As a result of reading week, UWMMC put out a much changed side for their Coventry Indoor competition match against Long Itchington CC. Sam King and James Holder came into the side to replace the hitherto ever present duo of Hall and Kraus. The UWMCC side arrived at the ‘converted factory’ nervous at the prospect of facing the only other unbeaten team in the league with an inexperienced side in this form of cricket.
Jewson either won or lost the toss with the outcome of UWMCC fielding first. Immediately the fielding side were on the back foot as the Long Itchington openers took a fancy to Jewson’s decision to open with spin, taking the first over for fifteen runs with a level of assuredness which only left the fielders with ever growing doubts. However the introduction of the ever challenging Bradshaw brought more control as he almost immediately drew a thin edge from the left-handed batsman to a ball which swung away late – only for Jewson to drop a difficult chance. The next two overs went for 34 runs as the Long Itchington batsmen formed a solid platform of 58-1 off four overs. However UWMCC stuck at their task well, tightening up the bowling and fielding with intensity. It took a loose final over of 19 for Long Itchington to finish their innings on 124 after being bowled out off the last ball. It is worth noting that during the innings a rather robust striker of the ball managed to middle an apparent six straight back past the bowler only for the ball to strike the umpire, resulting in a dot.
Holder got the UWMCC innings off to a flyer but when he was dismissed for 12, Shah arrived at the crease only to be run out without facing a ball for the second time in two matches. In the following over, Jonny ‘Nasser Hussain’ Bradshaw was dismissed. At three wickets down in the third over, many sides would have crumbled but not this UWMCC outfit. Jewson and Cooper, realising that at 48-3 they were significantly ahead of the rate, took a moment to rebuild. That is until Cooper suicidally ran out Jewson for six. That brought King to the crease – a turning point in the game. King and Cooper batted sensibly for the next 5 overs adding a partnership of 54 largely due to a fair few wides and hard running. That partnership was broken, however, when off the last ball of the penultimate over with 12 runs required to win Cooper attempted an over ambitious stroke and was caught by the bowler for 18. That left King as the last man standing requiring 12, or as Cooper helpfully pointed out four threes, to win. Off the first ball King tried to send the ball into orbit and missed. 12 off five required. After being urged to take a more sensible approach by Jewson, King knocked the second, third and fourth balls for three. Off the fifth ball King and Cooper somehow managed to run a single despite the ball being hit almost straight to the bowler. This brought about a Long Itchington team meeting – how to defend two off the final ball? Eventually the ball was bowled and King ‘guided’ the ball down to third man off a thin edge, meaning UWMCC won the match by one wicket and King was left 20 not out.
The UWMCC are now unbeaten in their three matches with just two more games between them and a finals day trip to Edgbaston.