CRICKET - Rugby's T20 team continue defence of title with nine-wicket win - The Rugby Observer
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20th Aug, 2022

CRICKET - Rugby's T20 team continue defence of title with nine-wicket win

RUGBY CC’s T20 team continued the defence of their title with a resounding nine-wicket win against Standard.

And their opponents raced to 33-0 after just three overs thanks to some big-hitting from Ryan Leybourne (28).

However, James Nuttall (3-27) accounted for both openers in quick succession in an impressive opening spell to slow down the run rate.

And Wes Landsdale (1-14) and Lee Golding (1-13) also impressed with the ball to limit Standard’s scoring as wickets continued to fall.

Despite James Searle scoring 40 not out for the Coventry side, Standard could only post 113-8 from their 20 overs.

Rugby made a fast start in reply thanks to Ed Banfield which included scoring 23 runs in the fourth over.

And despite Banfield’s dismissal for 26, an opening stand of 44 in just four overs had Rugby well ahead of the required run rate.

Landsdale (53 not out) was joined at the crease by Owen Edwards (25 not out) as the pair eased Rugby to victory in the 14th over.

Elsewhere, in the Warwickshire County League Premier Division, Rugby were left frustrated by the weather as they were forced to settle for a losing draw in a rain-affected encounter against Walmley.

Rugby made a good start with the ball as they reduced Walmley to 21-2 thanks to early wickets from Golding (1-61) and Neal McGrath (2-54).

And after Aravind Katragadda (1-54) removed Yousuf Akbar (35), Rugby asserted their dominance with three quick wickets as 61-2 became 62-5 thanks to the bowling of Kasir Shah (2-32).

However, this brought Jonathan Newis to the crease who produced a stunning century off just 92 balls to swing the game in Walmley’s favour.

Newis finished on 116 not out and was supported by Amaan Nasar (32) having been dropped at long off when on 58 as Walmley ended their innings on 234-6.

A pair of rain breaks reduced Rugby’s innings to 43 overs and Walmley took advantage of the challenging conditions to leave Rugby on 30-2 after the dismissals of Henry Parker and Banfield (both 11).

Jeevan Barhey (12) and Landsdale (23 not out) helped Rugby onto 64 before the loss of their third wicket as the home side tried to up the run rate under darkening skies.

And the rain duly arrived to bring a premature end to the match with Rugby on 73-3 at the 22-over mark.

The weather put pay to Rugby’s 2nd XI match against Knowle and Dorridge’s 3rd XI with the game abandoned without a ball being bowled.

This was also the case for Rugby’s 4th XI who were due to play Earlswood’s 5th XI.

However, Rugby’s 3rd XI were able to settle their clash with Bablake as they suffered an eight-wicket defeat in Division Eight South Central.

Rugby batted first and scored 197-6 from their 45 overs with veteran opener Chris Evans rolling back the years to finish on 99 not out.

He was briefly supported by Advay Pophali (26), Tom Smith (18) and Aravind Ram (16) whilst Theo Nelson was run out on 11.

Bablake’s reply was never in doubt as opener Qais Mohammed blasted 104 from just 71 balls, taking full advantage of Rugby’s inexperienced bowling attack.

Mohammed finished with an unbeaten century as Bablake secured victory in the 32nd over on 199-2 despite Nelson (1-48) and Tom Smith (1-61) chipping in with wickets.

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