Match action returns to Oakham Cricket Club ahead of the new season
Oakham Cricket Club enjoyed a run-laden return to action with a double bill of friendlies to start the new campaign over the weekend.
More than 500 runs were scored at the Lime Kilns on Saturday as the Rutland club staged a President's against Chairman's team contest.
Oakham then hosted the Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Board Under 18s side on Sunday and successfully chased down their visitors' target of 211 to start their plans for the forthcoming Leicestershire League campaign which begins on April 24.
The Chairman's XI were put into bat first in Saturday's inter-club clash and had an early setback when opener Will Begy was dismissed fourth ball courtesy of Shyam Lakhani's catch from Charlie Baker's bowling.
Baker then had Alex Anthony caught by John Morton to leave the Chairman's XI reeling on 18-2, however, Rob Taylor and Ed Tattersall started the revival.
They put on 79 runs for the third wicket before Taylor became their first batsman to retire after reaching 50 having hit three fours and three sixes.
Chris Larsen joined Tattersall to added another 45 runs for the next wicket until the latter retired on the half-century mark having cracked six fours and a six in his innings.
Angus Owen added another 15 runs before Ed Siddle struck twice in quick succession to leave the Chairman's XI on 190-4.
Larsen became the third player to be clapped off after hitting nine boundaries in his unbeaten half-century which left Sam Janes and Mark Owen to add some late momentum to the innings.
Janes hit 24 off just 20 deliveries while Owen was unbeaten on 13 at the close as the Chairman's XI posted 277-7 from 43 overs.
Openers Richard Martin and Cameron Flowers got the President's reply off to a steady start before Janes struck twice to dismiss the openers.
He then had Fergus Cato caught behind by Larsen to leave the President's side on 51-3 which soon became 78-5 as Joe Arkwright and Toby Coulson fell cheaply.
Lakhani was the mainstay of the President's innings though as he plundered seven fours and a six in his 51 not out before retiring.
Siddle also struck 26 before Baker's belligerent late onslaught rallied the President's side.
He smashed seven fours and four sixes in an unbeaten 79 not out off only 69 balls while sharing a superb last wicket stand of 67 with Harry Lemon who made 17.
Mark Owen - who finished with 2-12 - eventually ended their spirited resistance as the President's team closed on 236-9. Janes had earlier ended his spell with 3-38 from six overs.
Sunday's clash in unseasonal weather conditions for cricket saw the talented Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Board elect to bat first.
Shaun Morris and Baker picked up a couple of early wickets to finish with 1-34 and 2-21 respectively from six-over stints.
Max Law led the visitors' charge by hitting five fours and a six in his 52 before being caught by wicket-keeper Martin off Siddle's bowling.
Vaughan Schofield (22), Raheem Ahmed (28) and Sam Wood (23) all made tidy contributions before Kieran Pell plundered 51 runs off 41 balls that included four fours and two sixes which helped the Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Board finish their 40 overs on 211-8.
Flowers and Will Begy got the Oakham reply off to a superb start as they closed in on a century opening partnership until Flowers was dismissed with the home total on 99.
He had cracked 10 fours and three sixes in 73 off 47 balls to ensure the Oakham reply got off to a rapid start.
Alex Anthony then picked up where he left off by taking only 30 deliveries to reach 60 that included five fours and five sixes.
Begy had made 31 when he was run out and Anthony's dismissal by Ahmed sparked a Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Board revival.
Oakham slipped from 204-4 to 209-7 before Morris and Harry Tyler steered them past the finishing post inside 25 overs before the elements took hold.