CRICKET: Frustration for St Ives & Warboys as they beat the bad weather but succumb to strengthened opponents
- Credit: Archant
St Ives & Warboys skipper Jack Haycock was unable to hide his frustration following a second consecutive Cambs & Hunts Premier League defeat.
Haycock's men succeeded where all other local teams failed last Saturday by overcoming the wet weather, but they were unable to see off Whiting & Partners Division Two opponents Saffron Walden 2nds.
And Haycock was critical of their opponents timekeeping and team selection following his table-topping side's 69-run reverse at the St Ivo Outdoor Centre.
"We had to reduce the game to 30 overs per side as Saffron Walden 2nds didn't get here until late," said Haycock.
"I can only assume that was so as they could include four players from their first team - including the captain and a Zimbabwean international - who had their game rained off.
"I don't like to make excuses as we were comfortably beaten, but those players did everything.
"It's a shame after working so hard to get the game on that they turned up an hour and a half later than expected. There is nothing in the rules that they did wrong, but we thought it was questionable morally."
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Saffron Walden 2nds reached a useful 180-6 from their 30 overseas with Zimbabwean star Regis Chakabva leading the way on 63.
Nick Kumpukkal was the most successful St Ives & Warboys bowler with 2-49 before the locals were dismissed for 111 in reply.
Overseas ace Bernie Ruaro - who hit three fours and three sixes in a smart 53 - was responsible for almost half of the runs. Kumpukkal (17) and Mark Askew (14) were the only other batsman to reach double-figures.
St Ives & Warboys gained six league points - one fewer than they would have earned had the game been cancelled without play - and saw their lead at the summit cut to 25 points with Saffron Walden 2nds now their closest challengers.
Haycock added: "Bernie batted fantastically but we lost wickets whenever it looked as though someone might build a decent partnership with him.
"We tried to get ahead of the run rate as it was raining heavily, but ended up being bowled out.
"We've got four games to go and we still have a good lead at the top, but there is a bit more pressure on us now after a couple of losses.
"We're a close-knit bunch and we'll look to bounce back."
St Ives & Warboys 3rds also dodged the rain in Division Four North of the Cambs Junior League.
They triumphed by four wickets at Telugu Association of Cambridge after removing their hosts for 136 with Simon Pawley and Roger Black claiming three wickets apiece. Paul Malem then hit an unbeaten 24 in the successful reply.
All other Saturday and Sunday fixtures involving local teams were washed out.