CRICKET: STANDARD bizarrely moved up to fifth in the Warwickshire Cricket League Premier Division despite losing on the road to relegation candidates Highway Spartans.
Despite a challenge for the league title being off the cards, Standard skipper Ryan Leybourne would’ve hoped for a better result from his team as they look to secure fifth in a division split into three separate battles.
Leybourne won the toss and elected to bowl first in conditions likely to suit the seamers.
That quickly proved to be the case as Highway crashed to 10/2 after openers Billy Dyal (8) and Martin Ivory (2) were bowled and caught out respectively for cheap figures.
James Moynihan (2) also fell cheaply as Highway looked to their middle order to rescue the innings.
Amandeep Hallat (28) and Kyle Miller (16) hit double figures, Highway still needed a solid partnership to be formed if they were to set a challenging target.
And it came when home skipper Ari Doak-Smith joined Tom Yardley in the middle. The pair put on 145 between them as Yardley struck 87 while Doak-Smith starred with 68 – helping Highway past the 200 mark.
From there, any further runs were counted as bonus as the tailend hit out to record a fine 255 all out from 50 overs exactly.
Knowing they faced an uphill battle, Standard made a dreadful start when Bradley Curtis was bowled out by Yardley for only two.
Stuart Hormantschuk (37) and Andy Jones (49) steadied the Standard ship by putting on 59 for the second wicket.
Steve Vaughan and Ryan Leybourne couldn’t build on their opening scores once they entered the crease as Standard lost wickets at regular intervals.
Soon, the run rate started to increase – forcing Standard into taking more chances than wanted.
James Searle – batting at seven – provided some hope with 33. But Highway’s Saawan Patel was in unstoppable form and returned with figures of 33/4 as Standard slipped to 194 all out, losing the match by 61 runs.