By Jamie Arrowsmith 16/05 Updated: 16/05 12:01
A STRONG bowling performance saw Rugby claim their second Warwickshire League Division One victory in succession on Saturday as they overcame Pak Shaheen by 109-runs at Webb Ellis Road.
Despite the difficult conditions, Rugby decided to bat first in order to try and secure the maximum 24 points for a victory and the decision proved a profitable one.
The first ten overs proved challenging with Charles Robards (8) and Stuart Lloyd (22) looking solid enough but they were struggling to get the runs flowing.
That was to prove the theme throughout the innings as a series of batsmen got themselves in and then out as soon as they tried to lift the pace.
The one constant was 16-year-old Raj Chohan who provided the glue to the innings with a gritty 49, more than double what any other batsman achieved in the match.
In the context of this match it was a super effort and with the middle order of Owen Edwards (1) , Matt Ewer (23), Michael Hughes (2), Lee James (11) and Dave Mackenzie (14) only able to contribute 51 combined, he made the difference between a score just over three figures and Rugby’s eventual 168-9.
At tea, 168 looked like a slightly below par score on a traditionally high scoring ground but it did not take long for it to be proved a good effort in the conditions.
Pak Shaheen’s top order quickly came under pressure as opening bowlers Ewer (1-13) and Riv Monsell (4-26) broke through early to make it 23-3.
With a field set to contain the aggressive batsmen and force them to play risky shots to score, and a committed and motivated fielding effort, the build up of pressure proved too much and the accurate bowling of Monsell proved too much as he once again proved what a force he is at this level.
The introduction of Edwards brought some fire to proceedings as he ripped through the defences of the remaining Pak Shaheen opener and exposed the lower middle order - a cracking delivery that left the left hander, took the edge and was superbly held by Lloyd at slip.
A sequence of quick straight balls and cunning off cutters from Edwards read the pitch and situation perfectly and gave the home debutant the stunning figures of 6.4-0-12-5 as Pak Shaheen were all out for 59.
With two games played and two wins in the bank, Rugby currently top of the table and sit 16 points clear courtesy of being able to get an extra game in through the early season gloom and rain than most other sides have managed. Tougher challenges await, with the first being on Saturday at an impressive looking Atherstone unit who won convincingly in their first game of the season.
THE 2nds clash against Pak Shaheen was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch but the 3rds did play their first competitive game and it turned out to be a flying start as they defeated Nuneaton 5ths by 205-runs.
Captain Nick Graham took the positive step of batting first and there followed a tight opening with only 11 on the board after six overs.
The openers were just settling in however and things soon got moving as Tom Binding and Ash Koria (87) put on a huge opening partnership.
Debutant Jack Coleman joined the fun late on and scored a rapid 66 in just seven overs as the total closed on 327-1 from their 45 overs with Binding the undoubted star with an unbeaten 127, a first century for the club stalwart.
That was not the end of the milestones for the day though as Rugby took to the field.
Newcomer Ravinder Sharma and youngster Sachin Sard opened the bowling and were swiftly amongst the wickets with two each. Jack Coleman completed an impressive all round debut with two more.
The icing on the cake came from Andy Atwell though who, in his first competitive fixture for many years, took a hat-trick with all three wickets being bowled, and all removing the middle stump.
Nuneaton were dismissed for 122, giving the 3rds 24 points and the promise of a successful season.
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