OAKHAM can take a lot of positives after holding out for a draw against a strong Billesdon outfit at the Lime Kilns on Saturday.
Oakham won the toss, and on a pitch that they believed would improve as the day went on, decided to bowl first. From the start the bowling was tight and economical, with a great opening spell from Shyam Lakhani and Steve Mendes.
The tight bowling continued with Darren Jones, Rory Brown and Graeme North but the problem that Oakham always faced was wickets.
With less than 10 overs to go and only 120 on the board, Billesden had lost only two wickets and from this point the opposition had wickets in hand to unleash a barrage of hard hitting, pummelling more than 100 runs from the last 10 overs to end on 226-5.
In reply, Oakham made a steady and encouraging start. Sam Wills and Rohit Shukla looked in little trouble putting on 70 before Shukla fell.
Oakham never really seemed to recover from this set back, with batsman looking to play shots and losing wickets at regular intervals. And with no-one managing to gain any momentum or control, the lower order looked to at least secure a losing draw, with Dave Ramshaw, Nick Begy, and in particular Darren Jones seeing out the last few overs as Oakham ended on 135-9.
Club captain Nick Begy said: “This in many ways was a game a year ago we would have lost.
“We have learned as a team to play out for a draw, and in a league where a small number of points can make a large difference this is important.
“However we still have to make progress and learn to build an innings and not be intent on hitting our way out of trouble. The team were not helped with three or four key players away but with patience we could have got closer to that total.”
The second XI built on last week’s fine start with another win; a victory at Market Bosworth on Saturday.
Market Overton’s Matt Parnham lent a helping hand taking two wickets during a mean 10 overs which cost only 16 runs.
Joe Lemon (66) and Rupert Inglesant (57) set Oakham well on way to 229. Bosworth’s 3rd XI were then dismissed for 169.
l COACHING for U15 and U17 players continues on Wednesdays at 6pm at the Lime Kilns.