Oakham Cricket Club kicked off their season this weekend and had mixed results with two winning draws and a loss.
On Saturday, Oakham 1sts travelled to Cosby for their opening fixture of the Everards Leicestershire Cricket League Division 3.
Oakham batted first and were given a rapid start by Will Stuart-Jones with 17 off the first over.
Things then settled down with a solid innings from Jamie McCormack (41), supported by consistent contributions from the Oakham batting order which enabled the team to reach a creditable 209-9.
A fine spell of seam bowling by Darren Jones ensured that the Cosby reply never got going and six wickets from the spin twins Albert Radford (4-30) and Matt Osman, with two wickets, ensured they struggled to 133-8.
The last two wickets eluded the Oakham side but skipper Osman was pleased with a winning draw and the 19 points given the usual early season difficulties with availability.
l Oakham 2nds were at home to new boys Ashby Hastings 3rds in the Division 7 clash.
On a dry but cold and breezy day, new captain Graham Cooper won the toss and, despite some reservations given the green-tinged wicket, decided to bat.
This looked like a serious mistake when Cooper and two batsman were back in the pavilion with only 16 runs on the board.
However solid perfor-mances from the middle order of Bim Down (36), Murray Speed (67), Freddie Turner (52) and Neil Southern, with a rapid 41no, including six sixes, ensured a very competitive total of 233-6.
In reply, Ashby made a steady start reaching 63 before John Morton, making a rare appearance for the side, took two wickets in an over.
Supported by accurate bowling from Freddie Turner, Ashby Hastings never looked like reaching the Oakham total but in an attempt to ‘buy’ wickets, Oakham allowed P Patel (55), with the aid of two dropped catches, to get them back in the hunt.
However, Morton returned to calm things down, finishing with fine figures of 6-63 in 18 overs.
He was well supported by Dave Ramshaw (2-17) but Oakham just couldn’t manage to take the final wicket and Ashby finished on 209-9 leaving the Oakham side with a winning draw and 17 points.
l On Sunday, Oakham 2nds faced a strong Newborough in the Rutland League Division 5.
Newborough won the toss and put Oakham in on a cold, windy, and overcast day.
After a decent start from Edge (70no) and Rohit Shukla (33), the Oakham innings stalled and, despite a brisk cameo from Peter Coulson (24), could only reach 176 for 6 which was below par on a fast outfield and drying wicket.
In swirling and strengthening winds, Oakham’s openers Ash Patel and Rob Frith took early wickets, but then the Newborough middle order started to take a grip on the game and had little difficulty reaching their target in 38 overs for the loss of only four wickets.
As expected, Division 5 will be a big step up in standard for this young development side but captain Neil Southern is hopeful that he will be able to field a stronger side once the summer exam season is over.