By Jamie Arrowsmith 23/07 Updated: 24/07 10:08
RUGBY cemented their position at the top of the Warwickshire League Division One table with a six-wicket home success against Marston Green.
The win was achieved despite being without seven regulars and it sets them up perfectly for Saturday's trip to second placed Pak Shaheen who trail Rugby by 25 points going into the game.
For the first time this season the batsmen could look forward to the possibility of a good batting track as the sun came out but with some residual dampness in the track, Rugby decided that bowling first would be the best ploy.
Opening bowlers Riv Monsell and Matt Ewer beat the bat on numerous occasions but struggled to make the breakthrough initially with Froggatt looking particularly useful, pouncing on anything short or overpitched.
Tahir (10) eventually became the first man to fall, with Ewer the man to strike, but by the time the opening attack had finished their spells the visitors were well set at 40-1.
Raj Chohan was then introduced to a bowl off spin for the club for the first time and he repaid the faith shown in him by bowling a great spell that returned 2-24 off eight overs as he removed Froggatt and Johnson in successive overs.
Owen Edwards (0-11 from seven overs) helped keep things tight before Andy Ward and Neal McGrath came into the attack and both picked up a wicket.
It was only in the last few overs of their innings that the visitors finally got away, propelling their score to 178-5, which in context of their season to-date, was a pretty healthy effort.
Rugby were pleased with their effort in the field though, producing a good team performance when wickets were not easy to come by and demonstrating the depth in the bowling squad.
With Rugby not having performed brilliantly with the bat themselves this season, the chase gave themselves a chance to restore some pride in the batting element of the team and that is precisely what happened.
Chohan and Stu Lloyd opened and got off to a great start with a series of drives that pushed Rugby over the 50 mark in
Gary Broome is Marston's leading wicket-taker this season and with a surface that was offering turn, albeit slow turn, his spell was going to determine the course of the game.
He swiftly removed Chohan (28) with a fine delivery but Rugby would still have been pleased with their positive start.
Michael Hughes was promoted up the order to number three and proceeded to find his touch immediately.
Lloyd went for a superb 49 having begun to show his full array of shots and with Edwards coming to the crease and alternating watchful defence with fearsome hitting, the required runs were tumbling.
Partnerships were the key and while there were no huge efforts, there was also no swift tumbling of wickets and no opportunity for Marston to really feel like they had a chance of victory.
Edwards fell for 28 and Ewer a few overs later for 5, but by this stage only 20 were required for victory.
Hughes (45no) finished the job in great style with a series of delicate cuts and flicks with great support from Chris Evans (14no) as Rugby reached 179-4.
THE 2nds lost top spot as they fell to defeat against Corley.
Rugby were hindered by several batsmen getting starts but none going on to make a really big score with Glyn Tapp's 48 the highlight as they put on 178-9 from their 50 overs.
With early wickets required on a drying pitch, Rugby got two as Matt Hinks and Druhv Koria broke through.
That was as good as it got though as opener Phil Evans hit 61 as Corley reached victory in the 47th over.
TOM Mitchell shone with bat and ball as the 3rds eased past Oakfield by 207 runs.
The youngster scored a maiden century when carrying his bat for 106 and with good support coming from Suj Barhey and Nick Graham, Rugby closed on 231-4.
Not satisfied with that, he went on take six wickets as Oakfield fell for just 24. Barhey and Sachin Sard took the other wickets to fall, taking three and one respectively.
BARBY CC had double reason to celebrate at
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