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The Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket League gets underway this weekend

Rutland cricket clubs have completed the final preparations for the start of the new Leicestershire League campaign this weekend.

Oakham, Uppingham, Ketton Sports and Market Overton all get their seasons underway on Saturday with Wakerley and Barrowden starting next month.

Oakham begin their Premier Division campaign on Saturday with a home clash with Newtown Linford.

Cameron Flowers finished with 4-6 for Oakham.
Cameron Flowers finished with 4-6 for Oakham.

Their final pre-season outing at the weekend saw the Rutlanders beaten by 17 runs in a close contest with Lincolnshire Premier League side Sleaford.

The visitors had batted first and were bowled out for 233 with Cameron Flowers and Rob Taylor among the wickets for Oakham.

Flowers finished a productive five over spell with a fantastic 4-6 that included two maidens while Taylor turned in 3-24 from 5.1 overs.

Charlie Baker, Edward Siddle and Ed Tattersall also took a wicket apiece after Sleaford had made a strong start which saw Shaan Patel (50) and Aayush Patel (60) put on 109 runs for the opening wicket.

Shaan Patel then returned 4-43 from eight overs as Oakham were bowled out for 216 in their reply.

Alex Anthony hit a half-century for the Rutlanders while Shaun Morris made 30 against his former club before being run out.

Siddle also struck a run-a-ball 23 that included two sixes and a four before Sleaford took the honours.

Uppingham Town will go into Saturday’s Division One opener at Loughborough Carillon on a high after a comprehensive 134-run victory over Finedon Dolben at the weekend.

The match was Town’s first outing of the 2021 season and they got their campaign off to the best possible start.

Batting first, unbeaten half-centuries from Jamie Dumford (66) and Mark Cox (52) along with 53 from Sam Hodson set Town on the way to an imposing total of 249-4 from 45 overs.

A run-a-ball third wicket partnership of 94 between Hodson and Dumford was the highlight of their innings.

And life didn’t get any easy for the visitors when it was their turn to bat.

Mark Cox hit an unbeaten half-century for Uppingham.
Mark Cox hit an unbeaten half-century for Uppingham.

Opener Callum Dunne top-scored with 39, but a steady flow of wickets at the other end meant Finedon were never going to challenge the total.

Every Town bowler got among the wickets with two each for Toby Rees, Kash Munir and Cox while Kester Sainsbury’s maiden wicket for the club was just reward for an excellent five over spell that cost just seven runs.

Ketton Sports were on the receiving end of some big hitting from Jay Bagoan as visiting Asian Sports ran out 136-run in Saturday’s match at Pit Lane.

Bagoan blasted 11 fours and five sixes in his 119 runs off 104 balls as the visitors racked up 268-9 from their 45 overs.

Adam Renton returned 3-29 from seven overs for the hosts while Jacob Miller also bagged a brace of wickets.

A half-century from Martin Underwood was then the highlight of Ketton Sports’ reply as they were bowled out for 132.

Underwood top-scored with 53 after hitting five fours and three sixes against an Asian Sports attack that saw Vivek Quessou claim 4-41 from eight overs while Hiren Patel conceded just 16 runs from his seven overs while taking three wickets.

Sports also played Castor for the Henson/Dellar Trophy on Sunday with the visitors running out 115-run winners at Pit Lane.

Reece Smith struck an unbeaten 100 before retiring while Castor opener Josh Weaver also called time on his innings after making a half-century as the visitors posted 219-2 from their 40 overs.

Martin Underwood top-scored for Ketton Sports with a half-century.
Martin Underwood top-scored for Ketton Sports with a half-century.

Mat Bird top-scored with 38 for Sports while Daniel Hughes hit 36 as they were bowled out for 104. Ryan Evans claimed 5-14 from 5.3 overs for Castor.

Oakham 2nds – who travel to Birstall Village this weekend for their Division Four East opener – defeated Belvoir 2nds by five wickets in their friendly on Saturday.

They bowled out their hosts for 159 as Angus Owen claimed an impressive 3-20 from eight overs.

Rory Brown (2-33), Tom Clifton (2-15), Harry Lemon (2-32) and Will Stuart-Jones (1-6) also made crucial contributions to the Oakham cause.

Stuart-Jones (20) and Charles Gill (31) got the Oakham reply off to a good start with a half-century opening partnership.

Will Bell then blasted an unbeaten 44 off 50 deliveries which included six fours and a six to guide Oakham to victory.

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