Oakham’s batsmen were among the big-hitters on a mixed day for the club’s two sides in the Everards Leicestershire League on Saturday.
Both sides’ matches were disrupted by rain but in between the cloudburts Will Stuart-Jones smashed a superb 140 alongside Greame Cooper’s 75 for the second XI, and Ashish Patel made 55 for the first team, who took seven points from their losing draw at Billesdon in division three.
Billesdon batted first and with solid contributions throughout their order reached 225-9 in their 35 over allocation. Best of the Oakham bowlers was Ryan Thwaites with four wickets but his figures took some damage as Billesdon’s lower order blasted 30 runs from his last three overs.
A further rain delay meant Oakham’s over allocation was reduced to 34 with the skipper, Matt Osman, promoting Ashish Patel to open the innings.
The gamble almost paid off as Patel smashed a quick 55 but the rest of the Oakham batsmen were unable to score quickly enough against some accurate and pacey bowling, in particular from Elliot (3-27). His efforts meant Oakham could only reach 168-4 although this effort did secure a creditable losing draw and valuable league points.
Oakham’s 2nd XI hosted Billesdon 2nd XI in another fixture that was badly affected by rain delays and reduced to 34 overs a side.
Oakham were put in to bat and got off a rapid start with Graham Cooper and Will Stuart-Jones punishing some short pitched bowling from the young Billesdon attack.
Even a lengthy rain break didn’t affect the opening pair’s concentration and Stuart-Jones in particular was harsh on the short pitched bowling, repeatedly peppering the nearby houses and gardens with many superb sixes. He quickly moved from 50 to a magnificent 100 in few scoring strokes and was only dismissed of the last ball of the innings for a brilliant 140.
He was well supported in an opening partnership of 232 by skipper, Graeme Cooper, who was dismissed for a well made 75. Some late blows from the middle order pushed the Oakham innings to a formidable 252-3.
In reply Billesdon were never really in the game but with the rain again coming down heavily some late hitting saw them reach 162-3 before, after 31 overs, the teams finally admitted defeat and Oakham were awarded the winning draw and a useful 16 points in division seven.