The second round of indoor BUCS cricket saw Men’s Cricket II face the daunting challenge of runaway league leaders Loughborough I and a strong Leicester I team.
Loughborough won the toss and put UEA into bat, believing that they would be able strike quickly and cause problems in the UEA batting ranks.
This was not the case as openers George Northover and Matthew Houghton-Barcoe gave UEA a great start. With a mixture of Houghton-Barcoe’s hitting power and Northover’s touch, Loughborough struggled to get the early dismissal they wanted. This continued throughout the middle overs as Gabriel Inch and Sam Tomkinson both scored 25 being retiring and continued to pile on the runs against bowling that struggled to find any kind of rhythm. At the end of their 10 overs UEA amassed a competitive 128-2.
Loughborough were confident of chasing these runs having convincingly chased down totals previously. Opening bowlers Nick Emery and Chris Webber halted the Loughborough charge with good length and pace, however they continued to keep close to the run rate and some huge hitting in the middle overs saw them take control of match. With an over left, Loughborough only needed eight runs to win, the with the final ball to be bowled, Loughborough had managed to get within one run of victory with only one wicket left.
To the disappointment of UEA, and relief of the Loughborough batsman, they were able to squirt an edge away to win.
Leicester, having been dominated against UEA I, seemed, on paper, to be a much easier task for UEA II. This was not to be the case as poor batting and errors saw Leicester win in a canter. UEA won the toss and decided to field first and with some solid bowling and sharp catching, restricted Leicester to 117 all out which, if UEA batted well, would be a very attainable score.
After another solid start from the openers, the middle overs saw two run outs for low scores hampering any chance of victory. In spite of stern resistance, Houghton-Barcoe scoring another 25+ score, UEA were comprehensively defeated.
These results mean that UEA II have only one win so far. It should, however, be noted that UEA II’s are the only second team in the league and have been competitive in their respective matches. The next set of fixtures sees them face Lincoln and UEA I.