There was a win for Yorkshire and a closer-than-expected one for Warwickshire as the first batch of matches against the MCC Universities drew to a close around the country. The remaining four matches all finished in draws.
It was the county champions’ match at The Parks which proved to be a nail-biting affair. The contest swung one way and then the other throughout the final day as Warwickshire collapsed in their second innings, setting Oxford MCCU just 155 to win. The students then collapsed to 13 for four before recovering but ultimately falling 22 runs short of causing an upset as Tom Milnes saved the Bears’ blushes by taking seven for 39.
Warwickshire had resumed on 72 for two in their second innings and should have batted to safety. However, they lost their last eight wickets for just 39 runs as the questions surrounding their occasionally fragile batting resurfaced. Oxford skipper Charles Morris and Kent seamer Ben Kemp each picked up a brace of wickets to end with three apiece, while Charlie Ellison and Cornelis Bodenstien helped wrap up the tail.
The Oxford fifth-wicket pair of Lloyd Sabin and Ben Williams added 95 following the top-order’s failure, but they both fell with an over of each other and the remainder soon followed. Oxford were all out for 133 to lose by 21 runs.
Yorkshire’s victory over Leeds/Bradford MCCU was a much more straightforward affair. After setting the students a hypothetical 416 for victory, they soon had them 17 for five as Liam Plunkett got off the mark for his new county. William Vanderspar (37) and Alexander MacQueen (30) did offer some brief resistance, but Plunkett (six for 33) returned and they were all out for just 121. Yorkshire’s overnight pair of Adam Lyth and Alex Lees had both completed their centuries in the morning, allowing the hosts to declare on 289 for two.
Cambridge MCCU’s batsmen showed markedly more fight second time around as they had little difficulty in playing out the draw against Essex. Ben Foakes raced to his hundred at the start of the day, with Essex then declaring to set Cambridge an impossible 650 to win. The home side lost James Johnson early to Tymal Mills (two for 37), but Nipuna Senaratne hit 82 and shared useful partnerships with Zafar Ansari and Akbar Ansari, who each made 31. Cambridge ended on 177 for four.
Rishabh Shah hit 57 not out for Durham MCCU as they finished on 151 for five after being set 495 to beat Durham. Scott Borthwick was the pick of the home side’s attack with three for 26, while Ben Stokes and Callum Thorp each chipped in with a wicket. Earlier, the overnight pair of Keaton Jennings and Will Smith had each brought up three figures at which point Durham brought their second innings to a halt at 244 for one.
Sussex’s weather-affected match against Loughborough MCCU ended in the expected draw. Chris Nash hit 60 in the second innings as the home side closed on 105 for two. Five of the Sussex attack had each taken two wickets as Loughborough had been bowled out for 155 earlier in reply to the home side’s 297.
Cardiff MCCU escaped with the draw against Glamorgan thanks to 62 from Kent’s Fabian Cowdrey. They had been set 348 to win and progressed well initially before Jim Allenby halted the momentum by taking three wickets. Glamorgan declared their second innings at 241 for five earlier in the day as all of the middle-order enjoyed useful time at the crease.
© Cricket World 2013
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