WARCL Premier Division
Rugby vs Solihull Blossomfield
CRICKET: RUGBY produced their best performance so far this season to secure a resounding eight-wicket victory over newly-promoted Solihull Blossomfield.
With the sun baking down on a fine Webb Ellis Road track, it seemed like a great toss to win when the visitors’ captain called correctly and chose to bat first, but Rugby’s bowlers had different ideas.
Matt Ewer and Owen Edwards are forming a potent new-ball attack this summer and produced testing opening spells, although Blossomfield’s openers progressed to 22 before losing a wicket.
Edwards struck first, when he got one to nip back from outside off stump with Jack Lewis (14) shouldering arms, before Ewer trapped Mohammed Altaf lbw in the following over.
Sheraz Khan (22) and Richard Weaver (11) worked hard to see off the seamers, but there was no rest bite with the introduction of Rugby’s in-form spinners Steve Ward and Krish Dhokia.
Having reached 46/2 from 17 overs at the first drinks break, both batsmen fell in quick succession, one apiece to each bowler and Rugby turned the screw.
Runs were almost impossible to come by, as the visitors struggled to 87/4 from 34 overs, with Ward (14-2-34-1) particularly miserly.
The batsmen had to try to lift the rate but, as soon as they tried to do so, wickets began to tumble again with Dhokia (10-1-28-2) claiming his second and Tom Mitchell executing a direct hit run out.
It was then back to the opening bowlers with Ewer (13.5-3-33-3) and Edwards (8-4-14-3) knocking over the tail with little trouble, as Blossomfield slumped to 113 all out.
Rugby lost Ward (2) early in their reply, but Charlie Robards and Edwards soon had the scoreboard ticking over briskly.
Although Edwards (16) was rather carelessly caught at square leg, Henry Parker joined Robards at the crease and continued the momentum.
Robards was at his classy best, scoring freely all around the wicket and propelling Rugby towards the winning line, while Parker unleashed some of his signature straight drives.
The target was achieved in the 21st over, with Robards (63*) and Parker (22*) cruising home to confirm a comprehensive win for their side.
It was a great Saturday of cricket for Rugby Cricket Club with the all three sides claiming the maximum 24 points