CRICKET: WARWICK returned to winning ways on Saturday with a morale-boosting 85-run win at Sheldon Marlborough on Saturday.
Skipper Matt Warren lost the toss and Warwick were asked to bat first on a soft wicket that would give plenty of assistance to the seam bowlers.
The innings started in solid fashion with openers Burke and Passey pushing the score to 30 before Passey was caught behind.
James Sood departed quickly after as Warren joined Graeme Burke at the crease with the innings placed at 38/2.
The two batsmen proceeded to restore some order as the pair put on 97 for the third wicket before Warren (32) was caught.
Burke was to follow shortly afterwards, stumped off the bowling of Malik Aziz (2-30) having hit a fluent 78, and once again Warwick found their innings in the balance at 143/4.
But there was no need to worry as this dismissal brought the arrival of Tazik Sharma, who was in inspired form.
Tazik’s brutal and powerful hitting accelerated the scoring dramatically, and the ground simply wasn’t big enough as Sharma smashed his way to an extremely impressive 86 off just 48 balls, including six 4s and eight 6s.
This knock changed the complexion of the game and proved the catalyst for Warwick to take charge of proceedings.
Tazik (86) was eventually out caught in the deep in the penultimate over- among a flurry of other wickets – meaning Warwick reached 251/9 by the end of their innings and were firmly in control of the match at the half way stage.
Opening bowler Rajan Bhatti (22/2) had opener Mahmood out clean bowled for a duck to get Warwick off to a good start.
But wickets from there were hard to come by as Bhatti’s caught and bowled effort was the only other wicket to fall before the drinks break at 25 overs.
Withy Sheldon looking comfortable on 103/2, Warwick bowler Josh Osbourne returned to the fold and had opener Sheikh (46) out caught in the deep by Bhatti
This signalled a change in the momentum of the match.
Abhisheck Sharma (15/1) bowled the number four Kumar (37) shortly afterwards and Sheldon found themselves 122/4 and battling to save the draw.
Osbourne produced a fantastic spell of seam bowling as he ended with impressive figures of 29 for four – the most notable dismissal being a diving one handed effort behind the stumps by keeper Graeme Burke to dismiss the opposition captain Aamir Sahar (0) as wickets continued to fall.
As Warwick pushed for the win, leg spinner Michael Hope (5/1) bowled Herdeep Singh and fellow spinner Ashu Sharma (49/2) completed the victory in the 48th over via a diving one handed effort from Josh Osbourne- a fantastic catch to cap off a memorable victory for Warwick.
The win sees Warwick maintain their promotion push as they move to the top of the table at this early stage in the season.
Elsewhere Warwick 2nd XI maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a hard-fought winning draw at home to Rugby.
Warwick posted 239/8 from their 45 overs while Rugby in reply could only reach 210/7.
Warwick’s standout performance came from Naresh Airody who hit 89.
There was also success for Warwick 3rd XI who defeated Lapworth in dramatic circumstances.
Staring defeat in the face, an excellent display of batting from Rich Ingram and Prashantha Panja Narasimha guided Warwick 3rd XI to an unlikely victory.
At 130/9, the game looked over with Warwick requiring 170 to win.
However Ingram and Narasimha’s play complemented each other as the pair chased down the remaining 40 runs to win – and subsequently go top of the Cotswold Hills League Div. Six.
Youngster Charlie Evans starred for Warwick in the bowling department, taking three wickets for 33 runs.