UNIVERSITY OF YORK vs. YORK ST. JOHN
BUCS Cup (Cricket) Second Round, Wednesday 27th May
York’s cricketers made sure their season wasn’t all over before it had really begun with this battling BUCS Cup victory against Varsity rivals St. John on Wednesday afternoon. Having suffered probably the least inglorious relegation of any York team in recent years from BUCS League 2B – the team were forced into forfeiting crucial fixtures at crucial times – there were several points to be proven here.
Having lost the toss, York batted first on a moist surface which favoured the bowlers, exacerbated by the leaden skies overhead. With bad weather forecast, and the small matter of the Champions League Final that evening, this last 32 fixture had already been happily reduced to 40 overs per side.
Openers Ed Murrills and James Oldham intelligently watched the swinging ball, eagerly preying on the bad deliveries to get York off to a solid start. The score had surpassed 50 when Oldham leading edged an unspectacular ball to mid wicket, having contributed 24. Moments later, Captain Nick Vanner, missing a golden opportunity to pile on the runs, was dismissed LBW for a duck by the St. John leg spinner.
The wobble was mercifully short, with Johnny Barratt joining Murrills at the crease, allowing the run rate to again increase. Both men passed their 50’s but Barratt was caught in the outfield attempting to bludgeon a six. Murrills followed, finishing on 56, but Nick Ruparella and Andrew Emmerson (33 not out, including two huge sixes) ensured a challenging target of 200-5 was set off the 40 overs.
Seizing the new ball, Sean Martin and Anthony Butterfield took the game to St. John: the former clean bowling their pinch hitter in the third over, before Butterfield trapped the number three LBW. This brought the St. John’s mysterious, and dangerous, Sri Lankan to the crease and he proceeded, with the opener, to up the run rate. However, with the first bowling change, Emmerson and Nick Townson stemmed the rate to around four an over, though York didn’t help themselves, Remi Remington and Murrills dropping the Sri Lankan.
Townson took his crucial wicket, a drop in pace forcing St. John’s star player to chip to Vanner at mid on. Nevertheless, at this point, the visitors were still narrow favourites, needing five an over, with seven wickets in hand. Barratt and Oldham kept things tight, stifling the runs in the last 20 overs, and eventually the pressure told. Both bowlers picked up wickets, including a stunning caught and bowled for Oldham, before Martin returned to the attack to maintain the high required rate and secure cup progression for York.
The team will host Newcastle Firsts in the next round, and will hope to have their own talisman, Nick Hudson, back for the fixture on June 3rd.