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3rd Jul, 2022

CRICKET - Rugby battle to losing draw against Attock

RUGBY CC battled to a losing draw against Attock after failing to reach the Birmingham side’s total of 288-6.

A depleted Rugby side were without leading run scorers Wes Landsdale and Owen Edwards but a valiant batting display from George Mackenzie (86 not out) well supported by Hugh Cochrane (51) and Lee Golding (41 not out) helped Rugby post 243-6.

Stand-in skipper Neal Mcgrath lost the toss and was asked to bowl, but Rugby were in dreamland as Seth Westley picked up a wicket with the very first ball of the match courtesy of a stunning take by wicket-keeper Michael Hughes.

However, further wickets proved difficult to come by as Attock built partnerships throughout their innings.

Captain Arsalaan Mahmmod top scored with 65 before being dismissed by first team debutant Aravind Katragadda who picked up his maiden wicket.

There were further contributions from overseas star Anureet Singh who scored 61 and Imad Mahmood who scored a rapid unbeaten fifty as Attock closed on 288-6 after their 50 overs.

Westley ended with three wickets whilst Golding took two and there was a wicket apiece for McGrath and Katragadda.

In reply, Rugby rarely looked like getting bowled out and at several stages had hopes of completing the run chase.

Despite losing Ben Herridge (10) early on, a partnership of 59 between Cochrane and Henry Parker (26) put Rugby on track.

And when Cochrane was dismissed for a fluent fifty, Mackenzie came to the crease.

He immediately scored freely in his unbeaten 86, scoring at almost a run a ball and striking three sixes.

He was ably supported by Joe Bramley and although Bramley and Katragadda fell in consecutive deliveries to leave Rugby on 187-6 it only brought the swashbuckling Golding to the middle.

He was in fine form on his way to 41 off just 33 balls as he put on 56 with Mackenzie to take Rugby safely to a draw.

The result leaves Rugby eighth after seven games but with many positives to take from the game given the missing personnel.

Rugby’s previously unbeaten second XI were given a reality check as they were comfortably beaten by Coventry WIW at Webb Ellis Road.

Stand-in captain Lee James lost the toss and was asked to bat first and James opened with the prolific Robards but was unluckily dismissed early on for one.

Robards looked in fine form on his way to 55 but lacked any support from the middle order as a mixture of misfortune and dubious shot selection meant Rugby collapsed to 66-6.

Jonathan Sage looked comfortable as he made 17 but was another to throw his wicket away with an irresponsible shot.

It was left Sajjid Rivzi and David Marshall to repair the damage as they put on 46 for the ninth wicket before Rizvi fell for 24.

Marshall was last man out for 35 as Rugby managed to make their way to 168. A special mention to youngsters Levi Gekis and Amaan Shah who batted maturely during the innings.

In reply, Coventry WIW got off to fluent start and it felt as though Rugby were always playing catch-up. Captain Darshan Desai led the reply with a well crafted 73 as Rugby struggled to take wickets.

Although the leg spinning trio of Gekis, Shah and Rizvi bowled admirably, sensibly batting and shot selection from the CWIW batsman was the difference as they reached the target after 40 overs, four down.

Rugby travel to Moseley Ashfield next and will hope to get back to winnings ways in a crucial top of the table clash.

Elsewhere, Rugby 3rds picked up a crucial win over local rivals ORUCC in an exciting battle at Hart Field.

Rugby lost the toss and were asked to bat first and got off to a great start as Keval Rathod (24) and Kieran Vaghela (42) put on 47 for the first wicket.

However, the rest of the top order struggled as skipper Alex Smith went for 5 and the in form Dan Pinks was dismissed for a duck.

Akshay Vaghela made 24 but Rugby were indebted to veteran Rubans Sugartharubans who struck 26 to take Rugy to 160-8. Dan Clowes did the damage with the the ball as he took 4-26.

OURCCs reply got off to a poor start as Luke Armstrong and the dangerous Tristan Mobbs went without troubling the scorers.

Neil Armstrong (44) and Oliver Vaughan (21) threatened to spark a run chase but once they were both dismissed OURCCs lower order crumbled as they were bowled out for just 117.

The wickets were shared between Ben Haworth, Theo Nelson, Rathod and Murali Natarajan who all took two whilst Kieran Vaghela chipped in with the crucial wicket of Vaughan.

Lastly, Rugby 4ths suffered their first loss of the season against RMCC.

Skipper Jag Barhey won the toss and elected to field and got off to a good start as youngster Henry Woodrow took an early wicket.

However, extras and regular partnerships saw RMCC reach 229-7 from their allocated overs despite four wickets for Anil Oruganti and a tidy spell from Barhey who took 2-25.

In response, Rugby lost regular wickets although there was a promising contribution from youngster Orlando Briggs who made 18.

After that, only Barhey (23) and Oruganti (27) troubled the scorers are Rugby were dismissed for 113 in the 27th over.

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