Century for Robards as second string wing by 106 runs
PICTURES BY MIKE BAKER
Warwickshire Cricket League
Bedworth v Rugby
Rugby suffered their second defeat of the season on Saturday, after losing by three-wickets in a cagey affair against Bedworth.
In bowler-friendly conditions, it was no surprise that Bedworth chose to field first when they won the toss but Rugby’s openers started well for the visitors.
Asaad Qureshi and Raj Chohan added 44, before Chohan (24) was trapped lbw by Lewis Noon.
Rugby failed to build on this platform, losing wickets at regular intervals from this point and never building another meaningful partnership.
They were not helped by some questionable lbw decisions, the worst of which cost Qureshi (39) his wicket, but poor shot selection and an ability to rotate the strike meant Rugby’s innings stagnated.
Matt Ewer (32) and debutant Faisal Khaliq (36) helped their side towards a competitive total, but spinners Abdul Hafeez (2-27) and Lewis Peacock (3-55) restricted Rugby to 190 all out.
Defending a low total, Rugby got an immediate boost when Khaliq took a wicket with the first ball of Bedworth’s reply and then produced a fine delivery to bowl the dangerous Ryan Parnell (2) in the third over.
However, Bedworth’s in-form Matt Pickering counter attacked brutally, punishing anything that was over pitched by Rugby’s bowlers and scoring freely from the outset.
Matt Ewer (2 for 72) bowled a whole-hearted spell into a strong wind, trying to protect a short straight boundary, and picked up two more wickets to reduce Bedworth to 67-4.
At this point Rugby had the momentum, but Pickering continued to attack and found able support from Hafeez, as the hosts took the sting out of Rugby’s attack.
Vishaal Rathod bowled a fiery burst, beating the bat endlessly, but had no luck and went unrewarded.
With Henry Wilkins, Lee Golding and Owen Edwards all missing from Rugby’s attack, Bedworth regained control and, despite Chohan removing Pickering (82), they moved towards the winning line.
Steve Ward and Khaliq (3 for 44) claimed a wicket each to put some late pressure on, but Hafeez (46 not out) saw Bedworth home with three wickets and nine overs to spare.
Warwickshire Division 3
Rugby 2nds v Bedworth 2nds
It was a different story in the reverse fixture, where Charlie Robards and Jon Sage powered Rugby’s second string to a 106-run win.
Batting first, Rugby started confidently through Robards and Hugh Cochrane, adding 39 runs before the latter was caught for 25.
Stuart Lloyd then joined Robards at the crease and the spectators were treated to a trip down memory lane as two of the club’s most prolific batsmen combined once again.
Their partnership was worth 137 when Lloyd (32) was trapped lbw, but Robards when on to complete yet another classy century at Webb Ellis Road.
His 133 included 13 fours and two maximums, helping his side to amass 241-8 from their 50 overs.
Neal McGrath struck an early blow in Bedworth’s reply, but it was stand-in captain Sage who did the real damage.
Appearing to bowl with an extra yard of pace, Sage ripped through the top order and took the next four wickets to fall.
Rugby then turned to their battery of spinners, but only Naresh Kaushal managed to pick up a wicket and Bedworth began to really.
Sage took the bull by the horns and returned to the attack, alongside McGrath (2 for 36) who took the next wicket.
It was Sage who picked up the last three wickets to finish with career best figures 12-2-27-7 and rout Bedworth for just 135 in 43 overs.
Warwickshire Division 9 East
Bedworth 3rds vs Rugby 3rds
Rugby’s 3rd team moved up to second in the table, after cruising to a 7-wicket win against Bedworth 3rds.
Bedworth batted first and started well until the introduction of Rubans (9-2-26-4) who claimed the first four wickets to fall.
Abhay Lal (3 for 30) was also among the wickets, as well as one each to Liam Slaughter and Finlay Hamill, ensuring Bedworth struggled to 151 all out.
Rugby’s reply was never really in doubt with Lal (92) opening the innings and dominating proceedings.
He was well supported by Richard Morgan (17), before Tom Binding and Zachary Wenham made 11 not out each to see their side home in the 32nd over.