said: “Now we have the boys back from university I think we should start pushing up the table.
“With the players we have, we should not be down the league and should be pushing for mid-table and higher.”
l OAKHAM 1st play Billesdon away tomorrow and Wisbech away in the Rutland League on Sunday. The 2nd XI play Market Bosworth 2nds at home tomorrow and host Hampton in the Rutland League on Sunday.