Akhtar shines on Deeping debut at Spalding

IT'S GOOD TO TALK: Deeping captain David Gillett and new signing Ajaz Akhtar shared a second-wicket partnership. Photo: SG300515-146TW
IT'S GOOD TO TALK: Deeping captain David Gillett and new signing Ajaz Akhtar shared a second-wicket partnership. Photo: SG300515-146TW
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Ajaz Akhtar made an instant impact as Market Deeping won by six wickets at bottom-of-the-table Spalding.

The 46-year-old all-rounder has moved into the Lincolnshire ECB Premier League after falling out with previous employers Ketton where he had struggled for form in the early part of the summer.

But new surroundings clearly galvanised the former Peterborough Town and Cambridgeshire skipper as he cracked 71 at a good rate on his debut for Deeping.

Akhtar opened with fellow veteran Chris Jones and was soon joined at the crease by captain David Gillett as they chased Spalding’s modest 165 all out. That’s a combined age of 133 for Deeping’s first three.

Gillett added 41 and Jamie Morgan stroked an unbeaten 30 as Deeping eased home with 18 overs to spare.

Akhtar was pipped to the man-of-the-match award by fast bowler Tom Andrews who collected 7-43 from 17 fiery overs.

Akhtar wasn’t fit enough to bowl but he expects to trundle in next Saturday when Deeping host Bourne.

Deeping are currently third in the table, 12 points behind second-placed Bourne.

The reigning champions also won on Saturday, making short work of Grantham’s 175 thanks to more blistering batting from Conrad Louth.

Last weekend Louth hit two centuries – one to win the Winkworth Cup final and the other a brilliant 151 against Market Rasen in a league victory.

He once again found runs easy to come by after Tom Dixon’s 6-42 had undermined a decent batting start by Grantham.

Louth smashed six fours and six sixes in a whirlwind 82 which saw Bourne race home in just 25.5 overs.

Skipper Pete Morgan was next best with 41 which also included a couple of sixes.

Bourne are now level on points at the top of the table with Bracebridge Heath.

Meanwhile, Deeping’s Nick Andrews has won selection for an over-60s Ashes Test match.

The all-rounder will represent his country against Australia at Sunbury on July 2 and 3.

Andrews has also been selected to play for England against Scotland in a one-day game in Stenhousemuir this Sunday.

Andrews has played against Australia before for England Over-50s and skippered his country during a Caribbean tour last winter.