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NTU Cricket take the final win of Notts Varsity 2016

The final fixture of the 2016 Notts Varsity series saw the two men’s cricket teams do battle at Clifton Village Cricket Club on Friday 13 May.

NTU cricket player

By Marcus Ward

The final fixture of the 2016 Notts Varsity series saw the two men’s cricket teams do battle at Clifton Village Cricket Club on Friday 13 May. The match was played under grey skies and in quite low temperatures, but the weather didn’t put off the 200 or so that turned up to watch.

The University of Nottingham (UoN) captain, Merritt, won the toss and elected to field. Before play got underway, a minute’s applause was held in memory of Zac Forskitt, NTU Cricket's late social secretary, who sadly passed away in March.

Nottingham Trent’s opening batsmen Paine and Brazier got the innings off to a blistering start with nine boundaries coming in the first four overs and helping the score to 50-0. With a mixture of tweaks in the fielding positions and the end of the powerplay, the boundaries dried up and the run rate dipped below ten an over.

In the tenth over, a swept six from Paine and a straight four from Brazier brought up the 100 for NTU. Brazier was then dropped at deep square-leg in the following over and brought up his 50, with Paine bringing up his own half-century not long later.

Again, boundaries became less frequent, but neither batsmen panicked and they kept the scoreboard ticking. As before, the boundaries came in a flurry with Paine hitting a six and a four in consecutive balls in the mid-wicket region, and then both batsmen helped themselves to full tosses and dispatched them over the leg-side boundary.

UoN finally had something to cheer about when, in the 16th over, Brazier got caught at deep mid-wicket by Scott off the bowling of Williams for an impressive 56 off 48 balls. It brought an end to a superb opening partnership producing over 150 runs.

This brought Warwick to the crease, and he got going straight away and helped keep up the flow of runs, including a huge six over long on.

Meanwhile, Paine was approaching his century, and as he prepared to face the first ball of the last over, he needed another eight runs to reach the landmark. He deposited the first ball over the bowler’s head for a six, and then scampered a quick two on the leg-side to bring up his 100. He removed his helmet and waved his bat to the impressed crowd.

A four through third man off the last ball from Warwick (27* off 12) ended NTU’s innings on an amazing 209-1. Paine (100* off 61) led the players off, after receiving handshakes from some UoN players, to the applause off all around. It was an innings that would be talked about for a long time, and all those who’d seen it wouldn’t forget it in a hurry. Without slogging, he used power and timing to find the gaps and occasionally clear the boundary all together.

UoN were up against it from the beginning, and things almost got off to a calamitous start when Gillespie went for a single but got sent back and was almost run out in the first over.

The first boundary didn’t come until the 17th ball of the innings when Merritt flicked the ball to the fine-leg boundary. Despite the odd wide, NTU’s bowling was disciplined and piled the pressure on the batsmen to keep up with the required run rate.

The breakthrough wicket came when Gillespie cut a ball from Ayers into the hands of Sharpe at point and by the end of the powerplay UON were 36-1.

Ayers grabbed his and NTU’s second wicket with Merritt being caught by Waugh at long-on. Captain Ikram then took two wickets in three balls: catching Scott off his own bowling, then trapping Jacob LBW. At 39-4 after eight overs, it wasn’t looking good for UON.

The run rate increased, but not by nearly enough, and the fifth wicket fell in the 11th over: Masters stumped by Fish off Waugh. Fish was then in the action again a few overs, later catching a thin edge from Clark’s bat off Plant’s bowling.

Plant picked up his second wicket by having Styles caught in the covers by Paine, and then Williams was run out next ball and UoN were 86-8.

Sharpe then made it 89-9 by bowling Chimo in the following over and the end was nigh.

Watson went down fighting by launching a massive six over the bowler’s head but it was Sharpe who ended proceedings: bowling Orchard to end UoN’s innings of 99 all out (18.3 overs).

A 110-run winning margin in any form of cricket is substantial, but in Twenty20 it’s something else. NTU outplayed UoN in every department, and although Paine’s century will be the main highlight, it was very well backed up by the subsequent bowling and fielding efforts from NTU. On a fairly dank, dark evening, Paine’s batting lit up the atmosphere and provided a spectacular end to this year’s Varsity series.

NTU Cricket take the final win of Notts Varsity 2016

Published on 16 May 2016
  • Category: Sport

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