Victory for Rugby CC over high-flying Bedworth
WARCL Premier Division
Bedworth vs Rugby
Rugby returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion on Saturday with a thumping victory over high-flying Bedworth, inspired by all-rounder Henry Wilkins.
Rugby’s promising early season form had deserted them in recent weeks, but they turned this around at the weekend with one of the club’s best performances in recent memory.
The outfield was at Bedworth was quick, but the pitch was clearly going to offer the bowler’s some assistance and Rugby were not too disappointed to lose the toss and find themselves fielding first.
Matt Ewer struck an early blow for the visitors, finding the edge of David Jakeman’s bat in the first over and Charlie Robards snaffled a sharp catch at second slip.
However, this brought Bedworth’s big-name recruits Luke Reeves and Michael Pickering together at the crease and the pair counterpunched effectively.
Reeves targeted the talismanic Ewer early on and the scoreboard motored to 71/1 from ten overs, with the opening batsmen striking ten boundaries in this time.
However, the introduction of spin turned the game back in Rugby’s favour, as Tom Wikins (10-054-2) bowled Reeves (49) with his first ball, then trapped Scott Friswell (0) lbw two balls later.
This double blow took the momentum out of Bedworth’s innings and they were forced to rebuild, allowing Rugby to slow the scoring considerably through the middle overs.
As Bedworth tried to be more adventurous, Henry Wilkins removed the dangerous duo of Jason Jakeman (17) and Sam Smart (15) to reduce the hosts to 127/5.
Pickering and Lewis Peacock (36) added 58 for the sixth wicket, but a wicket apiece for Raj Chohan (8-0-37-1) and Ewer (12-0-68-2) continued to peg them back.
Bedworth attempted to finish with a flurry, but the return of Henry finally removed Pickering (97), who unfortunately stood on his own stumps when a richly deserved century was in site.
A wicket in the final over to Wilkins (10-1-45-4) meant that Bedworth closed their innings on 249/9, a total which looked above par on a pitch that was displaying increasingly inconsistent bounce.
One ball into Rugby’s innings, this score looked a lot further above par when fast bowler Sam Smart nipped one back through Robards’ defensive shot to clean bowl him first ball.
However, this brought Michael Powell to join Henry Wilkins at the crease and Rugby launched an unbelievable counter attack that Bedworth could not respond to.
With contrasting styles, both batsmen found the boundary regularly and the scoreboard was rattling along at ten-an-over from the start.
Powell drove classily through the covers and punished anything that was too straight through the leg side, while Wilkins showcased his powerful hitting by launching Bedworth’s spinners over the ropes.
In a stunning partnership, the pair raced past their fifties and had added 164 runs in just 19 overs, before Bedworth finally broke the stand.
Wilkins’ brutal innings of 80 from 51 balls was finally ended by Reeves and, when Ewer (7) followed soon after, Bedworth sensed a chance to get back in the game.
However, Chohan (18) and Powell continued Rugby’s progression, taking the score past 200 and, although Chohan’s dismissal left Rugby on 201/4, the result was never really in doubt.
Captain Owen Edwards (34* from 20 balls) finished the game in a hurry, while Powell (89*) batted throughout the innings to secure a 6-wicket win.
Powell’s knock was clear demonstration of the experience and know-how that he will add to Rugby’s top order for the rest of the summer and glued a highly impressive run chase together for Rugby.
Rugby will hope that these 24 points will kick-start their season and they will look to maintain this positive approach when they host struggling Solihull Municipal next Saturday.
Rugby 2nds vs Bedworth 2nds
Rugby’s second team saw their unbeaten run come to an end in a low-scoring, hard-fought contest with Bedworth on Saturday.
Rugby were asked to bat first on a worn track and, with wickets falling at regular intervals through their innings, struggled to build any real momentum.
Chris Evans (18) started well for the home side, but 29 without loss soon became 45/3, as Andrew Ashby (12-3-23-3) lead Bedworth’s attack.
A fourth-wicket stand for 58 between Henry Parker (31) and Jonathan Sage (33) was the highlight of Rugby’s innings, while Billy Burton (21*) and Tom Binding (16) chipped in with late runs.
However, Rugby’s final total of 168/7 didn’t look enough and this proved to be the case, despite a whole-heated effort in the field.
Off-spinner Mo Sadiq (12-6-18-2) was the pick of Rugby’s bowlers, supported by a wicket apiece to Neal McGrath, Rob Stipanovic and Parker, but Matthew Plant’s unbeaten 64 anchored Bedworth’s reply.
With useful contributions from Alan Iles (26) and Lewis Noon (25*) as well, Bedworth crossed the winning line with two overs remaining to win by 5 wickets.
Division 11 East
Rugby 3rds vs Bedworth 4ths
Rugby’s third team continued their unrelenting march of success this summer, with youngster Jeevan Barhey driving his side to 24 points with an unbeaten century.
It has already been a quite staggering season for the unbeaten Rugby, who have now acquired 228 points after just 11 matches, opening up a 65-point lead at the top of the table in the process.
Batting first against Bedworth 4ths this week, Rugby were largely indebted to the Barhey brothers who came together with the score on 32/2 and added 116 runs for the third wicket.
Kurran Barhey made 62, before Jeevan (128*) and Sujahn Barhey (47*) added a further 130 runs for the fifth wicket, propelling Rugby to 313/4 from their 45 overs.
Bedworth made a good fist of their reply thanks to Darren Bedford (53) and Laurence Green (29*), but Rugby’s attack secured victory with four overs to spare, as the visitors were bowled out for 182.
Sachin Sard (9-2-30-4) was the pick of Rugby’s attack, while Calum Mackay (5-2-6-2) continued his good form with the ball.
Adam Milsom, George Muston, Euan Mackay and Kurran Barhey all took a wicket each to ensure Rugby’s 131-run victory.
Rugby CC are sponsored by MJS Construction and The Peri Group.