CRICKET - Rugby edged out in thriller against Attock - The Rugby Observer

CRICKET - Rugby edged out in thriller against Attock

Rugby Editorial 19th May, 2023   0

RUGBY Cricket Club were unable to secure their first win of the new season after they suffered a narrow two-wicket defeat away at Attock.

Despite the best efforts of Kasir Shah (90) with the bat and Danny Sadiq (3-36) with the ball, Rugby fell just short of victory as Attock won the match with three balls to spare.

Rugby were without both captain Matt Ewer and vice captain Neal McGrath as former skipper Owen Edwards took charge for the day and was put into bat after he lost the toss.

And Shah, who was promoted to open the innings, scored freely as he hit 13 boundaries which included six sixes.

Rugby lost Hugh Cochrane (4) to an early run out before Shah put on 120 runs for the second wicket with George Mackenzie (21).

Shah was eventually dismissed for 90 from just 66 balls as Rugby raced to 133-1 after just 20 overs.

However, Rugby lost four wickets for the addition of just 17 runs as Attock’s spin bowling turned the game in the home side’s favour to leave the visitors on 150-5.

Hasan Mahmood (3-52) did most of the damage before Edwards (42) and Kyle Taylor (39 not out) recovered the innings with a stand of 69.

And an impressive cameo from Alex Watson (23) ensured Rugby closed on a total of 271-8 from their 50 overs.

Rugby dented Attock’s reply with a wicket in the first over as Vishaal Rathod (1-37) accounted for home captain Arsalaan Mahmood (4) who hit a pull shot straight to square leg.

However, fellow opener Omar Ali (115) was at his imperious best and alongside Mohammed Ishtiaq (27) helped Attock ease to 104-2.

Rugby’s spinners slowed the run rate before Danny Sadiq removed Ishtiaq courtesy of a superb catch by Wes Landsdale.

The visitors continued to apply the pressure and were rewarded when Hugh Cochrane (1-54) took the scalp of Hasan Mahmood (20) before Ali eventually fell to the bowling of Shah (2-53).

And a Lee Golding run out in the 47th over saw Attock slump to 232-8 as Rugby closed in on victory with the home 40 runs short of the required total with only 22 balls remaining.

However, Kashif Ali scored 34 not out from just 18 deliveries to help Attock over the line with three balls to spare.

The result means Rugby sit 11th in the Warwickshire County League Premier Division table.

Rugby’s second team claimed a convincing 108-run home win against Sheldon Marlborough at Webb Ellis Road.

Skipper Bhavik Rathod lost the toss and was asked to bat in overcast conditions after a week of damp weather.

However, this did not faze openers Charlie Robards and Darshan Desai, who set about making light work of the Sheldon bowling.

Robards reached his half century first and new signing Desai followed soon after, both players looking particularly strong through the covers.

Although Desai (52) fell soon after reaching his landmark to leave Rugby on 121-1, Robards continued to dominate.

He put on 49 with debutant Ishan Fernando before falling for a superb 90 to leave Rugby in a strong position in the closing overs.

Fernando went for a well made 26 whilst a couple of big hits from Jonathan Sage (18 not out) propelled Rugby to a score of 233-8 which looked above par given the conditions.

Malik Aziz was the pick of the Sheldon attack with 3-43.

In reply, Sheldon lost opener Zee Khan early on after some excellent bowling from Aravind Katragadda (1-19), whilst Suj Barhey (1-30) accounted for number three Archie Parish to leave Sheldon on 23-2.

Sheldon rallied as the dangerous Amir Sheikh (54) began to play a series of aggressive drives to give the away side some hope, but the introduction of Desai’s left arm spin essentially put the game to bed.

He took four wickets in three overs to leave Sheldon reeling at 77-6, to finish with figures of 4-25 from nine overs.

A superb Henry Parker run out accounted for Sheldon skipper Arvi Dhoofer, whilst youngster Mo Obaid picked up a wicket on his second XI debut.

There was a wicket apiece too for Ash Cutts and Jonathan Sage as Rugby wrapped up a comfortable victory by bowling the visitors out for just 125 runs to claim the 24 points.

Rugby’s third team produced a dominant display to take the lion’s share of the points in a winning draw at Stockingford.

After being put into bat and losing both openers cheaply, Rugby’s middle order set them on course for a match-winning total thanks to Aravind Ram (59), Keval Rathod (34) and Saj Rizvi (21).

A flurry of wickets to Andy Beale (3-24) slowed Rugby’s momentum, before Tom Rigby (34 not out) and Liam Slaughter (17 not out) combined to propel their side to 201-8.

Slaughter then took an early wicket in Stockingford’s reply and the hosts never really recovered, despite a knock of 30 from Kieran Evans.

Rigby, Advay Pophali, Rizvi and Murali Natarajan all took a wicket each, whilst Kurran Barhey (2-23) was the pick of the attack, but the home side hung on for a draw on 96-8.

Rugby’s fourth team finally made it onto the field for the first time this season and made up for lost time with a 100-run success against Bulkington.

They chose to bat first and started well through openers Ram Kumar Singh (32) and debutant Vaibhav Manivannan (29).

However, wickets fell regularly after this and Rugby were indebted to Adam Milsom’s 54 for getting them to a competitive score of 195 all out.

Bulkington struggled to gain any momentum in their reply against a strong Rugby seam attack, which made life difficult throughout.

Milsom (3-22), Anil Oruganti (3-15), Tarun Ahuja (2-10) and Theo Nelson (2-19) shared the wickets, bowling the visitors out for 95.

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