After some frantic, last minute call-ups, skipper Cooper cobbled together a 3s team ready to take on Lincoln 1s on the hallowed Cryfield pitches. Having won the toss, Lincoln elected to bat first – to the surprise of Warwick, given that rain was forecast, and run rate could come into play. Opening bowlers Hobbs and Beauclark got off to a tight start, with high standards on show in the field. The culmination of this pressure was a wicket for Beauclerk; having one of the openers caught at cover – not a beautiful wicket in itself but without doubt a product of the pressure created by Warwick’s bowlers. Nevertheless, this brought to the crease a very good number three batsman. Playing with power and control, he scored a very competent 48, before irresponsibly slapping a Maneka delivery straight to mid-on. Credit to Maneka, however, for forcing the mistake following a miserly start to his spell. Maneka would prove to be the pick of the bowlers, claiming 3-45 from his ten overs. Having broken the partnership between the number three and opener, Frido then pinned the latter with a deceivingly full delivery, sending him back with a well-made 58 to his name. The last of Maneka’s three wickets saw the number four bat depart for eight, and at this point Warwick were very much in the game.
However, a powerful-looking number seven bat strolled to the crease, and Warwick had a reasonable idea of his intensions simply from his sheer size. For all intents and purposes he took the game away from Warwick, smashing a quick-fire 78, including a number of behemoth sixes. Aided by a poor drop from Larkins at long-off, he went about his ways efficiently – none of the bowlers escaped punishment. Eventually removed by Hobbs, his contribution had lifted Lincoln to an imposing 311-6 – Beauclerk also getting a late wicket. Credit to the number six, who overcame a shaky start to score an unbeaten 48 – providing stability whilst carnage took place at the other end. Final bowling figures: Beauclerk (2-50), Hobbs (1-62), Jaimin (0-39), Maneka (3-45), Larkins (0-49), and Hall (0-55).
Despite facing an impressive total, Warwick openers Stephenson and Cooper made a very impressive start, putting Warwick on course to make a serious assault on the target. The former in particular looked in very good touch, blasting a number of pleasing drives down the ground and dispatching with disdain Lincoln left-armer’s attempt at some chin music, a hooked six over backward square. This partnership was broken when a Lincoln seamer found a way through the dogged defences of Cooper, bowled for 33 (55). An in-form Lippiatt joined Stephenson at the crease but after a sharp leg-side stumping from the (admittedly gun) keeper Lippiatt departed for a duck. This brought a run-hungry Gujar to the crease. This hunger, however, saw the run-out of Stephenson for 40 (50) after Gujar called him through for a kamikaze single.
Warwick now found themselves in the mire, even more so after Jaimin found himself given out LBW after audibly hitting the ball. This was not enough to dissuade the umpire from a quick-draw trigger. After Gujar left a straight one, Warwick were five down for under a hundred, Beauclerk and Hall were left with a near-impossible task. Hall, having mocked Gujar’s leave, and previously claimed himself to be ‘possibly the best leaver of the ball in the world’, fell for 4 (16) … after leaving a straight one. At the other end, Booclark was nowhere to be seen- rumours abound that he was busy having a late lunch with Dave, Lenny and the other UWMCC schizophrenic personalities. Beauclark nevertheless made a composed 19 (37) which at least dragged Warwick up to a semi-respectable total. Lower order contributions also include Larkins [15 (25)], alongside entertaining cameos from Jewson [23 (43)] and Hobbs [17 (10)] – the last two both hitting sixes to entertain the various Gollums now rocking up to Crydor pavilion. The clinical Lincoln unit wrapped up a large win (146 runs to be precise), bowling Warwick out for 165. This to an extent reflected the fact that they were, quite simply, the better side – Warwick nevertheless can take positives from this game, such as Stephenson’s top-order pedigree and Maneka’s ability to apply the brakes to an innings, as well as pick up crucial wickets. Warwick 3s must now dust themselves off and ready themselves for Aston 1s on Sunday.