CRICKET: Batting collapse brings big defeat for Rugby CC

Jon Sage bowling to Handsworth in the 2nds' four-wicket win
Jon Sage bowling to Handsworth in the 2nds' four-wicket win

Good results for 2nds and 3rds

ECB Birmingham League

Bhavik Rathod bowling for Rugby 2nds against Handsworth on Saturday at Webb Ellis Road

Bhavik Rathod bowling for Rugby 2nds against Handsworth on Saturday at Webb Ellis Road

Handsworth v Rugby

Rugby suffered a heavy defeat to an in-form Handsworth side on Saturday after a batting collapse undermined a whole-hearted effort in the field.

Before the match began, Rugby suffered a big blow when captain and leading run-scorer Owen Edwards was ruled out with a back injury and stand-in skipper Henry Parker lost a key toss.

On another hot day, Handsworth were happy to bat first and got off to a flying start against some wayward Rugby bowling.

They hosts raced to 75 without loss, before Vishaal Rathod struck the first blow for Rugby and removed Waseem Mazhar (32).

This breakthrough stopped Handsworth in their tracks and Matt Ewer claimed the prized scalp of Renrick Hooper (0) in the next over, with the number three coming off the back of an unbeaten 167 vs Stourbridge last week.

Ewer (2-56) and Henry Wilkins (2-43) made further inroads, as five wickets for 53 runs.

Neal McGrath was then introduced and began a marathon spell of 15 consecutive overs, a superb effort in such hot conditions and he immediately settled into a probing line.

McGrath (15-1-46-3) was the pick of Rugby’s attack as wickets continued to fall, but opening batsman Carby Dawkins was still at the crease and playing a match-defining innings.

At 189-8, it looked like the Birmingham side would finish well below par, but a further 73 runs were added for the last two wickets.

Dawkins (126no) carried his bat for a superb hundred and helped his side reach 262, before Rathod (2-68) claimed the last wicket.

In good batting conditions, this score was not overly daunting on paper, but over 50 overs in the heat had clearly sapped a lot of energy from Rugby’s batsmen.

Their reply started badly when Raj Chohan (3) was trapped lbw by Winston Lewis with the score on 16 and things continued to deteriorate for the Webb Ellis Roaders from there.

Cochrane (28) was the only top order player to look fluent, having been called up to replace Edwards, but Lewis (3-33) and Ittlan Bowens (3-35) cut through the top order.

Rugby slumped to 87-8, before Vishaal Rathod (22) and Mo Sadiq (30) added some lower order resistance and showed the top order the kind of application that was needed.

However, the final wicket fell in the 36th over with the score on 140, as Rugby slumped to a 122-run defeat.

Rugby 2nds vs Handsworth 2nds

It was a much brighter story for Rugby’s 2nd XI where a Charlie Robards batting master-class navigated his side to a four-wicket victory.

Handsworth won the toss, chose to bat first and got off to a promising start through Marcus Simmons and Karanveer Bhalla.

They added 84 for the first wicket, before Simmons (25) edged and Abhay Lal delivery to Robards at first slip, which gave Rugby the opening they needed.

The introduction of Bhavik Rathod then accounted for Bhalla (66), well caught by Jon Sage in the gully, as Rugby started to take regular wickets.

Lemmar Moncrieffe (56) kept the scoreboard ticking, but Rathod (9-1-33-3) and Sage (15-1-51-2) bowled tightly in tandem during the second half of the innings.

Dave Marshall (9-2-29-2) then returned with two late wickets, as Handsworth were left disappointed with their final score of 214-8 from 50 overs.

This score looked below par, but Rugby were soon in trouble at 11-2, as Alex Smith joined Robards in the middle.

They consolidated the run chase in a 51-run stand, before Smith (24) was caught at cover, but Abhay Lal continued to move Rugby in the right direction.

Lal (37) and Robards added a further 69 runs, but an impressive second spell from Azizulah Raheem (3-43) brought the Birmingham side back into the match.

However, supported by Kurran Barhey (13) and Rob Stipanovic (15 not out), Robards continued to pace his innings perfectly, finding a boundary whenever his side needed.

He finished on 99 not out, as Rugby sealed victory with four wickets and 13 balls to spare.

WARCL Division 9 East

Rugby 3rds vs Newdigate 1sts

Rugby’s 3rd string put in a dominant performance over Newdigate to pick up the lion’s share of the points in a winning draw.

RCC batted first and started well through openers Chris Evans (35) and Jack Crinigan (18), before Barry Taylor (79) played the big innings that provided the backbone for his side’s total.

Ollie Tapscott chipped in with 25, before Jack Coleman (58 not out) added some crucial late runs and helped Rugby to 273-9.

Newdigate’s reply never really threatened the required run rate, despite a good contribution from number five Lewis Curry (58).

Rugby skipper Tom Mitchell (4-60) was the main wicket taker, supported by Coleman, Rubans and Jag Barhey with one each, as well as a run out.

Newdigate’s reply closed on 223-8 from 45 overs.