On an overcast and slightly chilly day, the 3rd XI started its BUCS campaign against a Loughborough side which, your correspondent suspects, included some players who may well represent Loughborough at a higher standard later this season. The fact that the Warwick XI contained 2s regulars Jonathan Bradshaw, Henry Bexson and Tom Avery-Hickmott shall be overlooked.
Under the thick cloud cover, Warwick were given the opportunity to bowl first and look for some early wickets. The new ball was taken by Matt Purdy and Rob Povey and both bowled some good deliveries, assisted by a little variable bounce and just enough swing. Eventually they were rewarded for their efforts. Povey had two batsmen caught well in the gully by Josh Ballantine-Dykes and Purdy induced a top edged pull to carry all the way down to Povey at fine leg. It had been a good start from the bowlers reducing Loughborough to 37-3. There was however one major concern; both bowlers struggled to find their line and conceded wides far too frequently. This was a trend which would continue throughout the innings as Warwick conceded 40 runs in extras alone.
This began a period of toil for the Warwick bowlers. The Loughborough number four batted sensibly throughout the innings eventually finishing on 82 not out. He received able support from the rest of the middle order. The number five made 21 before scooping a Ballantine-Dykes full toss straight up into the sky for a catch safely held by Edward Cooper; a relieved man after having dropped a hard chance off the same batsman in the previous over. The number six then batted fluently for 38 runs before the returning Povey produced a full delivery which was hit hard in the air and well held by Cooper, who ingeniously was standing at silly mid off. The number seven was then out cheaply after slogging a Povey delivery high into the air for another catch by Cooper. Povey completed his five wicket haul with the first ball of his tenth over, clean bowling the Loughborough number eight. Povey, despite bowling a few wides, had bowled excellently and deserved his figures of 10-0-52-5.
At this point Warwick were right on top. Loughborough were 189-7 and in danger of being bowled out well before their allotted overs were out. However disaster struck. Cooper dropped a regulation chance at long off off Kraus’s bowling. This transpired to be the turning point in the game. The lucky number nine batsman went on to compile a quick fire 40, taking Loughborough to 269 for eight off the 50 overs; 50 runs too many from a Warwick point of view.
The Warwick reply could not have started any worse and was a lesson to all cricket teams in how not to begin an innings. Bradshaw was out in the first over, getting a leading edge back to the bowler whilst trying to hit across the line. Bexson was out in the second over, clean bowled by a delivery which swung into him appreciably. Then, after not losing a wicket in the third over, in the fourth over Cooper became the first of four Warwick batsmen to fiddle with back-of-a-length rising deliveries outside off stump off the same bowler and edged to first slip. Howard Lippiatt, Jaimin Patel and Mahir Yousuff all joined Cooper in the indeterminate prod club and Warwick were reduced to 42 for six. This represented quite a recovery from earlier being 10 for four.
Ballantine-Dykes and Povey, by far the most impressive bowlers earlier, then batted well together and made 53 and 45 respectively to save Warwick from total embarrassment. Eventually Warwick were all out for 137. Improvement is a must before the 3rd XI’s next game at home to Lincoln 1s on Wednesday.