Town have the power to switch Saints off

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds - by ALAN SWANN

PETER­BOR­OUGH Town skip­per Ajaz Akhtar is back­ing his side to win the bat­tle of the Northants Premier Di­vi­sion big guns to­mor­row.

Sec­ond-placed Town are at table­top­pers Northamp­ton Saints and fire­works are ex­pected from some of the com­pe­ti­tion’s top per­form­ers.

In the Town corner are teenager Con­nor Cunningham (sec­ond in the bat­ting av­er­ages), David Clarke (fifth in the bat­ting av­er­ages) and Asim Butt (sev­enth high­est run scorer).

In the Saints corner are for­mer Eng­land A tourist Richard Stemp (top wicket-taker), Zak Har­vey (top run scorer), Andy Reynold­son (sec­ond high­est run scorer), Chris Park (top of bat­ting av­er­ages) and ex-Northants and Lan­cashire pro­fes­sional Alec Swann (eighth in the bat­ting av­er­ages).

Those statis­tics sug­gest Saints have the edge in form and ex­pe­ri­ence, but Akhtar is adamant he is cap­tain­ing the bet­ter side.

Akhtar said: “You can make statis­tics say any­thing, but there are other qual­i­ties like con­fi­dence and a big-game tem­per­a­ment which don’t show up in any ta­bles.

“I am lucky to have one of the best bat­ting line-ups Peter­bor­ough Town have ever seen and it’s no sur­prise to me that we get big scores and that we get them quickly.

“Okay we step up a grade to­mor­row as Saints have three qual­ity slow bowlers, but I don’t think any of my lads will lack the con­fi­dence to take them on or the abil­ity to get on top of them.

“It’s a small ground at Saints and I am sure we will score quicky enough to put them un­der pres­sure whether we bat first or sec­ond.”

Town would prob­a­bly pre­fer to chase es­pe­cially as they will again be with­out pro­fes­sional Tan­veer Ahmed who is still wait­ing to hear whether or not he will be part of Pak­istan’s in­ter­na­tional team to tour Eng­land later this sum­mer.

All-rounder Lewis Bruce is hav­ing a late fit­ness test on a fin­ger he dam­aged tak­ing a stun­ning catch last week­end, while mys­tery bowler Richard Ken­dall is un­avail­able.

Town: (from) A. Akhtar, A. Butt, D. Clarke, M. Pate­man, C. Cunningham, L. Bruce, B. Hus­sain, C. Mil­ner, J. Smith, C. French, S. Wil­liams, R. Sayer.

OUN­DLE skip­per Cameron Wake has scored the most runs of any bats­man in any Northants League di­vi­sion. Wake has 449 runs at an av­er­age of 112.5 in seven Di­vi­sion Two in­nings.

OUN­DLE and Peter­bor­ough Town sec­onds have moved their Northants League start times for­ward to­mor­row to en­sure their at­ten­dance at Eng­land’s open­ing World Cup fix­ture with the United States.

Oun­dle start at Mil­ton Road against Northamp­ton Saints sec­onds at 11am and Town be­gin their Di­vi­sion Three game with Kemp­ston Ham­mers at Bret­ton Gate at 11.30am.

MAR­KET Deep­ing dropped from third to sev­enth in the Lincs Premier Di­vi­sion af­ter their record- break­ing ham­mer­ing by Brace­bridge Heath last week­end.

They will ex­pect to bounce back at next to bot­tom club Hartsholme to­mor­row. Bourne, who ex­pect le­gendary all-rounder Dave Christ­mas to re­turn to ac­tion within a month, seek a third straight win at Bos­ton.

DEEP­ING skip­per David Gil­lett has claimed a faster ton than Cas­tor star Ashley Rodgers man­aged at Whit­tle­sey last week. Rodgers reached three fig­ures in 38 balls in a Rut­land Di­vi­sion Four match.

But Gil­lett said: “I got one in 35 balls about 15 years ago in a Stam­ford Cup match against Stam­ford RUFC. I came in in the 11th over when Keith Bar­rett was out.”

Gil­lett claims the op­po­si­tion had two Mi­nor Coun­ties play­ers, but he didn’t say at what sport.

CON­FI­DENT: That’s Peter­bor­ough Town skip­per Ajaz Akhtar ahead of to­mor­row’s big game.

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