It was the big one for UWMCC as the team prepared for the final of the Coventry Indoor Cricket League. Immediately, the team were staring down the barrel of a concession as news was delivered by captain Ed Cooper that the morons at Warwick Sport had no transport for us despite being booking for every Tuesday since the start of term. However, it soon came to light the increasingly reliable Jack Sadler had transport on campus but only room for five. This left captain Cooper with a tough selection call even before leaving campus with all the boys desperate to be on a final winning team. Nobly, Daniel Lewis said he would be prepared to drop out, leaving Ed Cooper, James Murphy, Kishan Patel, Jack Sadler, Charlie Turner and unexpected call up (and pacey drive from Leam) for Connor Hobbs.
Despite Sadler bringing to light his write-off 10 seconds into the journey, the boys arrived cramped yet safely to the Connexion Arena. The boys seemed more focused than ever for a victory with warm-up of high standard, and after losing the toss to the Warwick CC captain, we were put into bat first.
Last week’s saviour, Sadler, and Clobber opened the batting and both were looking comfortable, manipulating the ball around to find good threes against a strong fielding side. Clobber became the first wicket to fall, being run out in the third over after some scoreboard pressure had been built by the WCC bowlers. The skipper came to the crease and again, the batting strategy of hit a gap, run, hope for the best was proving successful. Cooper and Sadler, the latter who scored 25, were both run out in similar fashion in the fifth and seventh over which brought the unfancied partnership of Kishan and Turner to the crease. The runs flowed however, including good leaves from Kishan to get crucial runs from extras and scoring at will of the good balls. Outrage then followed as a clear four in the corner from Kishan was given as one by the umpire, who the incensed Clobber and Murphy showed no sign of remorse for. Despite this setback though, he was able to push on and retired with three balls remaining. Murphy fell for a golden duck off the last ball, with UMWCC scoring a perfect 100.
Despite this relatively high score, the UMWCC bowlers knew they would have to bowl well against arguably the strongest team they’ve played this year. Cooper went back to last week’s tactics of rotating his three main bowlers and slotting himself in where necessary. Warwick Cricket Club started well however against opening bowlers Turner and Hobbs, with both batsmen finding gaps to get threes. The breakthrough came in unexpected fashion, with keeper Kishan taking a surprise stumping off the bowling of Murphy in the third over after some good glove work. WCC number three came in and was far more explosive scoring three fours, one of which Clobber contested since we weren’t given the one in the previous innings (that’s not how it works buddy). The game looked to be going away from the boys with Warwick CC on 58-1 and a man in the hutch after 4.4 overs, before a Cooper wicket, with a great take by Kishan, strangling the man down the legside. A superb Clobber over of just four runs followed which put UWMCC back in the match. Murphy, Turner and Hobbs shared one more over apiece, which included yet another shelled indoor catch from Murphy, superb bowling by Clobber, bowled through the gate, and fine fielding from Sadler to run out the easily the slowest man on both team sheets. Murphy was left with the task of bowling the final over with WCC needing 13 to win. It looked like a great start when he thought he had a wicket first ball, before being told that being caught off the ceiling isn’t actually a rule. With wickets in hand, the WCC men could afford to be more blazé with their running and had the scores tied with 2 balls to go before getting the last run next ball.
A disheartened UWMCC team, who would’ve appeared to an outsider to have just lost the Ashes, therefore had to settle for a consolation medal. Congratulations go to Warwick CC on winning, and excellent emergency car-pooling by Sadler at the last minute.