OWEN Edwards inspired Rugby Cricket Club to a five-wicket win against Walmley as the Webb Ellis Road side secured back-to-back victories.
Edwards hit 10 boundaries to finish unbeaten on 74 not out and was supported by Divan Posthumus (37) and Jeevan Barhey (32 not out) as Rugby clinched victory in the 46th over.
That came after Neal McGrath (3-34) starred with the ball while Kasir Shah (2-50), Matt Ewer (1-15) and Levi Gekis (1-42) limited Walmley to 200-7 from their 50 overs despite Sarmad Bhatti’s (100) sensational century.
The result means Rugby sit eighth in the Warwickshire County League Premier Division table.
Walmley won the toss and elected to bat as Shah and Ewer took the wickets of openers James Bristow (12) and Sachin Dubb (15) to leave the visitors on 36-2.
A solid third-wicket partnership between centurion Bhatti and Andrew Hendry (32) helped Walmley pass the 100-run mark before the latter fell to the bowling of McGrath.
However, after Gekis removed Peter Shackleford (14), Rugby took three wickets for the addition of just 32 runs while Bhatti completed a fine century with the final ball of the innings as Walmley finished on 200-7.
Rugby lost opener Hugh Cochrane (7) early in their reply, having hit a six in the second over, as a solid second-wicket partnership between Edwards and Posthumus steadied the ship.
However, a pair of quick wickets left Rugby on 67-3 as Wes Landsdale (21) and Posthumus fell in successive overs.
Edwards held Rugby’s innings together as Kyle Taylor (23) chipped in with a useful knock with the pair scoring 53 runs in 13 overs before the latter was caught and bowled by Bhatti.
And after Gekis (6) was run out, Rugby were in a spot of bother on 139-5 before Edwards and Barhey steered the home side to a comfortable five-wicket win with 20 balls to spare.
Elsewhere, the club hosted the MCC in a friendly and enjoyed a seven-wicket success against their illustrious opposition.
The MCC batted first and some familiar names were amongst the runs as Charlie Robards (35) made a strong start with Matt Ewer (44 not out) chipping in further down the order.
The star of the show for the MCC was Alex Barrett (108 not out) who shared an unbroken 118-run stand with Ewer and propelled his side to 243-5, before they declared after 55 overs.
Neal McGrath (2-43) was the pick of Rugby’s attack, but there were also wickets for young seamers Theo Nelson and Liam Slaughter who both impressed.
Rugby lost a wicket to the first ball of their reply, but Owen Edwards and Shreyas Honnalli then built a match-winning partnership of 162 runs from 34 overs.
Although Honnalli (37) and Wes Landsdale (13) fell in quick succession to the impressive spin of Shaftab Khalid (2-45), Kyle Taylor (29 not out) added an unbroken 63 with Edwards to see Rugby home in the 48th over.
Edwards finished on 129 not out from 138 balls with 18 fours.
Rugby’s second string continued their disappointing form with a 42-run defeat despite a valiant effort from their lower order.
The club’s second XI paid the price for some sloppy fielding after dropping a significant number of catches as Ansar Ahmed (81) top scored for Coventry West Indian Wanderers.
Rugby struggled to contain the steady flow of runs as six batters hit 25 runs or more with Ash Cutts (2-42) and Vish Rathod (2-58) taking two wickets apiece while young debutant Theo Nelson was particularly unlucky not to pick up a wicket.
James Nuttall and Alex Watson took a wicket each, as the hosts finished on 288-8.
Rugby’s reply began disastrously as all four of their top order batters were out for single-figure scores.
Despite a quickfire 30 from Nuttall, Rugby collapsed to 91-8 before Cutts (55), in at number 10, combined with Darshin Solanki (59) to keep the visitors in the contest.
A staggering 139-run ninth-wicket partnership made for an exciting finish as Nelson (17 not out) kept Rugby’s total ticking along before Currs eventually fell in the 48th over with the visitors all out for 246.
Rugby’s third XI fell 23 runs short in their run chase against Dorridge to drop to fourth in the Warwickshire County League Division Seven East table.
Liam Slaughter won the toss and chose to bowl first, but Dorridge’s openers Ayan Khan (38) and Ibraheem Khan (23) added 64 runs for the first wicket.
Once Saj Rizvi (2-28) made the breakthrough as wickets began to fall while Ben Haworth (4-34) bowled a fierce spell in his first Rugby outing of the summer.
Number seven Asad Khan (50) top scored, whilst Suj Barhey (2-33) bowled well for Rugby and a couple of run outs from Liam Hebblewhite saw Dorridge bowled out for 218 in the final over.
Rugby started well in reply as the in-form Tom Binding (41) helped the home side reach 91-1, however, Rugby quickly slipped to 133-5 as Daniel Laugharne (4-43) did the damage with the ball.
Jon Sage (31) injected some life back into the run chase before his dismissal saw Rugby run out of steam and were all out for 195.
Lastly, after their league opponents were unable to raise a team, Rugby 4ths came out on top by 187 runs in a friendly against Warwick.
Batting first, Ram Kumar Singh (116) racked up a century against his former club, whilst Tarun Ahuja (70) and Anzar Ahmed (41 not out) helped Rugby reached 298-5 from their 40 overs.
Warwick’s reply never gained any real momentum after a great opening spell from Jag Barhey (3-16) and they limped to 111-6 in reply from their 40 overs as Adam Milsom, William Gower and Singh claimed one wicket apiece.