RUGBY CC suffered a six-wicket defeat to league leaders Coventry and North Warwickshire after a lacklustre performance with the bat at Binley Road.
Despite winning the toss and electing to bat on a dry wicket, opener Henry Parker (43) was the only Rugby batter to reach more than 20 runs in the Warwickshire County League Premier Division clash.
Parker was joined at the crease by fellow opener Hugh Cochrane (16) as the pair put on 41 runs for the first wicket with wickets falling at regular intervals thereafter.
Jeevan Barhey (13), Wes Landsdale (11), Owen Edwards (12) and Kasir Shah (9) all fell cheaply to leave Rugby in trouble on 115-6.
The visitors lower order offered some fight as Michael Hughes (16) and Lee Golding (20) increased Rugby’s total before they were bowled out for 168 in the 49th over – a defendable score on a difficult wicket.
And Rugby made the perfect start with the ball when Neal McGrath (3-35) bowled Coventry opener William Iles for a duck in the first over of the home side’s reply.
However, after McGrath claimed the wicket of Mathew Nobes (15), the league leaders showed their class with a 57-run third-wicket partnership.
Coventry captain Vikram Sodhi (50) was eventually removed by Levi Gekis (1-23) having reached a half-century and formed a solid partnership with Nathan Biggs (41) before he also fell victim to McGrath.
Shivam Bhambri (50 not out) and Marco Higgins (12 not out) steered the home side to a comfortable six-wicket win in the 38th over to extend their lead at the top of the standings with Rugby down in seventh.
In Division Five, Rugby’s 2nd XI sauntered to a 10-wicket win against Bulkington to keep the pressure on league leaders Sutton Coldfield.
Bowling first, Rugby’s James Nuttall (1-25) grabbed a crucial early wicket in the second over before the introduction of Aravind Katragadda swung the game firmly in their favour.
Katragadda (3-30) shone with the ball in a 10-over spell, with all three of his wickets caught behind by Joe Bramley, as he ripped through Bulkington’s top order to leave the visitors on 54-4.
A 40-run fifth-wicket partnership steadied the ship before Murali Natarajan (2-10) removed Bala Balaskrishnan (24) which proved the catalyst for a Bulkington collapse as they lost their final six wickets for just 41 runs.
Jonathan Sage (1-8) took the crucial wicket of Darren Carvell who top scored with 38 whilst Amaan Shah (2-19) enjoyed a fruitful spell as Bulkington were bowled out for just 135.
In reply, Alex Watson did most of the damage with the bat as he finished on 81 not out, which included 13 boundaries, with Charlie Robards (27 retired not out) and Oscar Briggs (22 not out) helping Rugby ease to victory in 17.4 overs.
The club’s 3rd XI maintained their lead at the top of the Division Eight South Central table with a comprehensive 201-run win against Hunningham.
Rugby were put into bat first and piled on the runs to finish on 266-5 at the end of their 45 overs as Keval Rathod (37) and Rob Stipanovic (45) combined for a 91-run second-wicket partnership.
The pair were dismissed in the same over which brought Liam Hebblewhite (25) and Aravind Ram (31) to the crease as the duo took Rugby to 157-4.
And late knocks from Advay Pophali (34 not out) and Tom Rigby (40 not out) saw Rugby post a daunting total of 266-5.
Hunningham’s openers started steadily as William Veys (11) and Vijay Bhaskar (21) reached 28 without loss before Rubans Sugartharubans (2-7) made the breakthrough in his first over which led to a spectacular collapse.
Spinners Chris Oliver (4-13) and Rathod (3-10) ripped through the middle order before Tom Rigby (1-1) took the final wicket of Jonny Galvin (16).
All 10 Hunningham wickets fell for the addition of just 37 runs who were skittled for just 65 in 30.3 overs.
Lastly, Rugby’s 4th XI produced a spirited run chase to beat Coleshill by two wickets in an entertaining Division Nine South Central match.
Coleshill won the toss and elected to bat only for Rugby’s Euan Walker (5-24) to take the first three wickets of the innings.
And Walker also claimed the wicket of Khalid Khattak (44) whilst number nine Hauder Bashir (62) produced a fine knock before he fell to Kiran Clark (2-37).
Walker earned his first five-wicket haul with a late scalp as Coleshill were bowled out for 202 with William Briggs (1-28) and Anil Orunganti (1-34) both amongst the wickets.
Rugby started strongly in reply thanks to the batting of Ram Kumar Singh (38) and Matt Browne (17) having lost opener Zafar Rehman (1).
However, Clark (9), Orlando Briggs (2) and Jagtar Barhey (4) all fell cheaply as Rugby’s middle order struggled despite Charlie Crinigan and Harry Heaven (both 17) providing some resistance.
Remarkably, number nine and 10 batters Orunganti (27 not out) and Briggs (26 not out) showed great calmness to navigate Rugby to victory with two wickets to spare.