CRICKET: Rugby CC weekend round-up

Rugby 1st XI in their game against Solihull last week
Rugby 1st XI in their game against Solihull last week

Victory for 2nd XI to go nine points clear in league

Rugby CC 1st XI vs Hampton & Solihull 1st XI

WARCL Premier Division

Rugby CC 1st XI slumped to a 9-wicket defeat with a disappointing performance against Hampton & Solihull.

Losing the toss Rugby were asked to bat on what looked a good track at Hampton and Solihull. Returning to the team, Henry Wilkins joined Charlie Robards at the top of the order and the pair looked to build a solid platform. Rugby’s innings didn’t get off to the start they hoped for however with early wickets.

Robards was caught for a duck and when Wilkins soon followed for 8, Rugby looked to Ewer (28) and the in-form Parker (37) to rebuild the innings. A partnership of 40 between these two got the run rate back on track but when Ewer fell to the impressive Heath (8.3-1-34-4) Rugby had reached drinks on 104-5. With plenty of big hitters down the tail Rugby were well set to post a good total, but a combination of good tight bowling and some loose shots saw the away side reach 159-6 from 37 overs.

Ward was joined at the crease by Taylor (26) and the pair combined good running and powerful hitting to give Rugby a chance of reaching a par score of 200 and the final batting bonus point. When Ward was unlucky to be dismissed caught and bowled by Iqbal for 39, Taylor followed next over and the tail offered little resistance meaning Rugby finished on a below par score of 174.

The new ball pairing of Edwards and Ewer started off well but with only 175 needed in 56 overs, the opening pair of Clements and James (32) started patiently and simply picked off the bad balls offered up. Rugby found the edge of the bat on various occasions but on a day where nothing seemed to go right, all chances were dropped.

Wilkins picked up the sole wicket of James but from there on it was a perfect example of how to chase down a total with Clement finishing on 60 not out and Hughes coming in at number 3 to finish on 68 not out.

It was a poor performance all round but with bottom side Ambleside visiting Webb Ellis Road next week Rugby will be hoping for 24 points to move back up towards the promotion spots.

Rugby CC 2nd XI vs Aston Unity 1st XI

WARCL Division 3

Newly promoted Rugby CC 2nd XI moved to the top of WARCL Div 3 with a thumping 88 run win over a strong Aston Unity 1st XI. With the weather set fair and a long batting line up, skipper Stipanovic had no hesitation in choosing bat first upon winning the toss.

The Unity opening bowlers made life difficult however for openers Evans and Barhey, bowling stump to stump and offering very little in the way of bad balls.

With the wicket also providing varying bounce it was a perfect example from experienced opener Evans and youngster Barhey in how to patiently build an innings, and although the run rate was initially low, just 34 scored off 17 overs, it allowed the middle order to play their part later on. Rugby reached drinks at the half way point on 60-0 and from there on the run rate increased. Evans was unlucky to be caught and bowled for 64 by the economical Hettiarachchi (11-3-32-2) but it was an innings that oozed class and brought him his 2nd 50 in as many weeks. This brought Cochrane to the crease and alongside 14-year-old Warwickshire colt Barhey, they frustrated the Unity bowlers with smart running and clever placement. Barhey was the next fall for a well-made 37 and Cochrane soon followed for a run a ball 36 but this brought Rathod and Golding to the crease and they set about the tiring Aston attack with delight. Rathod smashed 32 off just 16 balls and Golding joined in on the fun making 25 from 19, a huge straight 6 the highlight of his innings.

Rugby finished their innings on 228-7 but knew that with the wicket only getting flatter it would take a big effort if they were to come away with the full 24 points on offer.

McGrath was joined by Golding this week with the new ball and immediately they caused difficulties for the Aston Unity batsmen. McGrath was moving the ball both ways and Golding was bowling at real pace and it wasn’t long before McGrath (9-3-24-2) took the first wicket, combining with Ullah behind the stumps yet again who took another fine catch. McGrath struck in his next over bowling number 3 Jordan for a duck to leave Aston Unity reeling at 20-2 from 10 overs and well behind the rate. Golding was unfortunate not to take a wicket but it was an inspired bowling change from Stipanovic to bring on Sona (9-2-29-3) who immediately made an impact taking a wicket with his first ball. It was Sona who struck again in his next over and by now, any hopes Aston had of chasing down the target were long gone.

Sadiq and Sage both picked up a wicket apiece as Rugby rattled through the Aston middle order, with opener Sturmey (51) the only batsman who offered any real resistance. Stipanovic (4-2-4-2) introduced himself and Rathod to the attack and between them they blew away the tail and bowled Aston out for 140 inside 44 overs.

It was a fantastic all round team performance against a side that Rugby came out 2nd best against in both fixtures last season and moves Rugby 9 points clear at the top of the table. Next week sees them travel to Marston Green 1st Xi in what will be another tough fixture.

Rugby CC 3rd XI vs Warwick CC 2nd XI

WARCL Division 10 East

Rugby 3rds suffered a narrow loss to Warwick CC 2nd Xi in their Div 10 East match away at Warwick.

Winning the toss Rugby elected to bat and got off to a good start with Binding (26), Smith (10) and Coleman (17) all making starts. However, they failed to push on and further wickets to the impressive Shawcross (10-4-29-4) left Rugby in trouble at 63-5 off 28 overs. Andy Ward (48) joined Adam Milsom (22) at the crease with the aim of rebuilding the innings and giving Rugby’s bowlers something to defend. The pair batted well together and put on an important partnership, moving the score on to 136-6 from 40 overs. Ward was unlucky to fall just short of his maiden 50 for the club and Rugby closed on 158-8 from their allocated 45 overs.

Warwick’s reply got off to a good start with Griffiths (26) and Hope batting patiently. When Mistry (9-1-28-2) accounted for Griffiths LBW Rugby rattled through the middle order, with only number 4 batsman Robbins reaching double figures. However, whilst 1st team regular Hope was at the crease Rugby were struggling to keep things tight and although he was run out for a well-made 76, Warwick reached the target with 11 balls remaining. Adam Milsom picked up 4 wickets to match his impressive batting display but ultimately Rugby were 20 to 30 runs short of a winning total and will need to work on their batting if they are to return to winning ways.