VARSITY Match Reports

Varsity winThe UWMCC remain unbeaten at Fortress Desso as they take the Varsity series 2-1

For the third successive year, the UWMCC were victorious in the Varsity match against local rivals Coventry University.  In the cauldron that is the Desso Hall, spectators and players alike rose to cheer what was an enthralling, nail-biting victory.

Coventry 3rd VI  103-1 (10) UWMCC 3rd VI  105-3 (9.2)

UWMCC’s 3rd VI kicked off proceedings, with skipper Nick Edmonds winning the toss and putting Coventry into bat.  The key early exchanges were arguably won by Warwick, courtesy of a tight first over by Vivek Naker with support from Josh Thomas, Rameez Moidu and Rob Clayden.  Yet, the lack of wickets falling meant that Coventry could keep the scoreboard ticking, with their opener playing an anchor role and finishing on 24*.  Warwick’s fielding was of a particularly high standard, keeping the pressure on the opposing batsmen at all times.  In addition to this, the bowling effort was on the whole fairly solid although far too many extras were conceded; pushing Coventry’s total up to 103-1 off of their 10 overs which was at least 30 more than it should have been.

Needing 104 to win, openers Edmonds and Naker built a solid base of 43 off of the first 4 overs, before Edmonds was caught for 18 looking to push the rate on.  Naker played a well-paced innings and was ably supported Josh Thomas, both mixing up their shots and pouncing on anything loose on offer.  With the fall of Thomas for 17, the Warwick innings faltered slightly with the run out of Naker for 20, bringing Rameez Moidu and Liam David into the fold.  However, Warwick were still on top of the run rate and some mature batting consolidated this position.  David provided an excellent foil for Moidu with some clever leg side shots, as Moidu satisfied his penchant for straight hitting with a big six before settling down to bring the victory home for Warwick, finishing on 18* with David on 13*.  For the first time in many years, the 3rd VI had managed to emerge victorious, heaping the pressure on a now quieter and evidently apprehensive Coventry.  This one wasn’t over yet though…

UWMCC 2nd VI  89-5 (10)                    Coventry 2nd VI  90-1 (8.1)

UWMCC’s 2nd VI knew that a win would secure the Varsity series for the UWMCC for another year.  Skipper Simon Knott lost the toss and was put into bat, with Henry Hayes and Miten Khatri opening up.  Some excellent seam bowling from Coventry opener Johal restricted Warwick early on but could not stop experienced campaigner Khatri hitting his stride and ticking the scoreboard over.  Hayes was caught behind bringing Knott to the crease, who played a couple of effective punches down the ground in partnership with Khatri before being unfortunately run out for 10.  The Warwick innings stuttered as Alex Walker fell soon after, however the arrival of Jacob Sargeant brought back some much needed stability.  Sargeant kept Khatri company until the latter retired for 25*, making a composed 14 before being run out.  Annandale had the misfortune of being run out without facing, bringing the Warwick innings to a close and leaving Coventry needing 90 to win.

Warwick’s fielding effort began brightly as an early run out applied some pressure to the Coventry batsmen.  This was backed up by some good early bowling from Hayes and Sargeant as they tried to wrestle control from Coventry’s grasp.  Despite this, Coventry were always on or ahead of the rate and managed to bat at the right tempo, with two batsmen reaching 25*, whilst losing no further wickets in the innings.  The Warwick total was chased down after 8.1 overs, leaving the UWMCC wondering what might have been with 15 or 20 more runs on the board.

Coventry 1st VI  107-4 (10)                 UWMCC 1st VI  108-3 (10)

The stage was set.  As in recent years, the winner of the Varsity series would be decided in the final game involving UWMCC’s 1st VI.  Skipper John Faal won the toss and elected to bowl first, confident that he had enough batting talent in his side to chase down the Coventry total.  The fresher trio of James Hammond (1-32), Jonny Gonszor (0-31) and Oli Thornley (0-30) bowled tightly throughout, with very few extras being given away.  However, the experienced Coventry opening batsman both ticked the score over at a steady rate and reached their 25* respectively.  Unfortunately for Coventry their middle order did not do quite the same job, as regular wickets began to fall which saw their innings falter somewhat.  The Coventry skipper Aggio-Brewe returned at the end of the innings and was the standout player for them, finishing on 40*.  Overall, a very solid bowling and fielding display had left Warwick 108 to win Varsity for the third consecutive year.

The trusty opening partnership of Ben Marjot and Danny Williams certainly did not hang around as they begun the chase and got Warwick off to an absolute flyer with some exemplary indoor batting, taking a liking to opening bowler Pearce in particular.  Marjot displayed a delightful range of crowd pleasing shots, the pick being an on drive for six, whilst Williams complemented him perfectly by skilfully picking up 3’s with some well-timed straight drives thrown in for good measure.  With 65 coming off of the first 5 overs, Warwick were in the driving seat.  A Williams run out for 17 was followed by Marjot retiring for his 25*, bringing Faal and Gonszor to the crease.  With the tension building in the Desso, the Coventry skipper bowled a couple of tight overs, with the wicket of Gonszor falling followed by a series of dots at the new man Thornley.  The Warwick response came in the 8th over, with 36 needed off of the last 3.  Faal seized control and targeted the bowling of Ashgar, hitting him for two 6’s and a 4 before retiring for his 25*, shifting the momentum the way of the UWMCC.  Hammond came in at 6 with 20 needed off of the last 2 overs and managed to connect with some nervy Coventry bowling to take the game right down to the wire.  The run out of Thornley brought Marjot back to the crease at the non-strikers end.  A strong last over from the Coventry opening bowler wasn’t enough, as Hammond, after a few plays and misses for dramatic effect, took a 3 on the penultimate ball to leave Marjot on strike with 1 needed off of the last ball.  Marjot struck the winning run to rapturous cheers from the gallery, finishing on 28* and bringing the Varsity win home yet again for the UWMCC at Fortress Desso.

Thank you to everyone who played their part in what was a great occasion, we will certainly be looking for 4 in a row in 2015.  Also a big thank you to our sponsors Kingfisher, whose generous support has enabled us to move forward and continue to build a successful cricket club.

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