Image: Wikimedia Commons / In2itive
Image: Wikimedia Commons / In2itive

Men’s Cricket Varsity 2022: Coventry beat Warwick by five wickets

Warwick University’s bid for Varsity revenge was thwarted by Coventry University who outclassed the hosts, claiming a five-wicket victory with 6.3 overs to spare.

Coventry repeated their convincing win over Warwick in 2020, in which they successfully chased 30 runs with 8.2 overs to spare and no wickets lost in the final innings.

Watching from a tightly packed balcony of 50 lively students, the atmosphere was not too dissimilar to a rowdy Friday night at Kelsey’s. Seven Nation Army was blaring from the speakers in an attempt to drown out the brutish chants slung between Warwick and Coventry supporters. 

History seemed to repeat itself as an assured Coventry sent a jittery Warwick in to bat. Coventry restricted the batters to an uncompetitive total of 75 and surpassed last year’s 122 with an excellent 138 runs in the first innings.

From then on, the match evaded Warwick’s touch as they struggled to make up for their frantic first innings, with feelings of frustration hard to fend off.

Coventry Men’s Indoor team stand second in the Men’s Indoor BUCS league, with Warwick four places below. Coventry’s speciality in the indoor format was clear as their fielding was tight with impressive catches and run outs preventing any flow for the Varsity hosts. An early wicket loss created further apprehension on the Warwick side who were caught off guard by Coventry’s command with the ball.

“I think it just came down to the fact that we were a little bit unprepared. They play a lot more Indoor cricket than us. They knew what they were doing straight from the off,” commented Warwick Varsity Captain Eitan Litvin.

Coventry had the last laugh with their supporters partaking in a final rendition of “sit down and shut up”, sung proudly at a dejected Warwick team

Building on a good performance with the ball, Coventry excelled with the bat. The opening pair Bhosale (31) and Ball (30) were standouts who both retired in the game after great displays of indoor batting skill. Three Coventry batters hit two consecutive sixes, demonstrating their familiarity with the indoor format.

Warwick were generally poorer in the field, conceding too many wides and overthrows. In total, they conceded 14 more extras and were punished as each wide counted three runs towards their opponent’s total. 

With an aim to fight their way back into contention, Warwick returned to the crease in Zone A with renewed confidence and a clearer strategy. Batters Smith (26) and Khagram (33) were a testament to this as the team produced more astute batting to manipulate the field, finishing on 111.

However, this wasn’t enough. 49 runs in 10 overs was an easy task for the visitors. Bhosale solidified his strong batting performance with a bold knock of 31 runs before Barrett fittingly struck the final ball for six to get the job done in 3.3 overs. Sadly, Coventry had the last laugh with their supporters partaking in a final rendition of “sit down and shut up”, sung proudly at a dejected Warwick team.

Litvin said: “I think our first innings is where we lost it with the bat and the ball. They got too big of a lead. We brought it back in their second innings and we were much better with both bat and ball but unfortunately we had basically lost it in our first innings.”

In terms of changing their approach for next year Litvin emphasised the importance of indoor BUCS matches as preparation: “We have BUCS indoor fixtures as well in term one and this year we didn’t really take them seriously. From next year I think we’re not going to care about the BUCS results, but we’re going to use it as Varsity preparation.”

Warwick Team:

  • Kabir Sodhi
  • Cooper Smith 
  • Eitan Litvin (Captain-Keeper)
  • Josh Bennett 
  • Viraj Khagram 
  • Archie Bates 

Coventry Team:

  • Om Bhosale 
  • Jamie Ball 
  • Alex Barrett (Captain)
  • Archie Clegg (Keeper)
  • Sameer Vohra 
  • Sahej Gabadia 

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