An allround UWMCC performance was not enough to conquer MCCU heavyweights.
David vs. Goliath.
Despite being buoyed by an away victory against Northumbria the previous week, the atmosphere was tense as the UWMCC made the relatively short journey to Loughborough. Vicious rumours circulated in the camp about the possibility of another sub-100 performance and wild estimates were made of Loughborough’s total, if they were to bat first. The UWMCC 1st XI, missing many of their star players, were forced into the field after Knott loss the toss on what he described as a wicket similar to the ‘A46’.
Dom Gill, new ball in hand, charged at the opening batsmen, forcing a flurry of play and misses. Annandale equally stepped up to the gargantuan task of restraining the Loughborough openers, as the Ajay Soni inspired captaincy, bowling and pressure finally paid off. After blocking out yet another dot ball, Gill and Siddarth flew up in unison, their appeals echoing across the ground. Had the rest of the team missed something? And sure enough, the dreaded finger was raised. Gill and Annandale’s opening burst had marooned Loughborough on a very tentative 40/1 off 14 overs. Images of the great sporting upsets flashed across the UWMCC minds. Wimbledon’s taming of Liverpool in the FA cup, Buster Douglas’s defeat of Mike Tyson, Kenya’s unbelievable run to the World Cup semi-final – all inspirational moments that drove the UWMCC outfit.
As Anish’s cries of ‘come on fellows’ bellowed across the field, the UWMCC continued to build pressure around the bat, as Varun’s 10 overs baffled the batsmen, who could only manage 32 runs with the loss of two wickets against the leg spinner. John Faal, unsure whether he was lifted by the growing number of women who had come to watch the match or his parents visit to the ground, managed to bowl a tight spell. Running out of bowling options, (to William’s dismay) Knott turned to himself and bowled a mixture of fast off spinners and seam up deliveries, which landed the skipper with two crucial wickets. Thomas featured at the other end, his loop and bite off the surface kept batsmen subdued. After 50 overs, Loughborough had managed 240.
A series of vegetarian sandwiches at tea lead to some disgusted faces in the UWMCC camp, but the focus was stern and the iron will of Williams and Anand gave the team a strong start in their pursuit for eternal glory. Attractive strokes down the ground from both openers fuelled the UWMCC dream, but a very dubious lbw decision ended the 50 run opening stand. Knott was unable to trouble the scorers, and an injured Siddarth meant that he struggled to repeat last week’s heroics. Faal and Williams continued to tick away with singles, but as the asking rate rose big shots were required. A stellar innings from Williams finally ended after he reached his half-century. As the quest for boundaries continued, wickets continued to fall from one end. Despite a handy (some say record breaking?) 49 run last wicket stand between Khatri and Gill, UWMCC fell 40 runs short
A proud UWMCC were still left questioning at how close they had come to creating history. Next up, the first home game of the season in the form of another MCCU, Leeds Met.
Man of the match – Williams/Anand
Champagne moment – Knott’s first dismissal, citing the possibility that it may be his first wicket ever.
Dick of the day – Williams leaving the UWMCC camp in search of a girl amongst the crowd after his dismissal.