Title race is blown wide open

Action from Market Harborough 2nd's loss to Cosby in Division Four East of the Leicestershire & Rutland League. Picture by Andrew Cooper/Andrewcooperphotographer.co.uk
Action from Market Harborough 2nd's loss to Cosby in Division Four East of the Leicestershire & Rutland League. Picture by Andrew Cooper/Andrewcooperphotographer.co.uk

Lutterworth head to Sileby Town for a top-of-the-table clash having blown the race for the Everards Leicestershire & Rutland Premier Division title wide open.

Last week’s 13-run win over leaders Kibworth lifted Lutterworth into second place, six points behind the table toppers.

On Saturday, they head to third-placed Sileby, while Kibworth travel to Rothley Park.

Lutterworth skipper Oliver Pickering , however, is playing down his side’s chances of winning the league.

He said: “We have a chance, but there’s still a long way to go. We just want to carry on enjoying our cricket and see where that takes us.”

Lewis Hill, who made national headlines last month when he hit the runs that secured Leicestershire’s first County Championship win for nearly three years, was back in the side for the win over Kibworth.

But with Leicestershire wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien in the Ireland squad for the forthcoming World T20 qualifiers, there’s a chance Hill will be needed by the County again.

Pickering said: “I don’t think Lewis will be available for the next few games and that’s disappointing.

“But even if we only have him available for three or four games this season, he can make a difference.”

Lutterworth owe victory over Kibworth to their bowlers after it took a late-order flourish from Craig Wilson (39), Steve Masic (24) and Nathan Welham (20) to lift them to 189-9.

Pickering added: “The pitch was doing a bit, so we felt we had a chance – if we could get early wickets.”

Akash Fotedar soon got rid of openers PJ Biljon and Matt Craven, but while Sundeep Patel was at the crease, Kibworth still fancied their chances.

Fotedar ran him out for 67 and though Mahang Patel dug in to make an unbeaten 39, he ran out of batting partners and Kibworth were bowled out for 176 in the 46th over.

Market Harborough managed to hold on for a draw against Sileby in their Premier Division encounter.

It needed tailend resistance from number 11 Ben Collins to see them to safety, though.

He faced 27 balls for his five not out as he and Max Collins (47no) saw out the overs.

Sileby scored 264-8 as Luke Gale hit 83. Joe Gordon’s short, but eventful, spell saw him claim figures of 3-0-34-3.

In reply Kevin Innes was run out having made 48 while Fin Clarke top scored with 53.