RUGBY produced a dominant performance on Saturday to crush Four Oaks Saints by 202 runs and extend their winning run to four consecutive matches in the Warwickshire League Premier Division.
Captain Owen Edwards won the toss and surprised the visitors by opting to bat first on a track that had enough grass on it to excite the seam bowlers as Rugby hunted 24 points.
The game started in strange fashion with Henry Wilkins racing to 14 from the first five balls of the match, before miscuing a drive and being caught at point from the final ball of the opening over.
Lee James, promoted to the top of the order in the absence of Charlie Robards, was then joined by Michael Powell and the pair built a crucial partnership and laid the foundation for the innings.
James (50) and Powell (59) added 94 for the second wicket, before an aggressive 32 from Matt Ewer began to up the tempo.
However leg-spinner Mian Tariq (12-1-44-2) was the pick of Four Oaks’ bowlers and took wickets at important times.
David Woakes (3/43) then took three wickets in his first three overs to reduce Rugby to 207/6 from 43 overs and slow the momentum.
However Edwards was joined by the Barry Taylor and two of the club’s big hitters gave the innings an entertaining conclusion with an unbroken stand of 79 in seven overs as Rugby finished on 286 for 6.
Four Oaks’ top order includes the division’s leading run scorer and Rugby had first-hand experience of Imran Qadir’s ability when he bludgeoned 168 against them in the corresponding fixture earlier this summer.
With this in mind, Rugby were eager to attack the number four with the new ball and got their wish when Edwards and Henry Wilkins accounted for both of Four Oaks’ openers cheaply.
Edwards then produced the ball that his side needed, jagging one back from outside off-stump to clean bowl Qadir for 2 and set his side on the way to victory.
Rugby’s attack then worked their way through the rest of Four Oaks batting line-up and limited Four Oaks to just 84 runs.