1st XI succumb to seven-wicket defeat by high-flying Walmley
Pictures from Rugby 2nds v Bedworth by Mike Baker
Warwickshire Premier Division
Walmley v Rugby
Rugby succumbed to a seven-wicket defeat against high-flying Walmley on Saturday, after a whole-hearted effort on a very hot day.
Having toppled previous league leaders Bedworth a week earlier, Rugby were hoping for a repeat performance against the team replacing them at the top of the table, but struggled against a very strong outfit.
Owen Edwards won the toss, chose to bat first under a baking sun and watched his top order build a good platform against Walmley’s hostile opening attack.
Although Henry Wilkins (1) edged ex-Warwickshire man Recordo Gordon to slip with the score on 10, Jeevan Barhey joined Lee James in an impressive second wicket partnership.
Finally playing on a hard wicket and enjoying the extra pace on the ball, both men looked in good touch as they added 64 in confident fashion.
Frustratingly, James (37) was unlucky to be adjudged caught down the leg side off another former Bear, Mo Skeikh, but number four Edwards was soon into his stride and moving the scoreboard along.
At 95/2, Rugby were well placed for a big total, but a mix-up between the batsmen led to Barhey (37) being run out and Rugby started to lose wickets with too much regularity.
When Edwards (46) hit a full toss straight to deep mid-wicket, Rugby had slumped to 140/7 and a lot of the earlier good work was being undone.
Thankfully for the visitors, George Terry (32) and Vishaal Rathod (21 not out) combined sharp running and aggressive strokeplay in a 52-run stand for the eighth wicket, propelling their side to a more defendable total.
However, with two wickets falling from the last two balls, Rugby’s final score of 192-9 was still below par on a day where 250 looked necessary and should have been reached after a good start.
Rathod took the new ball for Rugby and continued his recent form, challenging Walmley’s experience opening partnership, but finding no luck whatsoever.
Neal McGrath proved to the pick of Rugby’s attack and his introduction secured the breakthrough when Sheikh (24) was trapped lbw with the score on 56.
Matt Ewer soon added a second wicket, via a sharp catch from Michael Hughes to account for Roshan Venkataraman (1), as Rugby sensed an opportunity at 64-2.
Sarmad Bhatti then joined remaining opener Daniel Bromley in the middle and Walmley’s Pakistani overseas player immediately showed his class and took the sting out of Rugby’s attack.
All of Rugby’s bowlers stuck to their task admirably, when it would have been easy to wilt in the heat, but a third wicket proved elusive, despite another challenging, but luckless burst from Rathod.
When Golding finally removed the classy Bhatti (51), it was too late in the day and Bromley (85 not out) eased his side to victory in the 43rd over.
Warwickshire Division 4
Rugby 2nds v Bedworth 2nds
Rugby’s 2nd XI entertained Bedworth 2nds at a sweltering Webb-Ellis Road and were relieved after Bedworth won the toss and made the unexpected decision to bowl first.
Charlie Robards opened the batting and was soon striking the ball crisply, finding the boundary regularly with his trademark cuts and drives.
It was a different story at the other end though, as fellow opener Hugh Cochrane was dismissed in the second over for a duck during a miserly spell by Andrew Ashby.
Shreyas Honnalli (16) looked in good form, but he too fell to Ashby (10-2-14-2) just as he looked well set and Alex Smith (6) followed soon after, as Bedworth turned to the spinning father and son duo of Neil and Ben Jones.
Robards was continuing to bat well at the other end and he was now joined by Bhavik Rathod who looked to put some impetus into the innings, striking a quick 24 before being bowled by one that kept low from Ben Jones.
Mo Sadiq soon followed for 1 and with Rugby at 131-5 off 39 overs a score of 200 looked a long way off.
However, Tom Mitchell joined Robards and struck six fours in a rapid 27 and, when he was trapped lbw, it brought Jack Coleman to the crease with 7 overs remaining.
Coleman struck the ball brilliantly from the off and with Robards upping the tempo at the end of his innings Rugby flew past the 200 mark with the Bedworth bowlers and fielders run ragged.
Robards (101 not out) reached a well-deserved century in the penultimate over of the innings, celebrating in his typically enthusiastic manner.
But it was Coleman who stole the show, his unbeaten 57 featured an array of eye-catching shots all-round the ground including two sixes, and meant Rugby reached a highly competitive 260-6.
Jonny Sage and Muneer Khan took the new ball for Rugby and, although Sage (1-38) did account for the dangerous Alan Iles (11), both bowlers appeared uncharacteristically out of sorts.
Bedworth’s experienced duo of Heath Parnell and Matthew Plant looked to build a platform for the innings, but Parnell came undone against one half of Rugby’s very own father and son spin duo of Mo (8-4-14-2) and Danny Sadiq (8.4-0-31-3).
Mo had Parnell (21) caught at slip and no.4 Tom Jenkins caught behind, before Danny dismissed Ryan Marsh and Max Page displaying some superb flight and spin.
Bedworth were never in the hunt and when Rathod (3-15) came on the bowl and took 3 wickets in two overs, including Plant for 20, it was a matter of when not if Bedworth would get bowled out.
Some strong lower-order hitting from youngster Tom Noon (22no) held Rugby up briefly, but Danny Sadiq returned to take the final wicket with Ashby holing out to mid-on, as Bedworth were bowled out for 140 to give Rugby a crushing victory.
Warwickshire Division 11 East
Standard 3rds v Rugby 3rds
Rugby 3rds continued their good form with a five-wicket success over a struggling Standard side, to maintain second place in the table.
Standard won the toss and chose to bowl first, but immediately lost a wicket to Rugby’s young quick bowler Anszar Ahmed.
Arif Pai (22) and Jack Sarjeant (19) held Rugby at bay for a while, but once Dave Marshall (3 for 14) got the next break through, wickets began to tumble, with the stand-in captain doing much of the damage.
Rubans picked up a wicket at the other end, before Mo Karri (2-20) got in on the act too.
Ahmed (3-24) returned for another successful spell, following his five wickets last week, before Jag Barhey took the tenth wicket with the score on 122.
Rugby’s reply didn’t start well, losing Marshall (4) early on, before Kurran Barhey (12), Jag Barhey (19) and Charlie Crinigan (17) all got themselves in then got out before making a significant score.
However, opener Tom Binding (42 not out) anchored the innings throughout and some lusty hitting by Tom Rigby (21 not out) eased Rugby over the line in the 24th over.