Town have the power to switch Saints off
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.