3rd XI keep their promotion hopes alive with victory over table-topping Ambleside
Pictures from Saturday's game between Rugby 1sts and Attock by Mike Baker
WARCL Premier Division
Rugby vs Walmley
An understrength Rugby outfit produced a spirited display against league leaders Walmley to secure a losing draw on Bank Holiday Monday.
Owen Edwards won the toss on a very hot day, but chose to field first, knowing his batting lacked depth with a number of 1st team players unavailable.
His decision was rewarded by whole-hearted spells from all of his bowlers, working tirelessly in the heat and bowling long spells that test Walmley’s batsmen throughout.
Lee Golding and Vishaal Rathod shared the new ball, immediately setting into accurate lines in a good contest between bat and ball, but toiling hard before the first wicket fell to Golding with the score on 28.
Henry Wilkins was introduced and made an immediate impact as he so often does, taking two quick wickets to reduce the visitors to 45/3.
This brought Walmley’s star man to the crease Sarmad Bhatti, who is closing in on a 1000 league runs at an average of 80.
Rugby knew this would be the key wicket and it looked like Golding had struck gold when he found the Pakistani’s edge when he was still on zero, but the chance went down at gully.
Golding did strike again to remove Walmley skipper Michael Waugh (10), although he deserved more from a brilliant, unchanged spell of 15-5-37-2.
Rathod (12-2-29-1) and Neal McGrath then replaced Wilkins and Golding and both men struck in the first over of their spell to put the hosts on top at 83/6.
Sachin Dubb (23) joined Bhatti in a 44-run stand for the seventh wicket and, despite McGrath (10-1-48-3) chipping away at the pavilion end, Walmley finished their innings well.
Bhatti (63) was out in the final over to Wilkins (13-3-54-3), as Walmley closed their 50 overs on 176/9.
With so many batsmen missing, Rugby had to shuffle the pack and young debutant Shreyas Honnalli joined Jeevan Barhey in a very youthful opening partnership.
They added 23 for the first wicket, before Honnalli (3) was caught trying to pull and then Barhey (20) received a very unlucky umpiring decision, given lbw when there was a lot of bat involved.
This brought Edwards to join Henry Parker in the middle and the pair knew that a lot rested on their shoulders, as they attempted to wrestle back the momentum.
They were both quickly into their stride and the scoreboard was moving along confidently as they added 53 but, just as they were taking control, Edwards (28) was narrowly given out stumped.
The impressive Parker (40) and Wilkins (4) followed soon after and suddenly Rugby’s long tail was exposed and they had aspirations of a victory turned to dogged defence in search of the draw.
Vishaal Rathod (19) soaked up a lot of pressure in his 72-ball stay at the crease but, when he was blown away by a Recordo Gordon yorker, there was plenty left to for Rugby’s tail.
However, fresh from the 3rd XI, Tom Mitchell and Liam Slaughter showed resolute defence and admirable courage against some hostile bowling to survive the remaining overs and close the innings on 131/8.
After a chastening 8-wicket defeat to Attock on the Saturday, this was a good response from Rugby and they go into their final two matches of the season aiming looking to finish a disappointing campaign with some positive results.
Knowle Village 1sts vs Rugby 2nds
Rugby’s second string stuttered to a 48-run defeat on Saturday, which was disappointing after putting themselves into a strong position.
The home side chose to bat first in perfect conditions, but a superb opening spell from Suj Barhey (12-3-26-2) accounted for both opening batsmen.
Yasser Bashir (31), Andrew Richmond (32) and James Tomnie (35) all chipped in and helped repair the damage for Knowle, but wickets fell at regular intervals to Rugby’s battery of spinners.
Mo Sadiq (12-1-22-2) was the pick of them, whilst Kurran Barhey’s leg spin also picked up a wicket.
Jon Sage (2/46) claimed two wickets at the death, helping to restrict Knowle to 185/8.
Charlie Robards (24) and Shreyas Honnalli (14) opened Rugby’s reply and started well, adding 43 for the first wicket.
After they fell in quick succession, youngsters Eddie King (26) and Zachary Wenham (27) continued their side’s progress and they were well placed at 98/3.
However, a horrible collapse saw the next five batsmen contribute just 21 runs between them and only number 10 Sage (16) offered any genuine resistance after this point, as his side slumped to 137 all out.
WARCL Division 11 East
Rugby 3rds vs Ambleside 2nds
Rugby’s 3rd XI produced a ruthless performance against table toppers Ambleside on Saturday, securing a 57-run win to keep their promotion hopes alive going into the final weekend of matches.
Tom Smith won the toss and chose to bat first and, after losing both openers cheaply, his middle order set up a competitive total.
Mark Palmer (28), Tom Mitchell (26) and Smith (33) were the mainstays in getting Rugby to 157/9 from their 45 overs.
A beautiful delivery from Anszar Ahmed claimed an early wicket for Rugby and they never looked back, as Mitchell soon added two more.
A swashbuckling 56 from Simon Rawbone threatened to bring Ambleside back into contention but leg spinner Keval Rathod (9-2-36-5) ripped through the middle order.
Smith also took a wicket, before Mitchell (3/29) returned to finish the job and bowl the visitors out for 100 in the 32nd over.