Glorious sunshine braced Cryfield as an odd looking 4s team arrived in dribs and drabs, appearing sufficiently village to take on Coventry 2s in a key BUCS fixture. After losing the opening two league games a victory was crucial if the 4s were aiming to avoid a relegation dogfight.
On arrival, with no key to the clubhouse or no general idea of what was going on, Jewson lost the toss and subsequently Warwick were put in to bat on what appeared a bowler friendly surface. True to varsity form Coventry proceeded to do a number of fielding drills, looking highly professional in comparison to a nonchalant Warwick team. Nonetheless, these drills seem to do no good, as their fielding was consistently below average, dropping a number of key catches at vital times in the match. Sargeant and Hague opened the innings for Warwick, and although both found it difficult to score, extras kept the scoreboard moving and both played cautiously against the new ball. The most notable moment of the opening stages was Hague knicking off, to be given not out and refusing to walk. In the subsequent conversations Rooty found some sort of bottle and seemingly put the Coventry keeper in to place. Perhaps even more notable was the arrival of a freelance photographer, who was keen to inquire about the absence of a woman’s cricket team in this year’s BUCS.
However, when Hague was dismissed for a hard earned 6, Warwick stuttered, with both David and Ryan dismissed for 4. Next in was Marj, a Varsity legend, who despite receiving let offs by some sloppy Coventry fielding batted fluently in tandem with Sargeant, putting on 70 for the fourth wicket to push Warwick towards a par score. When Marjoe fell trying to send a straight one to Leamington, Warwick again failed to capitalise on the platform provided, with the final six batsmen contributing just one run between them. Special mention to Jewson, who after spending 30 overs describing himself as a finisher, in the mould of Miller, Buttler or Maxwell, was swiftly dismissed for nought by Coventry’s fifth change, who ended up with impressive figures of 4-14.
Special note most go to Sargeant, who’s knock of 83 was gritty and essential in posting a competitive score. Although Warwick were not delighted with their end to the innings, there was general optimism at tea.
The bowling effort started frantically, with a high catch being offered in the opening moments. Despite some confusion between Marjoe and Ryan, the latter somehow held on to the catch with the aid of his chest, resulting in some temporary winding. Warwick struck again in the fourth over, with Sargeant removing the other opener, a swinging deliver beating his defences and clean bowling him.
Despite the positive start to bowling Warwick were guilty of giving the batsman too many chances, with Coventry’s only two capable batsman being let off multiple times. Most notably was the sitter of a first slip chance grounded by David, not taking advantage of the perfect leg spin delivery by Fern.
Fern eventually had his revenge, with Jewson snaffling an edge on the second attempt to give Warwick the breakthrough. Another key wicket fell after drinks, with a misfield from David allowing the combination of Fern and Hobbes to capitalise on a miscommunication from the batsman, cleanly executing a run out. The bowlers then consistently made inroads, with Sargeant, Fern and Marjot all taking wickets putting Warwick firmly on top. With twenty runs required the 4s sealed the first victory of UWMCC’s season, with Stodhart taking the final wicket. Notable bowling performances included Hobbs (3-31), Sargeant (2-32) and Fern (2-50).
A relieved and joyous Warwick team, albeit some very sunburnt, celebrated with drinks on the piazza. The 4s aim to carry the momentum into next weeks clash with Bedfordshire, with Jewson professing that no longer were the team looking at relegation, but rather at promotion.