BADBY Firsts marginally strengthened their position at the head of Division Six of the Northamptonshire Cricket League with only two weekends remaining.
They took the lion’s share of the points against second-placed Isham Seconds at Longroods.
The altered opening partnership of Nick Kates (35) and Andy Humphries (34) started positively, putting 60 on the board in the first dozen overs before the first wicket fell.
But Isham kept their most able bowling in reserve and effectively slowed the run-rate in the middle overs, before Ali Reid (40) and Sabir Khawaja (46 n.o) compiled a fifth-wicket partnership of 85.
With Khawaja well supported by the lower order, Badby narrowly failed to achieve maximum batting points – setting the visitors a challenging 198-six.
In reply, Isham started with positive intent and at the half-way point in their innings were handily placed at 90 odd for the loss of only three wickets.
However, the next dozen overs delivered by Stu Bonthuys and Sabir Khawaja conceded only 20 runs, effectively putting the victory target beyond the remaining Isham batting.
Although wickets fell to Bonthuys and returning opening bowler Jack Fuller, Badby were unable to close out the win that would have guaranteed a promotion spot as Isham closed on 146-nine.
Badby now travel to Rothwell Seconds who are in fourth spot but closing fast on the leaders.
Isham in second welcome third-placed Kislingbury in a fascinating penultimate set of fixtures.
Badby Seconds took on top-of-table Uppingham in Division 14 and, despite gutsy bowling performances, came out the losers by 160 runs.
Pick of Badby’s bowlers in their 13 overs were Mark Cooper and Casey Cooper, who returned identical figures of one-57.
In reply, James Maplethorpe and Graham Harris both got in to the twenties.
But the bowling of a side who have won all but one of their league matches this season was too strong and Badby were dismissed for only 90.