Rugby 1sts now just four points behind the leaders
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Warwickshire League Division 4
Old Edwardians 2nd XI v Oakfield 1st XI
Oakfield had a day to forget at Old Edwardians on Saturday.
Having won the corresponding fixture in June comfortably, Oakfield’s form has been very inconsistent, and they put in their worst performance of the season.
The hosts won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat on an indifferent looking wicket. Clearly the home side felt the wicket would deteriorate as the game went on, and took the attack to Oakfield from the start.
Only Chris Smith (12-2-39-2) bowled with any consistency on a pitch offering both sideways and up and down movement to the seamers.
Dave Odwell bowled well in patches to pick up 3-52 but the hosts racked up 322-7 from 47 overs before declaring after a brief rain delay.
Oakfield’s batsmen were not confident of chasing the total down in 45 overs, but felt a draw was within their grasp. However, a combination of some good bowling by the hosts, who exploited the conditions far better, and some indifferent shot selection, saw Oakfield blown away.
Sehgal picked up 4-21 and only Chris Smith with 20 batting at number 11 saved Oakfield’s pride as they were bowled out for just 75.
Division 9 East
Oakfield 2nd XI v Rugby 3rd XI
Oakfield entertained Rugby in a local derby looking for a win to take them out of the bottom two. The visitors won the toss and asked Oakfield to bat, but only Glyn Vaughan in the top six made double figures before falling for 49.
Alex Ray added 23 and Gurj Rupal 40 as the tail wagged, and skipper Will O’Rourke’s 19 enabled the hosts to set a target of 180. Despite an early wicket for O’Rourke, Rugby’s number three Barhey made an impressive 81 not out to lead the visitors to a six-wicket win.
Alex Ray impressed with 2-21 and Dan Clowes picked up the other wicket, but defeat means Oakfield must win their last game at Wolvey to have any real hope of escaping the drop.
Division 12 East
Oakfield 3rd XI v Wilnecote 2nd XI
Oakfield’s third XI completed a bad day for the club when they lost to Wilnecote.
Batting first, Oakfield made a creditable 181-7 from their 45 overs, thanks to an unbeaten 40 from veteran Alan Fisher, and 61 from Adam Barby.
Youngsters Amit Patel and Henry Lushington both picked up an early wicket for Oakfield to boost their hopes of victory, but 94 from McQueen proved the difference as the visitors won by four wickets. Patel impressed for Oakfield with 3-16 while there was a wicket each for spinners Bryan Acford and Jack Watts.
RUGBY CC REPORTS
Warwickshire Cricket League
Aston Manor v Rugby
Rugby moved into second place in the table with a hard-earned effort against Aston Manor on Saturday, twice fighting back from perilous positions.
The Birmingham side won an important toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bowl first on a damp pitch that offered plenty of assistance to their pace attack.
Ex-Warwickshire bowler Recordo Gordon removed Raj Chohan (4) early on, but Asaad Qureshi (17) and Jeevan Barhey (26) laid a good foundation.
However, 50-1 suddenly became 59-4 and Rugby were in a lot of trouble, with Imran Khan (2-28) bowling a nagging spell.
With the run rate struggling along at barely 2-an-over, Matt Ewer launched a much-needed counter attack, finding the boundary with regularity through a crucial cameo.
Although Ewer (44) was caught in the deep, Rugby had wrestled back the momentum and this was continued by vice-captain Henry Parker (42) who returned to form with key run when his team needed it.
Vishaal Rathod (11) chipped in with some late runs, before running himself out in the penultimate over to leave Rugby on 194 all out.
Rugby’s total was a good effort in difficult conditions but, with the pitch drying out, they knew it would be a challenge to defend this score and were well aware how important the wicket of Gordon would be after he’d struck a brilliant century in the reverse fixture at Webb Ellis Road.
Things looked ominous when Gordon crunched the first two balls of Aston Manor’s reply through mid-on for four, but Rugby were given a huge boost when he misjudged a quick single three balls later and was run out by a Parker direct hit.
Number three Daniel Choudhry followed in Gordon’s attacking vain, striking the ball cleanly to the short straight boundaries, but Ewer picked up two wickets at the other end to reduce the hosts to 57-3.
The game was in the balance but, while Choudhry was at the crease, the home side appeared to have the edge and his side were well on top at 86-3 when Owen Edwards claimed the big wicket.
Choudhry top edged a pull shot and was well caught at mid-wicket by Naresh Kaushal, before Edwards trapped Taimur Imran (27) lbw soon after.
Having removed Aston Manor’s star men, Rugby sensed an opening and were abuzz in the field, as Edwards (9-2-35-3) and spinner Kaushal (7-0-31-2) made further inroads.
The innings collapsed to 132-8, but Khan and Jason Furnell were not going to lie down and compiled a frustrating ninth-wicket partnership.
They had moved to 165 and, with 30 needed to win, Rugby were starting to worry when Rathod returned to the attack and produced an unplayable yorker that rearranged Khan’s stumps.
Ewer (10-2-38-3) then returned to claim the final wicket with the last ball of his ten over spell and secure a 24-run win for his team.
The top of the table has become a four-horse race for the title and, with Olton and Solihull Municipal losing, Rugby jumped up to second place, four points behind leaders Bedworth.
Rugby 2nds v Aston Unity 1sts
Rugby’s 2nd XI picked up their third consecutive winning draw, after Charlie Robards produced yet another century for the club to post a total that was out of Aston Unity’s reach.
The visitors won the toss and inserted Rugby in bowler-friendly conditions, but club stalwarts Robards and Stuart Lloyd (28) started well.
Runs weren’t following quickly, but they navigated the new ball well and set up the innings, with Hugh Cochrane (16) also chipping in.Abhay Lal (49) then injected the
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necessary acceleration to the scoring rate, while Robards (103) opened up after the drinks break in a vintage knock.
Wickets fell regularly in the later overs, although Dave Marshall (14 not out) hit some late boundaries, as Rugby closed on 251-9 from their allocation.
Marshall continued his good form with the ball with an early wicket but, with Aston Unity clearly satisfied with a losing draw, wickets were hard to come by.
Leg spinner Keval Rathod eventually bowled top scorer Stephen Jordan (55), while Marshall (10-0-36-3) grabbed two more in his second spell.
There was also a late wicket to Robards, before the innings finished on 178-5.
Division 9 East
Oakfield 2nds v Rugby 3rds
Rugby’s third string finally returned to winning ways after a run of 5 negative results, as Jag Barhey marched them to a six-wicket victory.
Oakfield batted first and got a terrible start against Rugby’s new ball attack of Adam Milsom (10-3-24-2) and Calum Mackay (9-2-22-4).
Glyn Vaughan (49) anchored the innings for the home side and began to repair the damage, with good support from Alex Ray (23) and Gurj Rupal (40).
Liam Slaughter (2-34) and Tom Mitchell (1-44) were Rugby’s other wicket takers, before Oakfield were bowled out for 179.
After losing an early wicket, Mitchell and Barhey soon good the scoreboard moving for Rugby in partnership that broke the back of the run chase.
Mitchell (36) and Zachary Wenham (15) chipped in with useful contributions, but it was Barhey (81 not out) who made sure of Rugby’s success, reaching the winning line in the 32nd over.