Foreword – I must offer my apologies that I’ve not written match reports for our last two games in this league, but between you and me they would have been very boring. I’ve run out of ways in which to describe Warwick CC’s captain and team, and am running low on eloquent ways in which to describe our (quite regular) thrashings of them. Highlights of these two games include a man who (unsuccessfully) attempted a run whilst our keeper still had the ball within his clutches, an umpire giving Warwick CC’s captain run out when it was actually the other batsman, and a cumulative 141 run double-victory. Nevertheless, we were to play Star Alvis in the final, and the winners would progress to the Warwickshire finals at Edgbaston.
A strong VI including debutant Rob Stileman headed off to the Connexion in record time this week, despite driver Thornley losing his drivers card. Our low-on-batting lineup worried the skipper, and with his eyes firmly on the prize, the toss was to be crucial, as batting first could well have exposed our weaknesses and proven to be too much to handle. Thankfully, the cricketing gods were on our side on this fateful Tuesday evening, and after a correct call of heads, we prepared our bowling attack.
Jack Peters was to open up for us, and drama was to be had on the first ball, as the Star Alvis batsman wanted a risky single and his partner was having none of it. Cool, calm and collected, Clobber gathered the ball behind the stumps and produced a hard-earned run out. Taking the new ball from the other end, Rob Stileman found some early rhythm and took two quick wickets, with the other opener blasting one off the wall to JP and batsman number three schnicking off to the waiting skipper and newly turned gloveman. Four overs down and Star Alvis were 15-3, and we had the place at Edgbaston well within our sights. However, a tough battle ensued between our first change bowlers Gujar and Thornley and Alvis’ batsmen (and byes). Scoring at a reasonable 8 an over for the remainder of the innings, Star Alvis reached 55 all out before Stileman could bowl the final over.
Despite any complacency we may have had, it would have been horrifying to have lost from this point so the team made very sure to take the chase seriously. Having been told they had license to use the full ten overs, opening batsmen Jono and Gujar played an elegant series of blocks, leaves, edges and misses to grind our way to 14-0. Unfortunately, these 14 runs took half of our innings to achieve, and despite having wickets in hand, the Star Alvis bowlers and fielders had been incredible to watch – not one mistake in the field, not one shy at the stumps missed, not one bad ball it had seemed. Having not run a single yet and feeling very much under pressure, Jono and Gujar scampered through and the thought of the throw actually meaning something must’ve got to Star Alvis’ star player, as he would have claimed the scalp of either of them had he displayed a little more composure. This single seemed to open the floodgates for UWMCC, and two overs of 12 and 16 respectively saw us need just 14 off the final three, with all six wickets remaining. With the match all but won, Gujar had a heads-gone moment and tried to launch one, completely missing and seeing the bails go flying behind him. Unfortunately Jono suffered the same fate just three balls later, and it was up to Clobber and Thornley to see us home. Easily managed, the UWMCC had manages to oust Star Alvis and once again become Cov Indoor League champions, with Midlands Finals Day being held at Edgbaston on Easter Sunday.
Thanks to all players who turned out for the UWMCC over the last two terms of Cov Indoor, it’s been great fun for me and hope it has been for the rest of you as well. Perhaps we’ll carry some of this form into the outdoor BUCS season?