Winning draw keeps 3rds second in table
Warwickshire Premier Division
Rugby v Nuneaton
Rugby were thankful to the rain for cutting their match short on Saturday and giving them a losing draw, as Nuneaton looked well on course for victory when the weather intervened.
In bowler-friendly conditions, it was no surprise when Nuneaton chose to field first after winning the toss, but Rugby’s innings started confidently.
Asaad Qureshi (21) and Henry Wilkins (17) added 37 for the first wicket, before a rain break appeared to disrupt their momentum and, upon the resumption, three wickets fell for 30 runs.
Captain Owen Edwards joined Henry Parker in the middle and the pair stopped the rot with some watchful defence and began to move the game back in Rugby’s favour.
However, just as they began to up the tempo, Edwards (28) received a terrible umpiring decision, inexplicably given out caught behind.
There was a break in play while the opposition debated retracting their appeal, but ultimately decided to embrace the umpire’s decision and the Rugby skipper had to depart.
The incident appeared to rock Parker (26) who played an uncharacteristically loose shot to the next ball and suddenly Rugby were in trouble again at 116-5.
Thankfully for the hosts, Rugby’s lower order demonstrated the value of their deep batting line-up, as Bhavik Rathod (29) looked in great nick and kept the scoreboard ticking.
Left-handers Raj Chohan and Jack Rosser added 20 apiece, before Rugby were eventually bowled out for 208, with Paul Rowe (3-36) the pick of Nuneaton’s attack.
Further rain between the innings reduced Nuneaton’s allocation to just 35 overs, but they started briskly and were clearly targeting a win to keep their title challenge on track.
Jason Jakeman (21) scored the bulk of the runs and moved the score to 32, before he received a good ball from Edwards that nipped back and bowled him.
At this point, Nuneaton could have settled for a revised winning draw target, but showed their ambition and attacked Rugby’s bowlers.
Rugby did not help themselves in the field by dropping four chances, two of which were regulation, and the visiting side took full advantage.
When the rain finally ended proceedings early, they had reached 178-1 from 31 overs and were in full control of the match.
Sarfaraz Pathan (84no) and Marco Higgins (64no) had cashed in on their fortune and batted with confidence and skill, leaving Rugby fortunate to pick up 8 points from the match.
While their effort in the field was not good enough, Rugby can take heart from their batting display, facing the best bowling attack in the league and not having the rub of the green, scoring 208 was a commendable effort.
WARCL Division 3
Knowle & Dorridge 3rds vs Rugby 2nds
Rugby’s second string suffered the narrowest of defeats on Saturday, as their opponents snuck over the winning line with one wicket to spare in a nail-biting finish.
Jon Sage won the toss for Rugby and chose to bat first, but his side were soon in trouble after losing three early wickets.
In-form Barry Taylor (52) struck his third consecutive half century and was well-supported by Mike Amos-Simpson (42), as Rugby fought back.
However, once Taylor was dismissed, there was another collapse and Sage (22) was the only other player to reach double figures, as Rugby were bowled out for 150.
Matt Johnson (2-46) accounted for both of Knowle & Dorridge’s openers, but Chris Withington got his side’s run chase on track.
Just as it looked like the game was drifting away from them, Rugby dragged themselves back into contention through the bowling of Sage and Mo Sadiq.
Sage (8-0-25-2) removed Withington (32), while Sadiq bowled an immaculate spell of 12-4-19-3.
Hugh Cochrane (2-10) then struck twice, leaving the home side nine wickets down, but the final pair snuck over the winning line in the 54th over.
WARCL Division 10 East
Wolvey 2nds vs Rugby 3rds
Rugby 3rds maintained their grip on second place with another positive result, securing their fourth winning draw and 15 points in the process.
Rugby batted first and, despite Shreyas Honnalli (18) batting well again, they lost their top three cheaply.
The middle order came to the rescue though, with a series of contributions from Suj Barhey (31), Jag Barhey (42), Adam Milsom (28), Tom Mitchell (39) and Rubans (27no).
Their efforts took Rugby to 208-7 from 41 overs, with Jevon Thorpe (3/35) the most successful bowler.
Mitchell (2-28) took two early wickets and young debutant Euan Walker picked up a third, but opener John Hawkins (55no) helped his side to 135-3 from 32 overs, as rain cut things short.