CRICKET: Best performance of season by Rugby CC

Captain Owen Edwards took his second five-wicket haul in four weeks
Captain Owen Edwards took his second five-wicket haul in four weeks

136-run win over title chasers

Warwickshire

Premier Division

Solihull Municipal v

Rugby

Rugby’s good form continued on Saturday, as they bulldozed their way past title-chasing Solihull Municipal for a 136-run victory in their best performance of the season.

Owen Edwards won the toss and raised a few eye-brows when he chose to bat first in apparently bowler-friendly conditions, but Rugby’s top order rewarded his faith in a confident start.

The top three of Asaad Qureshi (31), Henry Wilkins (27) and Michael Powell (22) all scored freely, moving the score to 82-1 and putting their side in the ascendancy.

However, once James Roslyn got the break through, Rugby’s middle order imploded in a frenzy of good bowling and poor shot selection.

Roselyn (12-5-25-4) was the main destroyer and Rugby had slumped to 100-7 when Jack Rosser joined Steve Ward at the crease.

This pair showed great resolve in stopping the home side’s momentum, slowly rebuilding the innings and it wasn’t long before the scoreboard was ticking along again.

Ward was the more aggressive of the pair, striking the ball cleanly and picking up crucial boundaries, while Rosser played a pivotal supporting hand.

They 86 before Rosser (25) received a rough lbw decision, but Lee Golding replaced him and set about about the bowling in delightful cameo worth 28 from 18 balls. The last two wickets fell in quick succession and Rugby were bowled out for 224, leaving Ward unbeaten on 63, which had been a high-class innings and furthered his reputation for scoring runs under pressure.

Rugby’s new ball attack of Edwards and Golding has been increasingly venomous in recent weeks and the pair were at the best as Solihull’s reply began.

Golding (1-10) picked up the first wicket before a run was scored, as Roslyn edged behind, before Edwards produced a brute of a delivery to remove the dangerous Jonathan Stanley (4).

Although only two wickets fell during the opening burst, both bowlers kept it extremely tight and Municipal crept to just 11-2 after 13 overs.

Rugby’s change bowlers Henry Wilkins (2-35) and Matt Ewer (1-16) continued the good work, both taking a wicket in their first over as Rugby took full control.

Jamie Bissett (37) staged a mini revival, taking his side to 78-5, before Edwards returned to the attack and ripped through the lower order.

The Rugby skipper ended up with figures of 10-7-8-5, picking up his second 5-wicket haul in four weeks, to put the game beyond doubt for his side.

Powell was then introduced and claimed the final wicket with just his second ball, which was also wicket keeper Jack Rosser’s fifth catch of the innings, and Municipal were bowled out for just 88.

Warwickshire Division 3

Rugby 2nds v Walmley 3rds

Rugby’s second team picked up a winning draw at Webb Ellis Road, after a quality knock from Abhay Lal helped them put too many runs on the board for the visitors.

Walmley won the toss and asked Rugby to bat first, but openers Chris Evans (41) and Jeevan Barhey (35) laid a solid foundation.

A testing spell from Nick Breakspear (3-32) saw a middle order wobble from Rugby, but Lal’s innings of 88 not out kept the scoreboard moving.

He had good support from Naresh Kaushal (19) and Alex Smith (20 not out), as Rugby reached 223-6 from their 50 overs.

Walmley’s reply started disastrously when Andy Ward struck early on, but it was the pace of Vishaal Rathod that did the real damage.

He claimed two wickets in three balls, reducing the visitors to 4 for 3 and then 22/4.

However Breakspear proved to Rugby’s nemesis once again with a classy innings that brought the game back into the balance.

He scored a superb 103, but a wicket each for the the Barhey brothers, Kurran and Jeevan, stopped the flow of runs and Walmley ended up batting out for a losing draw on 190-7.

Rathod (4-48) was the pick of Rugby’s attack, as his side claimed 17 points.

WARCL Division 10 East

Massey Ferguson 2nds vs Rugby 3rds

Rugby’s third team returned to winning ways with a comfortable 82-run victory in a low-scoring affair.

Batting first on a testing pitch, Rugby had contributions throughout most of their top order, with Rubans (35), Suj Barhey (27), Adam Milsom (27) and Akshay Vaghela (22) all chipping in.

Rugby’s total of 178/8 from 45 overs looked a little over par and this soon proved to be the case, as their seamers got work.

Tom Mitchell (2-15), Ryan Littlejohn (1-15) and Hem Mistry (1-3) took the first wickets to fall, but it was Adam Milsom (10-5-27-5) who did the real damage and took his season tally to 20 wickets.

Vaghela picked up the final wicket to dismiss the hosts for just 96.