Oakham Cricket Club’s 1st team missed a great opportunity to widen the gap between themselves and the struggling sides in the Everards Leicestershire League’s third division on Saturday.
Playing second-bottom Cosby, it was a classic must-win game for Oakham but they were bolwed out for a poor 124 to lose by 63 runs.
Matt Osman lost the toss and with a hard wicket, blazing sunshine and a fast Lime Kilns outfield expected a long hot afternoon.
However, the Oakham bowlers did a good containing job and despite 56 from C Pople and a late flurry from A Hirst (33no) they restricted Cosby to 187 for 7. Particularly effective on the dry, turning pitch were spinners Jamie Oakley (4-65) and skipper, Matt Osman (2-40).
This should have been a straightforward target at the high scoring Lime Kilns ground. Unfortunately Oakham started badly slipping to 13 for 2 before Chris Larsen (50) steadied the innings. However poor shot selection from many of the Oakham batsmen left him with little support and they were bowled out for 124, 63 runs short.
Oakham’s 2nd XI fared better against Ashby Hastings 3rd XI. Graham Cooper’s side made the long trip to Ashby and continued to demonstrate the fine form seen in the previous week’s defeat of Shepshed Messengers.
Winning the toss and putting the opposition in was a brave move on a hot day but it paid dividends. Ashby opener B Evans - a high class batsmen, well above division 7 status - raced to 52 with some fine strokes on both sides of the wicket but the introduction of veteran Bob Inchley again turned the tide. A well flighted delivery tempted the opposition’s star batsmen into a rash stroke and he was caught by Freddie Turner at short cover.
Apart from some late hitting by Rob Doleman (39) the rest of Ashby’s young side struggled against the spin of Inchley who finished with the excellent figures of 6 for 36 from 15 overs as Ashby were dismissed for 148.
This proved easy meat for Oakham’s opening pair Graham Cooper (72no) and Mazz Edge (52no) who after a careful start accelerated against a tiring bowling attack to pass the Ashby total in 37 overs leaving Oakham winners by a comfortable 10 wicket margin.