A DOMINANT performance with the bat allowed Rugby to continue their impressive form in the Warwickshire League Premier Division as they drew on the road at Ambleside on Saturday.
Six positive results and one losong draw has place Rugby fifth in the league table, but a lacklustre effort in the field meant they were frustrated not to take maximum points this week.
Owen Edwards won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a hot day, as his side targeted a 24-point victory over a struggling Ambleside outfit.
Asaad Qureshi (34) and Rishi Tank (23) opened Rugby’s innings with a 59-run partnership, but both batsmen fell without the addition of a run.
However, Matt Ewer joined Mike Powell at the crease and the pair immediately put Rugby on the front foot again with an aggressive partnership.
Ewer (65) was in sublime touch, passing 50 in no time, before frustratingly being run out when he looked on course for a century.
Rugby were perfectly set with the score on 152 for 3, which allowed Edwards and Powell to continue the free scoring and they soon began to up the tempo further.
Powell hot an impressive 101 not out and oozed in class throughout the innings, while Edwards struck 85 not out from 51 balls, before declaring with his side on 325 for 3 from 48 overs.
Ambleside’s reply started terribly, as Lee Golding picked up a wicket with just the second ball but Rugby’s bowlers lacked their usual control.
Henry Wilkins shared the new ball and took the key wicket of Sam Neale (17), before grabbing a brilliant one-handed catch off Edwards’ bowling to reduce the hosts to 68 for 3.
At this point, Rugby looked well set for victory, but some resilient and gung-ho batting from Ambleside kept the Town at bay, assisted by some sloppy fielding and inconsistent bowling.
Number four batsman David Mills had a streaky start and survived a life just before he reached 50, but defied Rugby with a superb innings, mixing a string of boundaries with watchful defence when it was needed.
Wickets fell at regular intervals, but not regularly enough for Rugby, despite a nagging spell from Powell (2 for 35).
Tom Wilkins, Ewer and Henry Wilkins all picked up further wickets, but Mills ended unbeaten with a magnificent 140 not out.
His side benefited from some attacking Rugby fields, but made the most of this and closed on 250 for 8, to pick up nine points, while Rugby achieved 17.