The University of Nottingham (UoN) cricket team took a pulsating game against Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) cricket at NTU’s Clifton Campus, winning by 4 wickets after chasing down the 142 set by Trent.
On a gloriously sunny June morning, NTU won the toss and elected to bat first, and they made a tentative start, taking 10 off of the first two over, including the first boundaries of the day in the second over. In the third over, however, Trent began to show their quality with back to back boundaries.
The fourth over was when UoN hit back, however, taking their first wicket when Trent’s batsmen was caught at mid-on, leaving Trent on a steady 22-1 after 4 overs. However, Trent began to score freely, with their second-wicket partnership building strongly with a steady flow of boundaries, propelling Trent to 56-1 after 8 overs, scoring 34 off just 4 overs.
Trent’s second wicket partnership continued very strongly, scoring 15 off of the 14th over and 9 off of the 15th to NTU to 113-1 from 15 overs, taking the partnership to past 90. In the 16th over, however, UoN finally broke the Trent resistance, taking a much-needed second wicket to end what was a fantastic passage of overs for NTU. From that moment on, NTU’s scoring was steady but not spectacular, taking just 22 off of the last four overs while losing three wickets to bring their total to 141-5.
In reply, the UoN opening pair of Rawlinson and Merritt raced out of the blocks, taking 19 off of the first two overs, despite a dropped catch by the NTU fielders.
The pick of the UoN bowlers in the NTU innings was T Rawlinson, who took 3-17 in a fantastic bowling spell. It left UoN needed 142 runs to win, at a required run rate of 7.1 an over. In reply, the UoN opening pair of Rawlinson and Merritt raced out of the blocks, taking 19 off of the first two overs, despite a dropped catch by the NTU fielders. After a huge six at the start of the third over, however, Rawlinson was caught to depart for quick-fire 21 to cap an impressive display with bat and ball. UoN began to falter, however, with Edwards falling for 2 in the 4th over, being caught in exactly the same place as Rawlinson the previous over, to leave UoN at 31-2 after 4 overs.
Despite the two early wickets, UoN were moving along at above the required run rate, and Merritt and Matthews setting about building a solid foundation for UoN to build upon, whilst ensuring their wickets did not fall cheaply. Merritt and Matthews scored 24 off of the next four overs, leaving UoN at 55-2 after 8 overs, below the required run rate but with 8 wickets in hand.
However, with UoN looking to accelerate towards the target, Matthews was caught for 18 when trying to hit a six, and two solid NTU bowling overs left UoN on 62-3 with 10 overs gone, needing to score at over 8 an over to secure victory.
The 15th over was when the tide of the game truly turned, with two boundaries, a no ball from NTU and a free hit for UoN allowing L Clark and Merritt to score 16 off of the over
The new man, L. Clark, along with Merritt, however, set about chasing down that target in emphatic style, scoring boundaries as freely as NTU were in the first innings, including a fantastic sweep for four and one straight past the bowlers head, to bring UoN to 95-3 with 14 overs gone.
The 15th over was when the tide of the game truly turned, with two boundaries, a no ball from NTU and a free hit for UoN allowing L Clark and Merritt to score 16 off of the over and bring them to 111-3, needing 31 of the last 5 overs at just over a run a ball.
With wickets in hand, UoN were playing aggressively to race towards the finish, and despite L Clark (16) and Merritt (55) falling in consecutive overs it was not enough to knock UoN off of their stride. With the score at 124-5 going into the 18th over, Hall smashed a six and a four before falling, with M. Clark striding out to smash a four and a six to take the win for UoN with two overs to spare.
UoN Team: Merritt, Rawlinson, Edward, Matthews, Clark, Hall, Clark, Chmielinski, Orchard, Shah, Berkeley, Masters