Rain delays hamper Rugby's strong batting effort - The Rugby Observer

Rain delays hamper Rugby's strong batting effort

Rugby Editorial 2nd Aug, 2018   0

RUGBY were left frustrated by the rain on Saturday after a strong batting performance was only enough for a losing draw against Stratford in Birmingham League Division Three.

With Owen Edwards still side-lined, Henry Parker led the team and chose to bat first after winning the toss.

Despite the loss of an early wicket, Rugby’s innings started positively through Jeevan Barhey and Hugh Cochrane.

He and Barhey (25) quickly moved to 55 before the latter became Archie Walker’s first wicket and Matt Ewer (3) was unluckily given out caught behind soon after.

This brought Mike Powell to the crease but the former Warwickshire captain was happy to play second fiddle to the fluent Cochrane.

They added 72 for the fourth wicket before Cochrane (87) frustratingly hit a full toss straight to cover to be denied a maiden first team century.

Henry Wilkins followed next ball in almost identical fashion, but Parker and Powell steadied the ship in a watchful partnership.

When Parker (20) was dismissed, Ed Benfield came in and began to up the tempo in typically swashbuckling fashion as Rugby soon passed 200.

A long rain delay came soon after, reducing the game by 36 overs and leaving Rugby with a quandary upon the resumption.

Benfield fell for a run-a-ball 36 but Powell began to show off his array of shots and finished on 78 not out before Parker declared on 269-8 from 53 overs.

This left Rugby with 21 overs to bowl but Stratford only needed to score 148 to secure a winning draw, regardless of wickets lost.

Stratford attacked from the outset, so runs flowed and wickets fell throughout their reply.

Returning to the team after a side injury, Lee Golding took the first wicket, removing Luke Nardone (11) who was caught by Powell.

The scoreboard was moving quickly but Golding (3-44) claimed two more wickets to reduce the hosts to 48-3.

Dexter Purser (45) and Chris Whelan (23) then upped the tempo further as Rugby changed their bowlers and, despite both falling to Wilkins (2-25), they got their side ahead of the required rate.

Stratford reached their target with an over to spare, closing their innings on 164-5 to take the lion’s share of the points.

Rugby entertain Old Elizabethans on Saturday.


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