1st XI vs Manchester 1s Match Report

The last game of UWMCC’s prem season, played at Leamington CC

On the back of a win the previous day against Newcastle that saw the 1s retain Prem status for another season, the first team may have been forgiven for complacency going into their final game of the season against rock bottom Manchester 1s at Leamington CC.

These fears were exacerbated as the first team arrived in dribs and drabs, whilst their opposition were training hard in the nets, complete with a coach and all. However, UWMCC’s shrewdness in saving their energy was once again proven right after skipper Crick lost the toss and announced we would be fielding first.

Gill and Phillips took the new ball and bowled brilliantly, beating the outside and inside edges numerous times but to no avail – credit where it is due though, the Manchester openers played proper digin cricket. The runs that were scored were very streaky, and the quality of bowling the run rate never became too much of a concern. Gill continued and bowled through his ten overs straight, a fine effort considering the midday heat. Unbelievably, Gill did not pick up a wicket in these brilliant 10 overs of fast bowling, despite having an edge put down in the cordon. Nirru and Crick both bowled tightly, but the wickets were slow in coming. In fact, run outs proved the main cause of early wickets as good boundary fielding from Siddarth in particular kept Manchester pegged back.

Towards the death overs Manchester remembered they were playing a 50 over game and began chancing their arm. However, they did not account for Nirru ‘the international’ Ravee to hit a rhythm and pick up late wickets (ending up claiming 3). Mark Phillips ably assisted Nirru at the death, despite being the victim of some cheeky dilscoops in the last over…(should have knocked his block off instead Mark). Manchester finishing on 255 from overs.

Tea was a tense affair as the revelation dawned on everyone that Sid and Varun had put the baguettes in the freezer instead of the fridge. The blame was passed around, with Siddarth adamant that it was in fact Varun who had made this most fatal of blunders. Therefore Varun did the only thing he could to make up for his cardinal sin, and went to put his pads on.

Williams accompanied Varun at the crease, with both taking their time to let the new ball hit the middle of their willow. After this brief hiatus, the two openers tucked into the fodder that was being dished up (at least two bad balls an over), but serious skill was required by both to pierce the fielders and find the rope. In two years of watching 1st XI opening stands this commentator was certain that this period of UWMCC dominance would be followed by a predictable flurry of wickets – however, the wickets just did not fall as Williams and Varun kept smashing the ball around to all parts, bringing up the century partnership in style with both men reaching their half centuries.

Unfortunately, Williams tried to deposit a full and straight ball onto the next square and was castled for a very well crafted 65, showing real promise for next year where more will surely be required of his talents. Varun was unphased by losing his partner though, and was oozing confidence. Williams revealed that upon asking Varun what the new bowler was like, Varun’s only response was “sh*t”. Nirru joined Varun and the two left handers continued their devastating assault on the bowling, which culminated in Varun hitting yet another extra cover drive for four to reach his century- cue wild celebrations on the boundary.

Nirru tucked into what for him was buffet bowling – this was not helped by the Manchester skipper chucking the ball to their equivalent of Nedmonds in the hope of buying a wicket, unfortunately for them resulting in four consecutive boundaries off the over. Fittingly, it was Varun who hit the winning runs with another classy boundary to leave him on 109* off 89 deliveries (and to leave ‘the international’ stranded on 49* off 27 balls, the same score he made against Manchester the previous year). The quality of Varun’s century was made all the more apparent when considering his counterpart in the Manchester team took 40 overs to make 80 runs. UWMCC knocked off their total in 34.1.

For the first team their only wish would be for the season not to end here – and thankfully it does not. Due to the strong showing at the backend of the BUCS Prem, the 1st XI finished 4th in the league table, and therefore qualify for the MCCU league playoffs (as the teams finishing above UWMCC all have teams currently in this league already). This means Warwick are likely to come up against Bristol University 1’s in the near future. Should they win this game, another ‘final’ playoff follows, which if that is won (a huge if), would potentially see UWMCC 1’s playing in the MCCU league next season….a sobering thought!

Man of the Match: Varun Anand
Champagne Moment: Moment of Varun’s ton
Dick of the Day: Siddarth for frozen baguettes at lunch (your fault now as Varun tonned up!)

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