Rugby beaten by early leaders Coventry & North Warwickshire - The Rugby Observer

Rugby beaten by early leaders Coventry & North Warwickshire

Rugby Editorial 4th Aug, 2020   0

RUGBY succumbed to a 26-run defeat at Coventry & North Warwickshire in Warwickshire League Premier Division East on Saturday as their run chase ran out of steam against the early pace-setters.

The home side won the toss and chose to make first use of a superb batting track, but were in early trouble against Rugby’s opening attack.

With Matt Ewer unavailable, Vishaal Rathod was fast-tracked back to new ball duties after an ankle injury and shared a wicket apiece with Lee Golding inside the first four overs.

This brought CNW’s captain Vikram Sodhi to join William Iles at the crease and the pair steadied the ship in a watchful partnership.

Sodhi survived a dropped chance at slip, but the pair were otherwise untroubled in adding 106 for the third wicket.

Neal McGrath finally bowled Sodhi (50) with the score on 115 and when Jeevan Barhey ran out Marco Higgins (15) soon afterwards it sparked a middle-order collapse.

George Terry (9-1-37-2) and Rathod returned for second spells and shared the next three wickets in quick succession, as four wickets fell for 18 runs and Rugby were on top at 156-7.

Some lacklustre fielding failed to support the bowlers’ efforts though and CNW rallied through Harry Horsley (30 not out) and a late cameo from Sameer Vohra (23 from 12 balls).

Their efforts propelled the hosts to 232-9 from their 45 overs, with Rathod (9-0-47-4) the pick of Rugby’s attack.

Fresh from their lower order runs, Horsley and Vohra then combined with the ball to put Rugby under pressure with accurate opening spells and plenty of swing.

It was Vohra who made the breakthroughs, removing Raj Chohan (10) and Lee James (0) in successive overs to leave Rugby on 22-2 after 12.

Owen Edwards joined remaining opener Barhey and Rugby’s captain soon took the attack back to the bowlers, starting his innings with a run of boundaries.

This sparked Barhey into life as well and his hook shot for six sailed out of the ground and was the front-runner for shot of the day.

They had moved on to 62-2 from 20 overs when rain stopped play and seven overs were lost from the game, which left Rugby chasing a revised target of 203 from 38 overs.

Now requiring nearly eight an over, Rugby needed to increase the scoring rate quickly, but Barhey (31) was caught at cover trying to force the issue soon after the restart.

Whilst Edwards continued to score freely at one end, no other batsman was able to get in and settled to partner him and wickets began to fall at regular intervals.

Only George Terry (13) hung around, but the steady tumble of wickets stemmed any efforts to maintain the necessary scoring rate.

CNW’s spinner Harris Ikram (8-0-35-5) was the main beneficiary of Rugby’s failed endeavours to find the boundary, bowling with good variation and intelligence.

Eventually Edwards (90) was run out trying to keep the strike the final over, but his efforts were in vain and his side finished on 177-9.

WCL South East Group B

Rugby 2nds v RMCC 1sts

RUGBY’S second string constructed a quality run chase on Saturday to overhaul RMCC’s total and win by three wickets.

Rugby hosted a side who would normally play two divisions higher than them in a normal league season, but more than held their own to go top of the table.

The visiting side won the toss and chose to bat first and the game started in dramatic fashion with runs and wickets aplenty.

Jon Sage took a wicket in the first over, before fellow opening bowler Sujahn Barhey conceded 19 in his first over, only for Sage to take another wicket in the third and Barhey to get in on the act in the fourth over when he took the third wicket.

As a result of all this, RMCC were 27-3 after four overs.

Ali Akhlaque and Irfan Khan then rebuilt the innings with a 94-run stand, before Akhlaque (41) was run out.

Khan (115) was now in full flow and completed a fine century, although he benefited from some poor catching by Rugby and was well supported by Asif Hussain (44 not out).

Sage returned for another high-impact spell and claimed three more wickets to finish with 9-1-47-5, but RMCC closed on a daunting 248-7 from 45 overs.

Charlie Robards (23) started Rugby’s reply confidently, but two quick wickets put the away side on top and Hugh Cochrane (17) followed just as he was looking set for a big score.

Abhay Lal joined Shreyas Honnalli and two of the side’s classiest batsmen were soon playing a series of delightful shots and cashing in on the rapid outfield.

The game continued to stay in the balance with Rugby scoring at the required rate, but losing wickets at key times to keep RMCC in the hunt.

The wickets of Lal (36) and Zachary Wenham (9) brought Suj Barhey to the crease and his quickfire 24 took any concerns of run rate out of the equation.

However, it was the cool heads of Honnalli and Kurran Barhey (35 not out) who controlled the back end of the run chase and, although Honnalli (74) was run out late on, his fine innings had set up the win.

Sage (6 not out) struck the winning runs in the 41st over with three wickets in hand.

WCL South East Group E

Oakfield & Rowlands 2nds v Rugby 3rds

RUGBY’S 3rd XI took the lion’s share of the points from a winning draw in this local derby at Long Lawford.

Rugby captain Tom Smith won the toss and chose to bat first and, despite losing both openers fairly cheaply, his side were soon on the front foot through Tom Mitchell (39) and Rubans (41).

Krishna Rajan (66) went on to top score in Rugby’s 236-7, with support from Keval Rathod (21 not out), despite the best effort of Chris Smith (3-50).

Oakfield’s openers Neil Armstrong and Darren French gave their side a superb start and batted for more than half of the innings, before Rubans finally removed French (63)

Smith then dismissed Armstrong (60) thanks to an impressive running catch by Liam Slaughter in the deep and Oakfield’s hopes of knocking the runs off ended.

Rubans (2-31) added a second wicket, as well as executing a run out, whilst Rikesh Vaghela also picked one up and Oakfield closed their innings on 193-5.

Sunday friendly

Bourton & Frankton v Rugby

JACK Crinigan’s maiden hundred led Rugby’s young Sunday team to a six-wicket win.

Bourton & Frankton batted first and raced to 146-1 with Dan McManus (90) and Dale Coles (66) scoring freely.

However, once their partnership was broken, the scoring slowed and the hosts finished on 229-7.

The wickets were shared around with Tom Palmer taking two late in the day and one apiece for Theo Nelson, Will Brown and Oscar Briggs.

Crinigan (100) opened the innings for Rugby and his century included 14 fours and one six, providing the backbone for the run chase.

George Robards (31) and Augustus Wenham (41 not out) both contributed important runs to reach the target with 15 balls and six wickets to spare.


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