CRICKET ROUND UP: Huntingdon & District firing on all cylinders in chase of Blunham
- Credit: Archant
IF Huntingdon & District end up winning promotion to the TuckerGardner Premier League this season they will have their overseas professional Kashif Mahmood Butt to thank for keeping them in the chase for the Hunts County Bats Division One title.
The 27-year-old Pakistani medium pacer took four wickets last week when Huntingdon beat Waresley II – and on Saturday he took seven wickets in 6.2 overs for the loss of just 25 runs when his team absolutely destroyed Barnack.
Huntington remain 14 points behind the leaders Blunham with three games to go.
“Kashif completely beguiled the Barnack batsmen with his swing and seam movement bowling to nine slips,” said his team-mate Navid Ahmed.
“Barnack slumped to 56 all out in 13.2 overs and we chased down the total in nine overs with two wickets down. The chase for promotion is still on!”
Shalinder Ranaut took 3-27 as Huntingdon skittled through the Barnack batsmen before Nikhil Kumpukkul (16), Craig Leigh (14), Nomi Khan (19) and Charlie Nelson (5 not out) made light work of the reply.
Huntingdon are at home to fourth-placed Godmanchester Town II on Saturday before another home game against Nassington. They go to Waresley II on the last day of the season. But they still need Blunham to slip up if they are to avoid a repeat of the agonising second-place finish which they have suffered at the end of the last two seasons.
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Godmanchester Town II had a 50-run win over Nassington with Adrian Lemmon hitting 79 and Chip Wood 73.
Dipesh Patel scored 49 and Joe Colebrook took 5-56 for Waresley II but they were still beaten by Ufford Park by 65 runs.
Another bowler taking five wickets was Richard King of Alconbury. King recorded figures of 5-21 in the Division One side’s dramatic three-run win over Peterborough Town III.
Alconbury batted first and looked doomed when they were all out for just 79 but Richard Ewing ran out the last man Ben Chance with Peterborough on a meagre 76.
Second-placed Eaton Socon II beat the leaders Hampton by four wickets with Matt Keating taking 3-25 and Adam Newman 3-34. Eaton won with four balls to spare thanks to knocks of 53 from the captain Simon Cooper and 52 from Olly Dalrymple.
The were five wickets each for Sawtry’s Brian Chapman (5-20) and Ian Bonsall (5-24) in their three-wicket Hunts derby win over Warboys II in Division Two.
There was an eight-wicket win for Division Three leaders Houghton & Wyton over Buckden, while Andrew Reid scored a brilliant 104 for Huntingdon & District II in their four-wicket win over Upwood, for whom Neil Tuffin hit 68.
Mark Rix (4-24) and Duncan McGregor (4-12) got four wickets each in Brampton’s five-wicket win over Werrington as they keep up their pursuit of Bharat Sports at the top of Division Four.
Chris Brady’s excellent 102 not out was the catalyst for Little Paxton’s second win of the season when they beat Ramsey II by 83 runs with Adam Long taking 4-27.
TUCKER GARDNER PREMIER LEAGUE
IT was a great weekend for Chethan William and Godmanchester Town who beat Nassington by seven wickets in the TuckerGardner on Saturday to put one foot in the title race – and won the Smith Barry Cup on Sunday for an historic sixth time by beating Khalsa.
Kevin Clement was called up from Godmanchester’s second team with five first choice players missing for their game against Nassington – but Clement (3-32) and William (4-57) were in fine form with the ball as they restricted the visitors to 162 all out in 42.2 overs, a total the batsmen, including William who hit 68 not out, reached in just 27.3 overs.
The next day William scored an amazing unbeaten 142 off 103 balls (14 fours and four sixes) as Godmanchester raced to 285-4.
In reply, Khalsa were 207-2 after 33 wickets but Paul Jefferson struck taking 6-61 to peg the visitors’ back with Dan Malem clearing up the last three wickets for seven runs.
It wasn’t such a good weekend for Ramsey who could only draw at Foxton who then jumped them into second place in the table.
It is now very tight in the chasing pack with only four points separating Foxton, Ramsey and Godmanchester Town in fourth – but Wisbech Town are 28 points clear at the top and will need to slip up at least twice, if not three times, from their final five games if anyone one of those teams is going to catch them.
At the bottom St Ives Town have a fight on their hands to avoid the dreaded drop into Division Two after a 10-wicket thrashing by Camden.
St Ives were all out for 83 before Camden reached their target without the loss of a single wicket.
One off the bottom team and in the second relegation place, St Ives are now 28 points from safety.
Waresley failed to help their Hunts mates when they lost to bottom side Cambridge NCI. Robert Craze hit 61 as Waresley put on 196-7 and that might have been expected to be enough. But the visitors had their game of the season and won the game by a wicket.
Both Eaton Socon and Warboys are very much back in the race for promotion in the incredibly tight Division Two.
Eaton enjoyed a comfortable 98-run victory over Hardwick after they declared on 224-4 with good knocks from Carl Baker (73), Chris Budd (67) and Ray Tudor (46 not out).
In reply, Hardwick could only make 126 Matt Rawling taking 4-21.
Warboys drew with second-placed Histon to bunch up the group and there are now only 16 points separating the top four teams.
HUNTS COUNTY DEVELOPMENT
HUNTINGDONSHIRE included in their under-25s side two youngsters, Kyle Metcalfe (17) and David Sayer (15), as late replacements and each claimed three wickets in a crushing defeat of hosts Essex last week. Hunts posted their best score of the season (274-8) thanks in part to a brilliant 115 from Jon Carpenter.
Essex, without a win in their five matches this season, looked very poor, while Huntingdonshire’s victory returned them to the top of the table and one win from their last two matches will see them retain the East of England Development title for the second successive season.