1st XI move up to fourth in Premier Division
WARCL Premier Division
Rugby vs Studley
Rugby moved up to fourth in the table with a comprehensive 166-run victory over Studley on Saturday, set up by an impressive performance with the bat.
Owen Edwards lost the toss and his side were asked to bat first on a challenging, but far from unplayable wicket and Henry Wilkins got the Webb Ellis Roaders off to a flier once again.
Wilkins’ attacking approach and clean hitting immediately put Studley on the back foot, as he struck 49 from 34 balls, before being dismissed in the tenth over with the score on 62.
Asaad Qureshi and Mike Powell then negotiated a challenging spell from Studley’s seamers, moving Rugby passed the 100 mark, until Powell (16) was caught and bowled in the 25th over.
This sparked a mini collapse, as 116-1 became 130-4, but Qureshi was still at the crease and steadied the ship in partnership with Edwards.
Qureshi (57) anchored the innings perfectly, with a dogged innings that laid the platform for Rugby’s hitters to accelerate in the later overs.
Although wickets fell at the other end, the in-form Edwards cashed in on this opportunity with an unbeaten 81 from 67 balls, propelling his side past a par total and Rugby finished with 256-8 from their 50 overs.
Studley’s reply started terribly, as Lee Golding (7-3-24-1) continued his remarkable trend of taking a wicket in his first over, doing so for the fifth time in seven weeks.
Matt Ewer (11-5-28-3) was brought into the attack early on and took the next three wickets to fall, bowling with immaculate control in his most effective spell of the season.
Studley’s innings continued to collapse, as Tom Wilkins (6-3-5-2) picked up two wickets, including Jawaad Nasir (26) who was brilliantly caught one-handed by Ewer in the slips.
The visitors had slumped to 50-6 and, although Stuart Harris (19) and Chris Regan (15) briefly stopped the rot, a superb direct-hit run out from T Wilkins accounted for the former.
Powell (5-2-9-2) and Edwards (4.5-2-6-1) shared the last three wickets and Studley were bowled out in the 39th over for 90.
Rugby have now picked up 148 points from their last eight matches, which has taken them away from a possible relegation scrap to a position where they could mount an unlikely title challenge.
However, next week’s visit to the league’s other form side Olton & West Warwicks will be crucial and Rugby will need a positive result to keep in touch with three teams ahead of them.
WARCL Division 3
Bourneville 1sts vs Rugby 2nds
It was a short afternoon’s play for Rugby’s second string, who needed just 10.2 overs to race to a nine-wicket victory over a struggling Bourneville team.
Rob Stipanovic won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bowl first on a very poor wicket that offered a lot of assistance to the bowlers.
The opening attack of Neal McGrath and James Barker got Rugby started, claiming a wicket each, but it was the spinners who did the real damage.
Raj Chohan (9-3-10-5) extracted exaggerated turn and bounce and ripped through the Birmingham outfit’s batting order, well supported by Naresh Kaushal (9.3-2-15-3).
All of Rugby’s bowlers were supported by some fantastic fielding, with Jeevan Barhey claiming a stunning diving take at cover, alongside sharp catches by wicket keeper Ikram Ullah and slip fielders Charlie Robards and McGrath.
Rugby’s reply was never in doubt, after Barhey (16) and Chohan (23 not out) confidently added 30 runs for the first wicket, before Barry Taylor whacked 18 from six balls to finish things off.
Division 10 East
Rugby 3rds vs Rowlands 2nds
Rugby’s third team secured their fourth consecutive win, with Jag Barhey and Adam Milsom playing the starring roles in a 139-run victory.
Batting first, opener Alan Milsom (57) got his side off to a good start, but wickets fell regularly at the other end and Rugby were in a spot of trouble at 135-6.
However, Barhey (101) struck 13 fours and 2 sixes on his way to a maiden RCC hundred, well supported by Tom Mitchell (45 not out).
Rugby reached 276 all out, despite the efforts of Luke Fernando (6 for 19), which proved too many for their local rivals.
Kers Van Laar (16) and Dinesh Fernando (19) started Rowlands reply well but, once Adam Milsom broke through, it began a procession of wickets.
Milsom was unplayable at times and ripped through the top order in a devastating spell of 10-2-9-7.
Rahul Shah, Barhey and Mitchell also picked a wicket apiece and Rowlands were all out for 137 from 42 overs.