Javid shines on day one at Rugby School

SCORE | Day 1, Second XI Championship: Leicestershire Second XI 350 for 6 v Worcestershire Second XI


REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Leicestershire Second XI made their first visit to Rugby School since 2002, taking on Worcestershire in a SEC fixture. Rugby School is a Day & Boarding Co-educational Independent School, one of the oldest Independent Schools in Great Britain, and one of the seven original Public Schools. Rugby School was the birthplace of Rugby Football.

In 1845 three Rugby School pupils produced the first written rules of the ‘Rugby’ style of game. The legend of William Webb Ellis is part of Rugby school folklore. Past pupils of Rugby school include the poet, Rupert Brooke, Neville Chamberlain, who was Prime Minister at the outbreak of World War II, Salman Rushdie (author of the controversial Satanic Verses), and the author, and poet, Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).

I am also reliably informed that the father of a female member of the LCCC Physio Team frequented the corridors of this esteemed seat of learning in years gone by. Just reinforces how searching the admissions policy must be for this veritable establishment. Old Boys of Rugby School are known as Old Rugbeians.

The imposing cricket pavilion has a host of photographs, boards listing the First XI cricket team, year by year, from many years ago up to the present day. I noticed that the captain of the 1997 cricket team is now a much respected Travel Agent in the Leicestershire area. If you are reading this Tim, not much gets past me!

I also noticed that a number of past Cricket Coaches at Rugby School have Leicestershire CCC connections. George Geary, Russell Cobb, Nick Cook, and Lloyd Tennant. The cricket pavilion is named the James Pavilion, a good place for a sit down if you recall that 1980s Manchester Indie group of the same name.

The Scorers are situated on the pavilion balcony under a gazebo that is firmly attached to the pavilion ramparts. It needed to be as the wind we were subject to would have registered on the Beaufort Scale. We have to sit bolt upright as the top rail of the balcony is directly in our eye line, and obscures both sets of stumps, if we sit in relaxed mode. There are many chairs placed with military precision on the balcony to accommodate players, and/or spectators.

Leicestershire Second XI ultimately had a satisfying day closing on 350 for 6 from 105 overs. As it is Wimbledon fortnight it was advantage Worcestershire CCC during the morning session as the Foxes was reduced to 53-4 at one stage. However, the first set went to Leicestershire CCC thanks to a fantastic innings of 155 from Ateeq Javid. He was given staunch support from Hassan Azad 77, and Charlie Lowen 63 not out.

Harry Dearden skippered County today, his opposite number Oli Westbury called incorrectly, and Dearden had no hesitation in electing to bat.

The players took to the field on yet another sun-drenched morning, with a fair number of spectators sprinkled around the boundary edge. Rugby School had placed a number of gazebos, complete with Rugby School logo on them around the ground, for spectators to gain shelter from the hot sun. There were a number of familiar faces at the ground, plus a few groundhoppers who were crossing this outpost off their list of cricket grounds visited.

Dearden and Harry Swindells opened the innings for Leicestershire, and faced an opening attack of Liam Grey, and left armer Jamie McIlroy. A total of 28 runs had been added for the first wicket when Dearden (11) went caught behind by keeper Alex Milton off Brinder Phagura’s third ball. Phagura having replaced Grey at the Church End, and bowling the ninth over of the innings.

Aadil Ali (3) went second ball, a bat/pad chance off McIlroy looping to third slip, and being comfortably caught by Ryan Gibson. The score was 31-2 from 9.1 overs. It soon became 53-4 as Swindells (20) was another victim for keeper Milton, this time off left arm seamer Alex Wilkinson. Wilkinson catching the edge of Swindells sword. Sam Evans (1) was also caught by ‘keeper Milton, this time off Phagura.

A major rebuilding job was necessary, and up to the plate stepped Ateeq Javid & the left-handed Azad. The pair safely steered County into Lunch on 95-4 from 36. Javid 29* Azad 26*. Special mention also to left arm spinner the ‘Mighty’ Moh Ahmed who provided my fellow Scorer, Sue Drinkwater, (I must find time to ask her how Danny is doing these days at Chelsea), and myself with rather splendidly made cups of coffee while we were adhered to our respective work stations. You have set the standard now Moh.

After Lunch, Javid and Azad not only rebuilt the innings, but put Leicestershire CCC in the ascendency. Azad cover drove Phagura to the ropes to bring up the 100, and also the 50 partnership between himself and Javid (120b). Azad went to his 50 (8x4) from 89 balls when he steered McIlroy down to the ropes at third man. Javid soon afterwards went to his half-century (111b, 7x4). Javid & Azad posted a 100 partnership from 194 balls when the score reached 155-4 from 50.4 overs. The pair ground the bowling down, the only glimmer of hope for the Pears being the occasional lbw appeal.

Their 150 alliance came from 267 balls with the score on 203-4 from 62.5 overs. Soon afterwards Azad (77) 143b was yet another victim for the Milton/Phagura combination. Azad guiding a short ball down the leg side to the keeper. During the afternoon session I had the Scorer’s effect of the Yips. The scoreboard console requires the faintest touch, whereas the keys on my laptop need firm pressure applied to activate them. I was touching the laptop, lifting my finger immediately, but nothing was happening.  My ambidexterity guided me through this unfortunate interlude, and I was firing on all cylinders a short while afterwards. There is not a 12th man in situ to replace the Scorer, stiff upper lip required, and carry on.

Javid went from 91 to 99 with consecutive boundaries down to the unguarded third man area are off Phagura. Javid posted a hardworking hundred 11 balls before tea (183b, 13x4, 1x6) with the score at 226 for 5 off 72.1 overs. Leicestershire went into tea on 239-5 from 74. Javid 105*, Lowen 12*. Javid had found another good ally in Lowen, the pair reaching a 50 partnership soon after tea from 86 balls, the score on 260-5 from 79.3 overs. Worcestershire took the new ball after 87 overs. Grey and McIlroy taking first use of it.

A female member of the non-playing staff then stepped up to the mark delivering cups of afternoon tea to the Scorers. Brownie points by the bucketload for Ellie. The 100 partnership came up between Javid & Lowen from 172 balls, the score now at 310 for 5 from 93.5 overs.

At regular intervals after tea there were groups of teenagers, with luggage, and wearing lanyards, coming from the far left hand corner of the ground, walking on the path around the perimeter of the ground, and disappearing out of the school gates. There must have been eight such groups. Rugby is a School for boys, but these were girls in all of these groups.

This was a matter of intrigue for ‘Sister Suzi’ Drinkwater, and I. We ruled that they may have been finishing for the holidays, as the school broke up last Friday, also we could not hear Alice Cooper singing Schools Out. This matter is on our agenda for tomorrow, and we will get to the bottom of it.

‘Cheerful’ Charlie Lowen went to his 50 (95b, 5x4), another good patient innings from Lowen, adapting to the number seven role as opposed to his accustomed position of much higher up the order.

Javid pulled a short ball from Wilkinson down to the ropes at fine leg to go to his 150 (270b, 20x4, 1x6) 270b. Three balls later his marathon innings came to an end when he was bowled by Phagura for a magnificent 155 (273b). A great effort in sweltering conditions. Lowen 63* (113b), and Ben Mike 5* (19b) safely saw County through to stumps on 350 for 6 from 105 overs. Leicestershire Second XI 4 points, Worcestershire Second XI 2 points.

Top marks to the Pears for getting their overs in on time, allowing us to get away ASAP after the close at 6.30pm, to watch the majority of the England game. Yours truly clocking a Personal Best time for packing his things away #threelions #itscominghome

* The teams continue their match at Rugby School today. The game is on the First XI square, located off Barby Road, CV22 5DP.