RUGBY returned to Birmingham League Division Three winning ways with a five-wicket success at Milford Hall last Saturday.
A fine batting track had been prepared at Milford’s attractive ground, but Rugby skipper Owen Edwards won the toss and elected to bowl first, hoping his bowlers would enjoy the early cloud cover.
The differing styles of Matt Ewer and Lee Golding have formed a potent new-ball attack for Rugby in recent weeks, with Ewer’s nagging accuracy complementing Golding’s late swing effectively and they were soon making inroads once again.
Golding (3-37) struck first, swinging one back through the defence of left-hander Aaron Afford (8) to bowl him, before Ewer removed fellow opener Michael Astley (6).
Only James Davis (11) reached double figures from Milford’s top five, as Rugby’s opening bowlers shared three wickets apiece and quickly reduced them to 54-6.
Matthew Kirby finally showed some resistance for the home side and, after 22 overs, Rugby turned to their change bowlers.
Edwards (1-8) bowled a tight line and eventually trapped Kirby (32) LBW, before Naresh Kaushal removed Mark Thompson (9).
At 82-8, it appeared Rugby would bowl Milford out for a double digit score, but tail-enders Chris Dean and Tom Webb showed some spirited resistance.
They added 32 for the ninth wicket, before Dean (16) was well caught by Jeevan Barhey from George Terry’s bowling, but Webb continued to strike the ball cleanly.
Ewer (4-22) returned to the attack and eventually had Webb (32) caught in the deep, but his efforts had boosted his side to 132 all out.
A couple of unfortunate umpiring decisions saw Raj Chohan (0) and Barhey (15) dismissed early in Rugby’s reply, as they struggled to 28-2.
Michael Hughes (22) looked in good touch but, when he edged behind off Webb (3-26), Rugby were wobbling on 44-3.
Henry Parker joined Edwards at the crease and the pair soon got the run chase back on track, watchfully defending when needed, but soon cashing on the fast outfield with a number of boundaries.
Edwards was the main aggressor while Parker was ruthless on anything short as the pair added a match-winning 75-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Although Edwards (62) and Ewer (5) both fell trying to finish the match in a hurry, Parker (31 not out) saw his side home in the 29th over.
Rugby travel to Stourbridge on Saturday.