CRICKET - Rugby claim dominant victory with one ball to spare - The Rugby Observer

CRICKET - Rugby claim dominant victory with one ball to spare

Rugby Editorial 2nd Jun, 2023   0

DANNY Sadiq took two wickets in the final over as Rugby Cricket Club sealed a dominant 162-run win against Aston Manor with one ball to spare.

Sadiq trapped Sarfraz Ali and Akeel Haider lbw to ensure Rugby came away from the fixture with 24 points in the club’s best performance of the season.

Those wickets meant Aston Manor were bowled out for 137, in reply to Rugby’s 299-4, as Sadiq took wickets in consecutive deliveries with just one ball left of the home side’s innings.

Rugby’s stand-in captain Neal McGrath elected to bat first, after winning the toss, as openers Alex Watson (36) and Kasir Shah (37) built the foundations of a solid innings.

And a sensational century from Wes Landsdale (125 not out) put Rugby in control as he hit 17 boundaries en route to an impressive ton plus score which came from just 111 balls.

Owen Edwards added a quickfire 19 before Divan Posthumus smashed 64 from 42 balls to propel Rugby to 299-4 from their 50 overs.

Aston Manor made a solid start in their reply as Lee Golding (2-34) removed Mohammed Aqeeb (21) and Yousuf Akbar (0) to leave the home side on 42-2.

Sadiq (3-20) made Bilal Hussain (19) his first scalp before Kasir Shah (1-13) accounted for Muhammad Afridi (6) to leave Aston Manor in trouble on 98-4.

And Posthumus (2-24) took the crucial wicket of opener Usama Khan (46) before he then had Shakeel Janjua (6) caught.

Levi Gekis (1-4) was rewarded for an economic spell with the wicket of Hammad Ur Rehman (11) as Rugby moved to the brink of victory with Aston Manor on 120-7.

In the penultimate over, Neal McGrath (1-36) accounted for the stubborn Daanial Jamil Khan (6) which left Rugby needing two wickets in the final over.

And Sadiq duly delivered with two excellent deliveries as Rugby sealed a deserved win in dramatic fashion.

Rugby’s depleted second XI succumbed to a 50-run defeat at home to Dorridge, despite a brilliant century from Darshan Desai.

The visitors chose to bat first and regular wickets put them in trouble at 158-7, before Ryan Chahal (80) and Qasim Sohail (44 not out) staged a superb fightback.

Their efforts saw Dorridge rack up 287-8, with the wickets shared one apiece between Suj Barhey, Jon Watson, Amaan Shah, Bhavik Rathod, Saj Rizvi and Liam Slaughter.

Rugby’s run-hungry opening pair of Charlie Robards and Desai laid the foundation for a potential Rugby run chase, adding 91 for the first wicket before the former was trapped lbw for 22.

However, with most of the usual middle order batters being promoted into the first team this week, Rugby struggled to lift the run rate and Desai was left to play a lone hand.

Rob Stipanovic chipped in with 22, but there were no other meaningful contributions apart from Desai’s magnificent 129 from 130 balls.

Rugby’s hopes died with his dismissal, third man out with the score on 182, and the innings petered out to 237-7.

Elsewhere, Rugby’s third XI romped to a 113-run success after a crucial lower-order fight back with the bat and a superb spell of leg spin from Kurran Barhey.

Batting first, Rugby collapsed to 48-4, before Darshin Solanki (38) and Barhey (20) began the resurgence with a 51-run stand.

However, three more wickets left Rugby in trouble again at 127-7 when Rubans joined Tarun Ahuja at the crease.

They produced a match-defining partnership of 96 for the eighth wicket, with Rubans (52) the main aggressor and Ahuja (36) supporting well, boosting Rugby to 226-9 from their allotted overs.

Theo Nelson and Anil Oruganti took an early wicket each to reduce Kenilworth to 6-2 who never fully recovered.

After a brief revival from Babu Balasubramanian (20) and Jonathan Sparks (22), Barhey (6-30) ripped through the middle order, as seven wickets fell for the addition of 27 runs.

Batting heroes Rubans and Ahuja added a wicket each and Kenilworth were bowled out for 113.


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