October 21st marked the beginning of UWMCC’s 2017/18 BUCS Indoor campaign with a trip to Edgbaston for fixtures against BCU, Aston and Birmingham. The squad featured 2 BUCS Indoor debutants, Fresher Kieron – seamer/useful no.6 batsman and Millman – weaseling his way into the side for the first time, finally escaping Goodyear’s shadow. Mihir, Randall, Rhino and Rooty (seeking to catch up Thornton for most ever BUCS Indoor appearances at Edgbaston.
Game 1 – UWMCC defeated BCU by 88 runs.
Upon winning the toss, Mihir opted to bat first and opened up with himself and Millman. After a steady stand of 23, Mihir (7) managed to get himself run out, bringing Randall to the crease. Millman (30) secured our first retirement of the year, but another run out saw Randall (14) depart. Rhino (23*) anchored the end of the innings with Rooty and Kieron scoring 20 and 3 respectively as UWMCC finished on 120/5 off 10 overs. A strong bowling performance all-round finished BCU off in just 4.3 overs with Rhino, Mihir, Kieron and Joe taking one apiece and run outs finishing them off. An ideal start to the tournament.
Game 2 – UWMCC defeated Aston by 64 runs.
Winning the toss again, Mihir stuck with plan A and decided to bat first again. Louie (9) did not find the same rhythm as the first game and was dismissed early on, but on this occasion it was Mihir (28*) and Randall (28*) who delivered a platform for UWMCC to build on. Rhino chipped in with 18 before being run out and Rooty (25*) found form against the Aston attack. Kieron (4) was yet again unable to contribute much, managing to find a way to get caught and bowled. With extras chipping in a handy 20, UWMCC were confident of defending their huge total of 132. Rhino struck with the first ball of the innings, pinning their opener for a golden duck. Mihir (1-20) then removed their no. 3 despite his best attempt to deflect a catch away from Rhino (3-20), who managed to get involved with 5 of the 6 wickets to fall, removing both the 2 and 4. UWMCC then let Aston get away for a bit with some sloppy efforts in the field, but a quick two-fer from Randall (2-17) sealed the deal to finish off the Aston innings for 62.
Game 3 – UWMCC lost to Birmingham by 5 wickets.
After the day had started with two thrashings, UWMCC were quietly optimistic about their crunch fixture with a strong-looking
Birmingham side. Mihir was not quite so lucky with the toss this time, but still had his desired outcome of batting first. A steady first couple of overs were quickly undone with Mihir (8) falling victim to a bat-pad catch off the side-net and Louie (9) getting himself run out. Brief attempts to resurrect the innings by Randall (15) and Chase (13) were quickly undone as UWMCC contrived to collapse from 57-2 to 64 all out in 6.2 overs. The turning point in the innings occurred with high drama as Rhino broke down with a hamstring injury while completing a run. There was more drama on the first ball of the Birmingham innings with Mihir executing a sharp run-out after their openers attempted to steal a quick single. This was the peak of the second innings for UWMCC as they toiled for the next 6.2 overs with Birmingham cruising to victory, conceding a painful 21 extras on the way. Losing Rhino’s bowling was a big loss for the balance of the bowling attack and effectively losing a fielder was a big hit in the 4-fielder format.
UWMCC left Edgbaston disappointed with the last result, but in the knowledge that their performance in the previous two games gave them every chance of going through. Next up, the Indoor side will face two sets of Keele and Coventry teams, a full 4/4 is required to give the best chance of qualifying as winners if Birmingham slip up or best runners-up.