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Rugby CC have begun the 2011 season in good form, taking a win and a tie from their encounters with Massey Ferguson CC.

Warwickshire Cricket League Division 2

Performance highlights saw Club Captain Matt Ewer contributing an excellent all-round performance of 70 with the bat and 7 for 59 with the ball, and 2nd XI paceman Glynn Tapp taking a brilliant hat-trick.

Rugby CC 1st XI 237 all out

beat Massey Ferguson 169 all out

RCC won by 68 runs.

Matt Ewer lost the toss and RCC were inserted, with openers Charlie Robards and Alex Smith building an untroubled 30 before Robards was bowled for 10 by the persevering Sarwar. Stu Lloyd was then out LBW the next ball, but Ewer calmed the situation as he dominated a fourth wicket stand of 71, until Smith was eventually caught and bowled for an important 39. With Chris Evans out just before the drinks break, Massey Ferguson were ahead of the game with the town at 114 for 4 from 25 overs. They continued the momentum after drinks as Ed Benfield and Henry Parker were dismissed, and Ewer LBW for a fine 70 with ten fours.

Rugby had sunk to 154 for 7 from 35 overs, but new Rugby School signing George Mackenzie (42) and veteran Alan Milsom (33 not out) counterattacked with a brilliant stand of 72 in a dozen overs. Rugby were eventually all out with three balls to spare, but 237 was a useful score on a two-paced track against a useful and varied bowling attack.

After a fine Robards family tea in the new Sue Salisbury kitchen, Rugby were up for the challenge and Alan Milsom had opener Manifold well caught by Ed Benfield in the fourth over. Matt Ewer then removed the aggressive Niaz courtesy of a neat snaffle at short gully by George Mackenzie, and followed this up by clean bowling Davies and Azhar to leave the visitors reeling at 46 for 4 after 15 overs.

Neal McGrath (5-0-9-1) chipped in with an LBW, and when Henry Parker leapt like a spawning salmon to brilliantly catch the dangerous Shahizi, Matt Ewer had taken his 5th wicket to see Massey at 77 for 7.

However, the town were tested as Sarwar threw caution to the wind and hit five boundaries with his one shot, and the score almost doubled as number five Green played well to make a half-century. George Mackenzie’s leg spin (6-0-29-0) kept a lid on things from the pavilion end and Matt Hinks (5-1-24-1) eventually bought Sarwar’s wicket as Stuart Lloyd took a comfortable catch at long-on. Fittingly, Ewer returned to see the stoic Green caught by Ed Benfield and earn RCC a maximum 24 points.

Rugby CC 2nd XI 210 for 9,

tied with Massey Ferguson 2nd XI 210 all out.

A hat trick, several run outs and a tied result made the 2nds’s first game of the new season a notable occasion.

Winning the toss, skipper Keith Bradbury chose to bowl first and hoped to take advantage of the humid early May conditions. Young opening bowlers Adam Milsom and Glyn Tapp got Rugby off to a great start, and following a run out, both bowlers utilized their pace and bounce to leave Massey Ferguson in trouble on 19-3. Wickets continued to fall for the next 20 overs, with Suganthurubans staring off his season with a 3 wicket haul, and keeper Tom Binding proving his ability with the gloves with the first of three catches.

With Massey at 84 for 6 it appeared the match was in Rugby’s control, however a period of umpiring controversy allowed Massey to get back into the game. Bowlers Raj Chouhan and Tom Mitchell bowled well to bring Rugby through a difficult period of the game. There then followed the most memorable part of the innings as Milsom and Tapp returned, with Milsom soon bowling Imran for 42. Tapp then bowled with pace and aggression, and, with 3 balls of his spell remaining, removed Arminder for 81. The next batsman was out next ball with the help of Binding behind the stumps. An outside edge from the number 11 was soon safely in the hands of Tom Binding and Tapp celebrated his hat-trick with typical Welsh understatement.

In reply to Massey’s 210, openers Keith Bradbury and Raj Chouhan (33) benefitted from some wayward bowling early on and kept Rugby in line with the required rate in the first 25 overs. Bradbury continued alongside Choudery before being bowled off his pads for a jug avoiding 49, leaving Rugby on 124-2 with 30 overs to get just under 90 runs.

However, as the pitch dried, the next 7 wickets fell for just over 50 runs, leaving Suganthurubans and bowling hero Adam Milsom the last batsmen standing on 170-9. Both batted with dogged determination and after some boundaries, wides and hastily taken singles later, Rugby were level with Massey on 210 for 9 before Milsom was tragically caught behind leaving the result as a tie. Both teams took 18 points, a good result on a day which at one point looked set to end on a sourer note.