CRICKET SLIDESHOW: Rugby CC 1sts winning run comes to abrupt end

Pictures from Webb Ellis Road against Solihull Municipal

Warwickshire Premier Division

Rugby proved second best in all departments on Saturday against Solihull Municipal     PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Rugby proved second best in all departments on Saturday against Solihull Municipal PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER

Rugby v Solihull Municipal

Rugby’s winning run came to an abrupt end on Saturday, after a top-order batting collapse set the scene for a seven-wicket defeat to Solihull Municipal.

Upon winning the toss, Rugby captain Owen Edwards opted to stick to the approach that had served his side well so far and chose to bat first, despite relatively conducive bowling conditions.

This decision soon proved an error, as Solihull’s impressive new ball attack caused problems from the outset, bowling with control and movement.

Rugby batsman Lee Golding made 22 in Saturday's defeat

Rugby batsman Lee Golding made 22 in Saturday's defeat

Alex Roslyn (2-25) and Shoaib Masood (3-30) reduced Rugby to 25-5 and, soon after, James Roslyn picked up the sixth wicket with just 37 runs on the board.

Charlie Robards (17), Alex Smith (12), Lee Golding (22) and Vishaal Rathod (16) showed some resistance in the lower order and move the total into three figures, but Rugby still slumped to 110 all out in the 41st over.

Solihull had six overs to bat before tea and a fiery opening burst from Lee Golding meant they went into the break on 16-1.

Rugby were intent on making life hard for the visitors and two quick wickets upon the resumption gave the Webb Ellis Roaders an opening at 30-3.

Vish Rathod batting for Rugby, on his way to 16

Vish Rathod batting for Rugby, on his way to 16

These wickets were taken by Henry Wilkins and Raj Chohan, the first of which came via a sensational one-handed slip catch by Robards.

However, George Gray (31 not out) and Jon Stanley (41 not out) battled hard to take the sting out of Rugby’s push and then accelerated towards the winning line.

The winning runs came in the 27th over and Rugby were only able to take a single point from the match.

“It was a poor showing from us,” admitted Edwards after the match. “We’ve started the season really well, but we were second best in every department today.

“In hindsight, I probably should have bowled first because the ball did a lot early on, but we’ve built up real momentum by batting first and posting big totals, so I was hoping we’d continue that.

“Solihull’s opening bowlers put us under real pressure and we didn’t respond well. We needed to dig in and get through those early overs, but lost too many wickets in a hurry and it was always going to be a mountain to climb from there.

“After three easy wins, this is a wakeup call. We had a good chat afterwards and will come out firing next week, knowing what we need to do better and keen to bounce back.”

Rugby have a good opportunity to return to winning ways next week, travelling to bottom club Studley who have lost all four matches so far.

Warwickshire Division 3

Knowle & Dorridge 3rds v Rugby 2nds

A brilliant run chase from Rugby’s second string propelled them to a first win of the season, reaching their target from the very last ball of the 50th over on Saturday.

The Birmingham outfit won the toss and chose to bat first and started confidently through the free-scoring Chris Withington (42).

However, once Rugby got the breakthrough, they were able to stem the flow of runs and gain some control of the game through their spinners.

Hugh Cochrane (11-1-49-3) picked up the wickets, while Naresh Kauhsal (10-3-21-0) was as miserly as ever, although Usamah Khan (45) kept the scoreboard moving.

Jon Sage (8-1-58-3) bowled a better second spell and picked up wickets in the late overs, as the home side reached 269/8.

Rugby’s reply started watchfully and they were on 40-2, with Cochrane (11) and Stuart Lloyd (16) back in the pavilion, when Bhavik Rathod joined Jeevan Barhey at the crease.

This pair combined in what proved to a match-winning partnership, as two contrasting styles complemented each other perfectly.

Warwickshire colt Barhey provided the anchor, while Rathod was soon tucking into the bowling and finding the boundary with regularity.

They added a magnificent 177-run stand, before Rathod (120) was finally dismissed after scoring his first century for Rugby.

With a required run rate of seven-an-over, Rugby’s middle order had to take some risks and wickets began to fall, but the game looked in the bag with three needed from the final over and four wickets in hand.

However, when Barhey (90) was run out, suddenly it came down to two runs from two balls, but Chris Evans scampered over the line to secure a memorable win.

Warwickshire Division 9 East

Warwick 2nds v Rugby 3rds

A depleted Rugby 3rd XI battled hard to come away with a losing draw and 11 points from a difficult match at Warwick.

The hosts batted first and opener Naresh Airody (89) set up a big total for his side, adding 89 for the fourth wicket with Suhakara Konda (57), after Rubans Sugatharubans (2-30) picked up a couple of early wickets.

Liam Slaughter (4-56) starred with the ball for Rugby, again showcasing his development, while youngster Tom Palmer (2-30) made an impressive senior debut.

Warwick’s 239-8 from 45 overs was always going to be a tough chase for Rugby, but Tom Mitchell (26) and Alan Milsom (20) started the reply well with a 45-run opening stand.

However, a spell of four wickets for just 22 runs dented Rugby’s chances and the focus shifted to maximising batting points and ensuring they weren’t bowled out.

Suj Barhey (21) and Rubans (22) contributed useful cameos, before Adam Milsom (56 not out) and Lewis Ramoo (18) secured the losing draw and Rugby finished on 210-7.