CRICKET SLIDESHOW: Rugby 2nds warm up for league campaign

Pictures from Saturday’s game with Nuneaton

Nuneaton 1sts v Rugby 1sts

Wicket keeper Akram Ullah in Saturday's narrow defeat by Nuneaton     PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Wicket keeper Akram Ullah in Saturday's narrow defeat by Nuneaton PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

40 over friendly

Rugby produced a confident performance to beat last year’s Warwickshire League Champions by seven wickets and continue their positive start to the season.

Bowling first, Lee Golding gave his side the perfect start when he fizzed one through the defence of the dangerous Jason Jakeman (5) to bowl him in the second over.

Matt Ewer also claimed an early wicket, before a steady partnership between Marco Higgins and David Jakeman carried Nuneaton to 80-2 at the half way stage.

Keith Bradbury bowling for Rugby 2nds

Keith Bradbury bowling for Rugby 2nds

However, Steve Ward accounted for both of the set batsmen in quick succession, as he and Owen Edwards claimed three wickets apiece to put Rugby in the driving seat.

Raj Chohan claimed the last two wickets, including a great catch by Vishaal Rathod in the deep, as Nuneaton were bowled out for just 124.

Chohan then continued his good day, this time with the bat, opening the innings for Rugby and immediately attacking the home side’s attack.

Although Rugby lost Asaad Qureshi and Stu Lloyd for 1 run each, Chohan found the boundary regularly during a classy 57 not out, well supported by the hard-hitting Ewer.

Rugby 2nds bowler Jonathan Sage

Rugby 2nds bowler Jonathan Sage

Ewer (44) fell aiming to finish the match and reach his 50 with a maximum, but Rugby crossed the winning line soon after, with more than half of their overs remaining.

Rugby 2nds v Nuneaton 2nds

40 over friendly

Rugby’s second string suffered a narrow 5-run defeat, but enjoyed some valuable time in the middle in a closely-fought match with Nuneaton.

Bowling first, Arfan Mehmood claimed the first wicket of the season, before captain Rob Stipanovic (3 for 16) put his side in the driving seat.

However, after a fortuitous start to his innings, Chris Knight (84) counter attacked impressively for the visitors later in the innings to help post a competitive total.

Jonathan Sage (2 for 33) helped stem the late flow of runs, as Nuneaton closed on 187-7.

Rugby’s top order struggled to get the run rate moving against accurate opening spells and, despite keeping wickets in hand, found themselves up against it later on.

Chris Evans (14), Keith Bradbury (14) and Barry Taylor (18) all reached double figures, but failed to kick on.

Mo Sadiq (41), Sage (33) and Ikram Ullah (23) began to find the boundary more easily and tried their best to get Rugby back on track with the required rate.

As the overs ran out and risks were taken, Rugby lost regular wickets and ended up just short on 182-8.