CRICKET: Rugby hoping return of regulars will help to restore better form

Jeevan Barhey (pictured batting last summer) hit 25 for the 1sts on Saturday
Jeevan Barhey (pictured batting last summer) hit 25 for the 1sts on Saturday

Trip to Birmingham to face Attock CC this weekend

Rugby CC 1xt succumbed to another heavy defeat at home to Coventry and North Warwick CC as their batting woes continued. Missing five regular first teamers, Rugby knew they would have to be at their best to beat the strong Coventry outfit.

WARCL Premier Division

Rugby vs Coventry & NW

Rugby CC 1xt succumbed to another heavy defeat at home to Coventry and North Warwick CC as their batting woes continued. Missing five regular first teamers, Rugby knew they would have to be at their best to beat the strong Coventry outfit.

Stand-in skipper Henry Parker won the toss and chose to bat first, hoping to put pressure on the opposition attack with the Win/Loss format now commencing.

Henry Wilkins was promoted to open and he immediately looked to be positive, dismissing anything short of a length.

When he pummelled Johal for 14 off an over, Rugby had quickly moved to 25 from 4 overs, but Lee James (4) fell soon after to a short-pitched delivery that stayed low to trap him lbw.

This brought youngster Jeevan Barhey to the crease and he looked assured against the quicks of C&NW.

Wilkins and Barhey played watchfully and the score had reached 41/1 off 8 overs when Wilkins (17) was caught behind off Johal (7-1-38-3).

This exposed Rugby’s middle order whose lack of confidence and form sparked another monumental collapse that did irreparable damage.

41/1 soon became 43/5 and Rugby had a fight on their hands to produce anything near a competitive total.

Barhey (25) was still at the crease and Michael Hughes (24) accompanied him in a patient partnership of 35 before Hughes was unlucky to be adjudged lbw.

A swashbuckling innings from Jon Sage (26) took Rugby past the 100 mark but they were eventually bowled out for a lowly 119.

If they were to have any chance of defending this early wickets would be key and Rugby were off to a dream start as Wilkins (2 for 39) picked up the wicket of pinch hitter Johal with just the 2nd ball of the innings.

He soon struck again as fellow opener Toor was dismissed, Lee James taking a superb towering catch over his shoulder at square leg.

At 20/2 the game was in the balance but, with the wicket flattening out, Rugby’s bowlers struggled to make further inroads, as Iles (65) and Sodhi (32) put together a match winning partnership of 86 to take the game away from Rugby.

The fight was still there from the home side to make it as difficult as possible for the Coventry team and it was nice to see a first 1st team wicket for Muneer Khan on his debut.

Veteran spinner Mo Sadiq also bowled well (5-0-10-1), but with the lack of runs to defend the away team romped home to victory in the 26th over for the loss of 4 wickets.

This weekend sees a trip to Birmingham to face Attock CC and Rugby will be hoping the return of some regulars will improve their fortunes and turn around this poor run of form.

Division 4

Massey Ferguson 1sts vs Rugby 2nds

On a warm day Rugby CC won the toss and elected to bat first.

The Massey Ferguson opening attack proved effective by removing openers Rishi Tank (8) and Eddie King (5) for fewer than 10 runs each.

Wicketkeeper Shreyas Honnalli (29) batted well with Zachary Wenham (13) and upon Sujahn Barhey’s arrival to the crease, the runs started to flow.

Barhey was out after an explosive 32 runs. The lower order all chipped in with Jack Coleman (22), Rubans Sugantharubans (11) and Adam Milsom (13) contributing to the final total of 175-9 from 50 overs.

A score which seemed somewhat below par. Highlights from Massey Ferguson’s bowling attack include opener Omar Hussain (10-3-18-1) who kept things tidy and Sulman Sarwar (9-1-23-4) who struck at vital times.

Massey Ferguson got off to a quick start with some aggressive batting. Adam Milsom’s early wicket of Safdar (13), was soon followed by the fall of Kumar’s wicket (15) off the bowling of Rubans.

However, the star of the show was Arslan Awan who opened the batting and went on to score 78 not out using a high-risk strategy, which paid off.

Young debutant Daanyal Sadiq bowled superbly with no luck and wickets taken by Slaughterand Tankcame too late.

Massey Ferguson reached their target in 37.3 overs to end the game and take 20 points.

Division 11 East

Atherstone 3rds vs Rugby 3rds

Rugby’s third string returned to winning ways with an inexperienced side putting together a fine display to win by six wickets.

Atherstone batted first and started badly when Jack Crinigan executed a run out in the first over, before a fine spell from the returning Euan Walker (3 for 36) made further inroads.

Paul Smith (49 not out) kept Rugby at bay, but Rob Stipanovic (2 for 33) and Ollie Tapscott (2 for 27) kept it tight and restricted the home side to 179/8.

Rugby also lost a wicket in their first over, but an aggressive 41 from captain Dave Marshall, supported by youngster Augustus Wenham (15) got the run chase on track.

Three more wickets fell in quick succession, but Mark Palmer (60 not out) and Tapscott (51 not out) combined in a match-winning partnership to see their side home.

Sunday Friendly

Rugby vs Willoughby

Both Rugby and Willoughby fielded very young sides in this Sunday friendly. After a wet start to the day it was decided that the weather was good enough to play.

Rugby won the toss and elected to bowl. Rugby got off to a good start with Tom Palmer taking the first wicket before injuring himself and having to sit out the rest of the game.

A great spell of bowling from Anzar Ahmed (8-1-29-1) kept the runs down and provided another early wicket of opener Nawaz (14).

Scores from Graham Hallam (24) and Justin Hanks (37) provided Willoughby with some steady runs but tight bowling from the Rugby CC juniors kept the run rate down.

Most of the team had the chance to bowl with the pick of the bowlers being Jamie Frearson (5-1-9-2) and Daanyal Sadiq (5-0-27-2) with two wickets apiece.

The rest of the wickets were shared between the team as captain Adam Milsom rotated the bowlers throughout the innings. 57 runs from Mark Fell took Willoughby CC to 171 all out in the final over.

Rugby CC’s reply got off to a shaky start with opener Liam Slaughter getting out for a duck off Callum Hanks.

This brought club veteran Charlie Robards to the crease. Robards, ably assisted by junior Sadiq (11) scored an impressive 76 runs before being out caught off the bowling of Walecezk (8-1-33-2).

Contributions were made by George Robards (10), Milsom (13) and Charlie Crinigan (17).

However, some good bowling from the likes of Ashley Rayner (5-1-13-2) and Mark Fell (5-0-19-1) brought the game to a tense finish with juniors Jonty Scott-Brown (13) and Theo Nelson (10) left to defend the last wicket and attempt to reach the target.

In the final two overs, 3 runs were required to win and Scott-Brown lifted one over mid-wicket for 4 to win the game after Rugby seemingly losing the advantage. A fantastic game with great junior performances from both sides.