A potentially pivotal weekend in the quest for the Premier Division honours occurred as Market Harborough slumped to a surprise defeat against Broomleys, whilst the 1’s took full advantage with an ultimately comfortable win against Earl Shilton at Fleckney Rd.
The visitors clocked up 174/9 from their allocation, with top bowling honours going to Dan Broughton with 3/37. In response, 3 quick wickets fell in the form of Saif, PJ and Aadil, before Pedro joined skipper Craven at the crease and ensured that there would be no slip ups. Craven finished with an unbeaten 101 (see picture) and Pedro a stylish 32 as the runs were knocked off inside 33 overs and the imminent rain was taken out of the equation.
On Sunday the fans packed their hampers and headed to Hinckley Town CC to cheer the lads on in the Challenge Cup Final against Market Harborough. Batting first on a sluggish pitch the innings was given some much needed momentum by a run a ball 46 from PJ, as part of a century partnership with the “run rich” skipper Craven. Cravens innings was finally brought to an end for 91 by a spectacular catch on the boundary, but he could console himself by having saved £12 by getting out short of the jug mark of a ton (or so he thought!). The innings ended on 193/4 from our 40 overs, which was seen as competitive by the sage voices on the boundary.
In response some smart (or lucky depending on your standpoint), fielding by Aamir effected a run out at the non strikers end to get us off to a good start, before some mid order resistance from Kevin Innes and KCC old boy Simon Renshaw threatened to disrupt the party. However, the introduction of Tim “Biffa” Mason soon dispelled any myth that he had been doing anything other than bowl to son Olly during his 2 week holiday, as he turned the clock back by ripping out the middle order in a fantastic spell of 5/23 in his 8 over spell. He bowled the dangerous Innes for a well made 43 before snaring the prize wicket of Renshaw, brilliantly caught by Aadil on the boundary in front of an excited Kibworth crowd who nearly choked on their Olives ( See Picture)
The return of Broughton and Driver ensured that there was no respite for our local rivals and the innings ended on 158/9 and crucially, 35 runs short. Cue big celebrations from the KCC barmy army, and we knew that there was a heavy night of partying ahead as the trophy would remain at Fleckney Rd for another year.
The 2’s returned from a rain affected match at Langtons with a big winning draw having posted 182/8 from a reduced 40 overs. Aamir Mahmood top scored with 68 and was well supported by another good knock from Asif Bhojani with 39.
In response Langtons held on at 160/8 with 2 wickets each for Dave Whitmore, Tom Bailey and Jai Singh.
The 3rds won easily against Burton Latimer with the obviously still unfit Chris Hill returning excellent figures of 7/35 as the hosts were dismissed for 90. In response only 16 overs were needed to wrap up victory by 6 wickets with Mick Wilkins the cornerstone with 45.
The 4’s had an eventful game against Oakham and recorded their 4th win on the top to move into 3rd place in Division 7. The visitors registered 208/7 against a depleted bowling attack who stuck to their task well on another great wicket, with 2 wickets each for Dunc Jones and Chris Carson.
In response John Pounds was the cornerstone of the innings and was well supported initially by Jay Boucher and Harry Miller as we progressed to 79/3 at 20 overs. However, for the 2nd week on the trot it was the introduction of Jack Allen that was to provide impetus to the innings as he plundered 49 from 21 balls as he and JP (91 not out), played on through steady rain to see us home in 34 overs.