RUGBY Cricket Club kicked off their season with a 54-run victory over Bablake, fighting back from a disappointing batting display with a ruthless performance in the field.
Rugby were bowled out for 141 in 42 overs on a slow wicket with Henry Parker’s 31 the highest of any batsman in the match.
Mike Powell and Alex Watson both scored 22 with Wes Landsdale’s 20 proving crucial as Rugby slumped from 46 for 1 to 64 for 4.
However, new signing Seth Westley immediately breathed life into his side’s hopes of victory with a wicket in the first over of Bablake’s reply.
Lee Golding emulated this effort from the other end, taking a wicket with his fourth ball to leave Bablake on 12 for 2 before taking his second wicket soon after.
And Rugby’s spinners eventually got their reward as Danny Sadiq and Landsdale both claimed wickets before the latter picked up a quick pair to put the visitors in command.
Westley added his second wicket following his reintroduction to the attack as Bablake lost five wickets for just six runs to collapse to 65 for 8.
And Bablake were bowled out for just 87 as Golding picked up his third wicket of the afternoon before Landsdale finished the job.
Elsewhere, Rugby’s second string also started their league campaign with a win, beating Aston Unity by four wickets at Webb Ellis Road.
Bhavik Rathod impressed with a nagging line and length, accompanied by David Marshall who offered some more pace on his return to the side after being plagued by injuries in recent years.
They shared the first four wickets to reduce the visitors to 36 for 4 from nine overs, including two excellent catches by Oscar Briggs.
Eager to pile on the pressure, Jon Sage entered the attack and immediately found some movement off the seam, claiming the wicket of Adam Mist (16), caught behind by George Mackenzie.
New recruit Saj Rizvi then produced an outstanding googly to claim his first RCC wicket, with the batsman completely deceived, shouldering arms and given out lbw.
From then on, it was the Sage show and only an eighth wicket partnership of 32 could keep him at bay for long, as he claimed the final four wickets, including top scorer Stephen Jordan (22).
Sage took the final wicket two wickets with the last two balls of his 10th over to dismiss Aston Unity for 119.
RCC’s openers Charlie Robards (15) and Oscar Briggs (8) started the run chase with a 28-run partnership, trading some classy straight drives to get Rugby on their way.
However, once Adam Sturmey claimed the first wicket, Rugby began to lose their way and were wobbling at 47 for 3.
Cochrane (27) and Ben Herridge (18) began to rebuild the innings, with some fluent scoring and taking the total to 78 for 3.
But another three wickets fell in a hurry to leave the hosts on 93 for 6 and facing a nervous finish.
Thankfully, Rugby’s man of the match Sage strode to the crease and quickly put any concerns to bed with a quick-fire 17 not out, securing the points with consecutive boundaries in the 27th over.
Lastly, Rugby’s 3rd XI made it a hat-trick of victories for the second week running to maintain the club’s unbeaten start to the season, beating Greens Norton by 104 runs.
Batting first, opener Keval Rathod (71) continued his good start to the season, whilst Aravind Katragadda blasted 60 not out and youngster Levi Gekis added 23 in RCC’s 212 for 5 from 40 overs.
Ben Haworth took a wicket in the first over of the Northamptonshire side’s reply and went on to return 3/16 from his eight overs.
Henry Newby (55) looked good for Greens Norton, but he had little support as Rugby shared the wickets around and bowled the hosts out for 108.
Rugby’s first team are next in action at home to Aston Manor CC on Saturday, April 23 with the game to get underway at midday.