Cricketers excel in Varsity

VARSITY CRICKET Oxford 162-1 beat Cambridge 190 by 73 runs on D/L Method A swashbuckling innings from captain Jamie Dalrymple was enough to secure yet another Varsity triumph. The Middlesex all-rounder surged to an impressive 105 from 104 deliveries as deteriorating conditions saw the Dark Blues awarded a comfortable 73-run victory by means of the Duckworth-Lewis method. This one-day feat followed on from the innings success in the four-day equivalent earlier in the summer, a match in which Dalrymple had scored an unbeaten 236 much to the chagrin of the Light Blue pacemen. Such brilliance with the bat had come in addition to a five-wicket haul. The Cambridge performance at Lord’s was not without promise. Captain Adrian Shankar survived an early scare as he nudged beyond the slips from the bowling of Stephen Daley in the second over to construct a dangerous half-century stand with fellow opener Duncan Heath. Dalrymple shrewdly introduced the medium in-swing of Neil Millar and this variation proved decisive, slowing the run-rate to force the batsmen onto the front foot. Shankar was the first to stumble, clubbing a drive to Australian Clinton Free down at mid on. Millar added a second in quick succession, clean-bowling Heath to halt the score at 78-2. Two catches soon followed, with the wickets of Simon Marshall and Richard Mann, but fifth batsman Rudi Singh proved an altogether different proposition. Singh, demonstrating the poise and technique which had so eluded his team-mates, at least bridged the gulf in quality between the two sides.His first partner deserted him, but the second, Vikram Kumar, doggedly held his ground to the mild irritation of the Oxford attack. Still, such resistance could not be sustained and Kumar’s fine six over bowler Steve Hawinkels sparked the untimely removal of his treasured leg-stump before the end of the same over. Patrick Evans whipped off the bails to put an end to Singh for 35, as Cambridge stuttered to a disappointing 190, despite a useful knock of 26 from tail-ender John Heath. With Millar the pick of the bowlers, his 5-23 was reinforced by the stifling off-spin of Wadham’s Paul McMahon and the two wickets of youngster Mike Munday. The dismissal of Hawinkels for 6 did little to help the Tabs, thrusting the match-winning Oxford captain out of the pavilion and into the limelight. Joe Sayers stood back as the St Peter’s player took every opportunity to lash out at the Light Blue bowling. Daniel McGrath and David Noble toiled hard to no avail. He sauntered to 50, before completing the century from a further 33 balls. Sayers sucked out 36, but it was Dalrymple who stole the show, with his four sixes and nine fours, before light rain brought the piece to a close. “It is an incredibly satisfying result for the team,” the Oxford skipper told Cherwell. “We reinforced the dominance that we showed at Fenner’s (in the four-day match) and provided a good spectacle for the supporters. The only regret was that the weather denied us the pleasure of hitting the winning runs out in the middle.”

ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2003