MCCU begin BUCS defence with thrilling victory
Wednesday 10 April 2013
Cambridge MCCU started their campaign to win the BUCS one-day competition for the third successive year with a one run victory over Oxford MCCU at Fenner's today.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, wary of the used nature of the wicket making batting difficult later in the day, captain Zafar Ansari and opening partner James Johnson set the tone for the victory with a fantastic stand, both making half centuries. Tom Elliott batted in his typically aggressive fashion to hit 74, his highest score in a Cambridge shirt, and the home side were confident of their ability to defend a fifty-over score of 252-7.
The Oxford openers, in good form after impressive individual scores in their first-class match against Wawickshire over the weekend, started positively. Despite riding their luck, too much width was offered by the Cambridge bowlers and Oxford Blues captain Sam Agarwal was particularly willing to capitalise. The game appeared to be slipping away from Cambridge before Josh Poysden was introduced in to the attack, and fresh from his third overseas trip of the winter the leg-spinner bowled very impressively for three crucial wickets. The three Cambridge seamers, Paddy Sadler, James Cowan and Alasdair Pollock, each bowled strong second spells and the pressure mounted on the Oxford middle order. 23 required off 3 overs became 9 off the last, and Oxford were unable to register the boundary they required off the last ball, bowled by Akbar Ansari who followed his dismissal of Ravi Bopara on Saturday with another three wickets, and Cambridge won by one run. Two run-outs at key stages of the game and a boundary-saving one-handed stop by Nipuna Senaratne in the final over were reflective of the team effort which dragged Cambridge back in to the match, suggesting the crop of 2013 have their sights set on repeating the success of the previous two years.