Skipper’s instincts reap rewards for Oakham

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Oakham skipper Matt Osman’s surprise decision to field first paid dividends in the Everards Leicestershire League on Saturday.

The Lime Kilns side returned to winning ways with an emphatic six wicket victory at home against Electricity Sports.

On what looked a very good batting track, Osman put the opposition in to bat and, with some strong batting at the top from Zada (54), Sports moved past the 100 mark inside 20 overs.

Fortunately for the Rutlanders, the introduction of Chetan Shukla (3-47) and Ryan Thwaites (4-47) slowed the runs to a trickle and with wickets falling regular Electricity Sports failed to reach 200 in their 45 overs finishing on 198-9.

In reply, Will-Stuart Jones (38) got things off to a rapid start and with a number of batsmen contributing useful cameos the in-form Bhavin Shukla (70 not out) saw Oakham to 201-4 inside only 33 overs.

One shot from Shukla off a quick but erratic bowler (apparently on Kent’s books last year) went like a bullet to the mid wicket boundary and the game was nicely rounded off with a fine six by Shaym Lakhani.

The 1sy XI also put in a decent effort in their Rutland League derby against Market Overton. However, availability was an issue for the 2nd XI on both days with only nine players available for Saturday and a Sunday concession due to lack of players.

Oakham’s seconds travelled to Leicester on Saturday to plat Electricity Sports’ 2nd XI. Their contingent of nine was bolstered by the a parent of two of the younger players in mid afternoon.

Oakham lost the toss and were put into bat and were soon in trouble with skipper Graham Cooper departing for a duck. Only Club Chairman, Andrew Counsell (54) was able to deal with the opposition attack and wickets fell regularly at the other end.

When Counsell was dismissed, missing a full toss in the first over from a spinner, the rest of the innings folded quickly and Oakham were dismissed for only a 106 in 27 overs.

Their hosts easily reached their target in 25 overs, losing only one wicket to finish on 107-1 and win by 9 wickets.

Division two leaders Market Overton won Sunday’s derby at the Lime Kilns.

Marko won the toss and decided to bowl, and Oakham’s batting relied heavily on Bhavin Shukla (65) - he should perhaps have batted higher in the order to try to push the score towards a defendable 250 total on what was probably the best batting pitch of the year at the Lime Kilns.

Shukla again received cameo role support but nobody was able to make a big score alongside his effort.

Consequently Oakham finished 30-40 runs light closing on 223-7 after 45 overs while all the Market Overton batsmen made good contributions particularly Mark Owen (47) and Paul Thwaites (54 not out).

Marko ran out fairly easy winners by six wickets finishing on 225-4 in the 39th over.