By George Willoughby
The men’s 1st XI were crowned the 2018 BUCS trophy champions after a nine-wicket victory over Bournemouth University last week.
In every facet of Cardiff’s performance, they were exceptional. With the ball, with the bat and in the field, they were by far the superior side in this year’s BUCS trophy final.
After the victory, we spoke to captain Samuel Wood who praised his team on an ‘brilliant’ win.
“It feels brilliant. The whole club is extremely proud of our achievement last week and we are delighted with how successful we have been.
“‘This is a culmination of the continuous progression that our 1st XI has had for the last couple of years.”
The skipper was keen to stress that his side will be looking to continue their successful season heading into the next campaign.
“It is very important going forward and it will give us a lot of confidence.
“Ahead of next year, we must be looking to win the league again”.
The venue for the match was the picturesque Kibworth Cricket Club with both teams being treated to a glorious setting. Given the amount of sun we have had over the last few weeks, it was no surprise to see a wicket that looked very much suited to batting on.
Bournemouth University won the toss, and they elected to bat first. Openers Oli Parsons and Dave Bromley came to the crease, and they got off to an excellent start. The pair advanced to a highly respectable 52 for no wicket after 10 overs.
However, the important breakthrough came through Joshua Rai. A good delivery saw Parsons nick off behind and the edge was well taken by wicket-keeper Callum Russell. 95-1 after 19-overs.
Bournemouth maintained their steady run rate until Ben Wellington came back into the attack to pick up Cardiff’s second wicket. A loose shot by number three bat Jordy Watts was caught by James Kinder at the point position. 135-2 after 28-overs.
Spinner Max Phillips was introduced into the game, and this would prove to be a fantastic bit of captaincy by Samuel Wood. Another good bit of fielding dismissed batsman Tim Taylor, as Guy Harper held onto a good catch off the bowling of Phillips. 168-3 after 36-overs.
Opener batter Dave Bromley remained out in the middle, and he helped his side reach the 200-mark with some resilient batting. Bromley, also referred to as ‘Danger Dave’, would be undone by some more fine spin bowling, this time it was Connor Whetsone who picked up the crucial wicket.
Russell with some neat work behind the sticks stumped Bromley for an impressive 85.
Cardiff effectively applied scoreboard pressure with the Bournemouth run rate constantly falling. The next big dismissal was number five Luc Kear. He reached 37 off just 26 balls, but his forceful batting would be his own downfall. Phillips the beneficiary, with Kear trying to play a paddle sweep, only to be caught by George Barratt.
Bournemouth’s middle order was not a match for Cardiff’s supreme bowling, and wickets continued to fall. Wickets from Max Phillips and Ben Wellington left the score at 233-8 after 47-overs.
As all good bowling attacks do, Cardiff took timely wickets throughout the whole innings. This came to the captain Samuel Wood’s delight who after the game openly showed his gratitude by noting that “the way the boys bowled to the new batsmen was fantastic,” he told Gair Rhydd Sport.
“We knew it was a good wicket and never let ourselves get too negative when wickets were not coming. However, the manner that we made it very difficult to accelerate at the back end was pleasing.
“We kept calm and bowled as many dot balls as possible. This would eventually would lead to wickets.”
Bournemouth would end up 235 all-out. A total they would be slightly disappointed with having had a great start to the innings.
It was a fantastic closing spell for Cardiff, who managed to take the remaining six-wickets for just 27 runs. A brilliant effort, when it looked more than likely that they would be chasing a substantial total.
From the 35-50 over period Cardiff were excellent, especially in terms of taking wickets and limiting runs.
It was a crucial spell in the match, and the Cardiff captain spoke fondly of the great finish.
“There was certainly a big momentum shift in that period of the game.
“We thought the ‘par’ score was around 270/280, so the psychological boost when you start a chase knowing we kept them well below of what they should have got was huge.”
Samuel Wood and Ollie Burland would be the ones to lead Cardiff’s response, but they got off to a shaky start.
Wood was dismissed early on, and Cardiff meandered to a solitary 29-1 after 11-overs. This brought Callum Russell to the crease.
Some very tight and economical bowling from Bournemouth kept the Cardiff run rate significantly lower than what was required. 52-1 after 20-overs.
“The two lads paced their innings excellently”
The pair of Callum Russell and Ollie Burland continued to work hard to preserve their wickets and when the game reached drinks, Cardiff were 83-1 and still required 153 runs for victory.
Both batsmen would go onto make half-centuries, and this was when they started to pick up the scoring pace. Burland came into the fixture coming off the back of an unbeaten century, and he would make it back-to-back tons reaching his hundred in stylish fashion.
The perseverance from Burland and Russell would pay dividends, and Cardiff surpassed the Bournemouth total with nine-wickets to spare. A truly emphatic victory.
The partnership between Ollie Burland and Callum Russell was the standout factor in the successful run chase and captain, Wood, was particularly complimentary of his fellow batsmen.
“The bottle that Russell and Burland showed to see the openers off and cash in with the rest of their bowlers was superb.
“The second half of our innings was outstanding and was great to see both finish not-out. Also, for Burland to score back-to-back centuries not-out is some effort.”
It was not so long ago that Cardiff University Cricket Club were playing in the Third Division. Now, they more than earn the right to be labelled as BUCS Champions.
From the outside looking in, it really is a remarkable rise to success, and the future looks extremely bright.
Cardiff University CC
Ollie Burland 128* off 133-balls
Callum Russell 92* off 97-balls
Max Phillips 6O 4W 29R
Bournemouth University CC
Dave Bromley 85