25th Jun, 2022

CRICKET - Bedworth claim thrilling win against Rugby

HALF-centuries from Finn Haynes and Kyle Taylor led Bedworth to a thrilling five-run Warwickshire Premier League success over visiting Rugby, writes Paul Smith.

With the consistent Ryan Parnell again providing solid support, the hosts closed their 50-over allocation with a useful 240.

After fine opening spells from Fizz Abdullah and Waqar Dad did some early damage, fourth-wicket pair Wes Landsdale (87) and Owen Edwards (54) then led the way for previously unbeaten Rugby before both fell to spin.

As a result, the visitors needed 52 from the final four overs and despite George Mackenzie making a powerful unbeaten 42 it was Bedworth that claimed the spoils.

This second consecutive win means Abdul Hafeez’s team join seven other clubs in the top part of a tightly-packed early-season table, and Bedworth’s skipper was very pleased with their latest success.

“It was a great game and a very good win for us against a team who have started the season strongly,” he said.

“Chasing 240 on a used wicket with us having two spinners was always going to be tricky for Rugby but Landsdale and Edwards played really well.

“It took one of the best catches I have ever seen in any level of cricket from Ryan Parnell to turn the match in our favour.

“Finn and Kyle both played well with the bat for us then superb opening spells from Fizz and Waqar put Rugby under a lot of pressure at 15 for three.

“In particular Waqar deserves loads of credit as he is fasting at the moment but still managed to bowl his ten overs straight through and pick up two valuable wickets.”

Haynes who made a 79-ball 50 and Parnell (41) added 58 for Bedworth’s second wicket before Taylor received useful support from middle-order colleagues Juggy Nandra (17) and Manbir Johal (23).

Bedworth’s wicket-keeper finished with an excellent 79-ball 62 containing six fours and a six before he became one of Neal McGrath’s three victims.

Seth Westley (2-39) and Edwards (2-32) also impressed with the ball for the visitors whose own top-order was soon under pressure against the hosts’ accurate new-ball attack.

After Dad finished his spell with the fine figures of 2-27, Edwards and Landsdale built an 139-run third-wicket alliance which wrested the initiative from the home side.

Landsdale, who struck 13 fours and two sixes in his 105-ball 87, was the dominant partner until Hafeez got one to turn and he was caught off bat and pad.

And when Edwards followed within a few balls for a 93-ball 54 – his powerful cover drive caught one-handed by a diving Parnell off left-arm spinner Ash Cutts – Bedworth seemed in control.

However, Mackenzie counter-attacked to good effect, and with 31 coming from the two closing overs Rugby fell narrowly short of entering round four as the league’s only unbeaten side.

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