CRICKET: Woes continue as depleted Rugby beaten again

Jon Sage took four wickets for the 1st XI against Streetly
Jon Sage took four wickets for the 1st XI against Streetly

Unlikely victory moves 3rd XI to second in the table

Warwickshire Premier Division

Rugby v Streetly

Rugby’s batting woes continued on Saturday, as a depleted XI slumped to a 57-run defeat against a Streetly side battling relegation.

The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first on a blustery day at Webb Ellis Road, starting watchfully against Rugby’s opening attack.

Streetly started slowly, adding just 25 from the first 12 overs, but managed to get through Rugby’s new ball attack unscathed.

However, the introduction of Henry Wilkins (10-2-29-3) made an immediate impact when he made the breakthrough with his first ball and went on to take the first three wickets.

His spell reduced Streetly to 64-3 and put Rugby on top, but some poor catching and ground fielding let the Sutton Coldfield side off the hook.

Akbar Ahmed (64) and Craig Moore (32) added 75 runs for the fourth wicket, before Jon Sage finally broke their stand with the score on 139.

Vishaal Rathod (2-47) and Sage (4-50) bowled well in tandem during the final overs, restricting Streetly to 188-9 from their 50 overs.

In bowler-friendly conditions this score looked marginally above par, but Rugby’s reply started confident with captain Owen Edwards moving up the order to open and finding the boundary regularly.

He added 49 for the first wicket with Lee James (15) and Rugby looked well placed at 66-1, before Edwards (35) was trapped lbw and his side’s out-of-form middle order was exposed.

Josh Thomas (4-19) did most of the damage, as three wickets feel for as many runs and Rugby never really recovered from this setback, suffering in the absence of three key batsmen from an already fragile line-up.

Henry Wilkins (22) and Matt Ewer (24) looked to rebuild the innings, but Streetly’s spinners turned the screw and Rugby were bowled out for just 131 in the 42nd over.

Division 4

Smethwick 2nds v Rugby 2nds

Rugby’s 2nd XI suffered badly from a week of poor availability in the club and struggled to compete with the league leaders at Smethwick.

In match reduced to 40-overs due to rain, Rugby lost the toss and were asked to bat first, but never really got going.

Young opener Zachary Wenham (19) looked good again before he was run out and Dave Marshall (34) top scored, but nobody else really made an impact on the scorers.

Rugby’s total of 132-9 never looked likely to be enough and Smethwick eased to a nine-wicket victory in the 32nd over.

14-year-old spinner Danny Sadiq was Rugby’s only wicket taker and once again signalled what an exciting prospect he is, having now taken 10 wickets in 51 overs for the 2nds this summer.

Division 11 East

Hunningham 2nds v Rugby 3rds

Rugby’s 3rd XI recorded an unlikely victory at Hunningham, winning by one wicket in a nail-biting finish to move into second place in the league table.

Despite fielding a side with seven players younger than 18, Rugby stuck to their task impressively and recorded a hard-earned victory after winning the toss and choosing to bowl first.

Three of the club’s U15s led the way with the bowling, as Anszar Ahmed and Tom Palmer kept things tight with the new ball, before Theo Nelson (3-33) ripped through the top order.

Palmer picked up the first wicket, before Nelson’s efforts and then captain Tom Smith (4/42) worked through the lower order with his off spin.

A wicket each for Ahmed and Euan Walker helped to bowl the hosts out for 152.

Rugby’s reply started well through Chris Evans (19) and Smith (16), adding 47 for the first wicket, but four quick wickets put the run chase on the ropes.

Jack Crinigan (27) was joined by Mark Palmer and the pair steadied the ship and soon had the scoreboard moving along quickly.

They appeared to have put Rugby well on course for victory, but a monumental collapse saw five wickets fall in rapid succession and suddenly Rugby’s number 11 was at the crease.

Thankfully Palmer (61 not out) was still batting and he struck a series of boundaries to take Rugby to the cusp of victory, before Walker hit the winning runs.