RUGBY Cricket Club held their nerve to beat league leaders Olton by four runs and move up to third in the Warwickshire County League Premier Division table.
Another batting masterclass from Wes Landsdale steered Rugby to victory against the table toppers for the second time this season.
Rugby lost the toss and were put in to bat first although openers Matt Ewer (39) and Landsdale put on an impressive 111 runs for the first wicket before Levi Gekis (0) fell for a duck two balls later.
However, Owen Edwards (38) combined well with Landsdale in a 73-run partnership as the Rugby opener recorded his fourth century in the league this season.
Kyle Taylor (16) came and went as Rugby lost wickets in search of quick runs at the back end of the innings with Landsdale eventually falling for 133 from 155 balls which included 20 boundaries.
Olton bowled well at the death to restrict Rugby to just 16 runs from the final four overs as the home side finished on 265-8 with Jade Richter (2-33) the pick of the away side’s bowlers.
The visitors made a watchful start in reply as openers Harvey Rogers-Collen (40) and Marc Webb (22) put on 63 runs for the first wicket although they were well behind the required run rate.
Spinner Danny Sadiq (2-39) accounted for both openers in quick succession before Gekis (1-42) took the wicket of Aman Hussain (5).
Olton were on 88-3 at the end of the 26th over before Will Elvidge (56) and Gary Hawkins (50) upped the tempo with 60 runs in the next nine overs.
Edwards (2-49) took the crucial wickets of both Hawkins and Elvidge only for Arwand Barnard (43) to keep the game in the balance with a superb knock off just 25 deliveries.
However, with Olton needing 20 runs from the final two overs, Edwards conceded six runs in the penultimate over before Neal McGrath (1-56) held his nerve as Olton fell short finishing on 261-8.
Elsewhere, Rugby’s second XI suffered a disappointing six-wicket defeat in a local derby against Oakfield and Rowland United.
Rugby’s batters found runs hard to come by on a slow wicket although Jeevan Barhey (82) top scored with an impressive knock supported by Charlie Robards (42) and Rob Stipanovic (28 not out).
However, the visitors were only able to post 200-5 from their 50 overs as Stuart Atkins (2-33) starred with the ball for Oakfield.
In reply, Lee Golding (1-47) and Suj Barhey (2-29) struck early to remove Oakfield’s openers before Luke Armstrong (33) and Nick Dowling (64) put the home side on top.
Kurran Barhey (1-26) also took a wicket as Atkins (34 not out) helped the home side to victory with 14 balls to spare.
The club’s third XI recorded a comfortable six-wicket win against Wilnecote to keep their slim hopes of promotion alive.
Despite winning the toss and bowling first, Rugby struggled to make an impact with the ball before Ben Haworth (1-21) and Mo Obaid (2-25) finally struck to leave Wilnecote on 95-3.
However, Liam Hebblewhite (3-17) and Murali Natarajan (4-35) excelled as Wilnecote collapsed to 141 all out.
In reply, Rugby were never in danger despite losing opener Ishan Fernando (18) as Dan Pinks (48 not out) and Shreyas Honnalli (37) guided the visitors to a four-wicket win.
Lastly, Rugby’s fourth XI secured promotion with an emphatic 221-run win against Attleborough after bowling out their opponents for just 28 runs.
Rugby’s openers Chris Evans (37) and Ram Kumar Singh (43) made a strong start with a first-wicket stand of 87 before Jag Barhey (40) and Tarun Ahuja (18) chipped in with useful knocks.
And Max Johnson (42) added some quickfire runs as Rugby declared on 249-7 after 36 overs.
With the ball, Adam Milson (5-11) and Euan Walker (5-15) ripped through Attleborough’s batting line-up to secure promotion.