CRICKET: Warwick CC sent a message to the rest of their Warwickshire Cricket League Division Five rivals with a crushing 138 run away victory against Attock 3rds on Saturday afternoon.
Attock 3rds topped Division Four of the county league last season, however they were relegated to Division Five due to poor playing conditions at their home ground in Elmdon Road Playing Fields.
The home team’s form from last year was expected to provide a tough test for Warwick. And it was a test they passed with flying colours.
Skipper Matt Warren lost the toss and Warwick were asked to bat first.
The innings started in solid fashion with openers Graeme Burke and Adrian Passey demonstrating their experience and ability as an opening partnership.
The first wicket to fall was Passey (13) which left Warwick 63/1 while Burke was on 23*.
Warwick’s innings was assisted by 50 extras.
James Sood joined proceedings with a couple of big shots, but the loss of his wicket brought captain Matt Warren to the fold.
Burke (69) and Warren batted well in a 90-run partnership as the visitors looked to build a competitive total.
Burke’s fluent knock ended with the score at 180/3, but Warren (64) continued to display his pedigree and was joined by Tazik Sharma for some entertaining late innings hitting.
Taz Sharma, on league debut for the club, smashed a brutal 56* off 42 balls as Warwick ended with a commanding 276/5 from their 50 overs.
Warwick’s bowlers were made to work hard early on, however a moment of brilliance from Abishek Sharma – who took a brilliant diving one-handed caught and bowled effort – brought the breakthrough at 43/1.
Warren’s side soon took a grip on the game by bringing the slower bowlers into the fold.
Spinner Anil Lohan (3-34) and seamer Richard Rudnicki bowled well as the hosts struggled to respond.
Wickets started to fall with increasing consistency.
Rudnicki took five wickets for just 30 runs while Rajan Bhatti returned to the attack to demolish the off stump of the remaining tailender to finalise Warwick’s victory.
The 24 point win ensures that Warwick continue their unbeaten start to the season, obtaining maximum points from both fixtures so far.
A Sunday friendly against Solihull Municipal ended with another victory for Warwick as they chased down Solihull’s total of 166 with nine overs spare.