Oakham prepared for a potential Leicestershire and Rutland League Division Three show-down with neighbours Uppingham next week in the worst possible manner, falling to a six wicket loss at the hands of Stoughton and Thurnby Second XI.
Homeside Stoughton won the toss and chose to bowl which proved to be a sensible decision as Oakham’s normally potent batsman failed to spark on the difficult surface.
Opener Albert Radford scored just four runs despite facing 25 balls before he was caught off the bowling of Harry Funnell who took two wickets for 21 runs.
Stoughton’s Mohammed Idris Meman was simply unplayable all afternoon and he went home with three wickets for 27 runs. Perhaps even more impressively half of his 12 overs bowled were maidens, shutting down the Oakham offence to put them well behind their desired run rate.
Even when the men at the crease got hold of the ball impressive fielding insured runs were at a premium.
Will Stuart-Jones hit 23 before being bowled by Idris Meman - just he took 70 balls to do so. Will Bell hit a much quicker 32 but when he was caught off the bowling of Adrian Pierson (1-21) the rest of the order offered little resistance.
Just Shyam Lakhani who stuck around for 50 balls to hit 20 runs at number eight in the order. Oakham were eventually bowled out for 136 with two balls of the innings left to play.
The Stoughton bowlers had restricted Oakham to just 13 boundries in their innings, and left them with a run rate of 3 an over.
The miserly total meant Oakham’s bowlers would have to be at their best to get anything out of the match.
However despite their best efforts the task was too great. There was some hope early on when Darren Jones caught opener James Boden lbw for just five runs but his partner Vivek Naker put on 28 runs before being caught and bowled by Albert Radford who was the pick of the Oakham bowlers, taking 3 wickets for 44 runs in 11 overs of action.
Stoughton’s match winner with the bat was Priyank Patel with an unbeaten 66 to see his side home to a comfortable victory in the 37th over, submitting Oakham to just their second loss of the season.
Oakham Second XI also had a difficult afternoon on Saturday, enduring a losing draw at home to Leicester Caribbean Second XI.
Caribbean reached 200-5 in their innings and Oakham were unable to chase down the target set. Graeme North did his best to get Oakham home, top scoring for the homeside with 59 but in the end a slow run rate meant they ran out of time and finished on 175-8.
Oakham sit in sixth in Division Six East.