Weakened Town are granted no mercy
NATIONAL CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
PETERBOROUGHTOWN were just a Minor Counties batsman away from winning their National Club Championship first round tie at Granta.
It was always going to be a tall order beating the East Anglian Premier Division champions with four star men on Cambridgeshire duty, but Town fell agonisingly short by just 25 runs in the thrice-delayed contest.
Runs were hard to come by on a sluggish surface, buttown were happy at half-time as Granta had set them a modest winning target of just 196 in 45 overs.
Basharat Hussain’s steady seamers were rewarded by four wickets at a cost of 52 runs, but teenager Rob Sayer was the pick of thetown bowlers by conceding just 22 runs from his maximum allocation of nine overs.
Matt Milner picked up two wickets with his off-spin and Jamie Smith was the other successful bowler as Granta closed on 195-8.
Milner was promoted from the seconds as cover for the absent stars as was Martin Hair and they were two oftown’s highest scorers.
Milner made 32 and Hair scored 20, buttown’s hopes of a win decreased significantly when professional Asim Butt was dismissed early for just 12.
Chris Budd (26) did his bit, but the rest floundered against an accurate home bowling attack.
Town had entered the competition for the first time in over a decade and will probably do so again in the hope that they can play ties on dates that don’t clash with Minor Counties cricket.
Professional all-rounder Paul Mcmahon, star batsmen David Clarke and Alan Burton, and high-class offspinner/batter Lewis Bruce all missed the match.
Town skipper Ajaz Akhtar said: “Just one of those players could have made all the difference and if we’d played this game last week when we had everyone available I’m sure we would have won.
“Having said that the lads that came in all did well, It would have been good for the club to have had a good run in the competition, but with so many players away it was always going to be tough to get through.”
PICK OF THE BOWLERS: Rob Sayer.