UKC Cricket Varsity: two wins and a close one

All photos by Anna Hughes (Writer and Photographer)

The Varsity battle, between the University of Kent and Christ Church, is now fully underway; with a week of back to back fixtures to fill up any free time you thought you had!

Wednesday afternoon saw UKC students marching over to the CCCU sports centre for 3 rounds of Cricket matches: seeing the Men’s 2s, Women’s and Men’s 1s all competing. Crowds of UKC and CCCU spectators packed the balconies to overlook the matches: safely hiding behind a net in case of any over-enthusiastic batting! UKC Cricket club members got off to a great start off the pitch, high in spirits they held their own in a chanting competition with CCCU’s cheerleaders. Serves them right for gate-crashing our balcony!

Indoor Cricket is very much the same to its outdoors summer equivalent. Yet, gameplay is intensified by considerably shorter innings of 12 overs, containing 6 balls in each; this means each team only has a total of 72 chances to score runs to gain the highest score.

Leading the way were the Men’s 2s who secured UKC’s first victory of the day: the final score was UKC 123- 5, Christ Church 99 - 6 (all out!). UKC opened the batting and set off on a solid start with 31-2 after 4 overs. They continued to pick up runs, without any wickets falling, seeing them at 73-2 off 8 overs. UKC maintained this consistent run rate throughout their innings and finished on a high total of 123- 5, with all 12 overs completed.

This stellar score was produced by the stand out batting performances of Matt Scammell and Team Captain, Eshan Ratnaweera, who gained 40 and 28 runs respectively; CCCU had no chance of catching UKC’s lead. After UKC’s innings, it was CCCU’s turn with the bat; but they didn’t have it easy. With UKC’s bowlers on top form, wickets inevitably began to tumble in close succession. CCCU were all out and lost by 24 runs! Ratnaweera, Men’s 2s Team Captain, was clearly delighted with his team’s performance and commented: “Yeah it was great, we batted so well! We had 4 freshers so really pleased with how we did.” It certainly sounds like a promising future for the club.

Emily Window, UKC’s Sport VP, who was watching and cheering from the balcony, was equally ecstatic with another UKC victory: “Amazing! This means we are now on a rolling streak! It’s going to be exciting to see what the women come out with.”

UKC Women’s cricket did not disappoint and took home another win! Rebecca Hall produced an exceptionally strong and consistent batting performance, staying in for 11.5 overs out of 12. Next up, it was the bowler’s opportunity to shine and they did so across the board: bowling players out, getting run outs and catches CCCU batsmen were in for a hard time but they still pushed UKC right to the end. Jordan Garland, UKC’s Women’s Team Captain, was beaming with happiness regarding the outcome of an intense finish: “There was so much pressure in that last over. That girl could have literally come out and hit 6’s all day long and that would have been the game.” But the UKC women did not buckle under the pressure and secured Kent’s second win of the day; 2 down, 1 to go!

The final match of the day saw the Men’s 1s defeated by an indestructible CCCU team effort; it’s only fair we let them win something right?! UKC were batting first and got off to a firm start; Tom Wroot and Michael Tyrer opened the batting and each scored great totals of 20 and 25 runs. But the trouble began when Wroot was caught down leg side, being the first wicket to fall. UKC were in a good position with 43-1 off the first 4 overs, but CCCU did not let that last much longer; bowling UKC all out for 92. Sadly, UKC’s concerted bowling efforts could not contain CCCU, who managed to gain 97 runs in only 10 overs; well played CCCU. Michael Tyrer, 1s Team Captain, gathered his thoughts on the outcome of the game: “We batted well but just didn’t have enough quality with the ball to get over the line. Overall, a pretty disappointing performance”. That said, Tyrer has confidence UKC have the potential to put up a greater fight in their next battle with CCCU: “We know we have the quality in the squad to turn it around and beat them in outdoor varsity.”

You win some, you lose some. What matters is we are still on top. Go UKC!