It was a frustrating Friday afternoon for the Men’s Cricket Varsity down at Clifton Campus where, unfortunately, the weather came out the winner.

The scene was set for an exciting Varsity fixture on Friday as the University of Nottingham Men’s Cricket team took on their Trent rivals down at Clifton Campus. One of the more unpredictable fixtures within the Varsity calendar, both teams had high hopes that they could come out of the day victorious.

The University of Nottingham Men’s Cricket team were looking to overcome last year’s disappointment by claiming the victory against their local rivals and taking their University into an unassailable overall lead.

Trent won the toss and elected to bat, which was a brave choice considering the weather forecast. With both teams boasting a wealth of talent, the two sides took to the field to get the varsity fixture underway.

The opening partnership of Ben Puine and Liam Brazier got off to a blistering start, with two well-timed fours in the first over. Whilst Trent’s openers had come out of the changing rooms swinging, their batting was not without risk, with an early chance for the University of Nottingham to claim their first wicket of the day being put down at mid-wicket.

However, it wasn’t long before Puine mistimed the ball off the bowling of Jonny Charles, hitting it into the air and falling safely down into the hands of Sam Masters.

Harry Warwick was the man to join Brazier at the crease and with the rain getting heavier and the ball getting wetter, the University of Nottingham boys were starting having a tougher time in the field. Trent brought an end to the powerplay with three consecutive fours, including a well-timed straight drive down the ground.

By the sixth over, the rain had become even more intense, prompting the umpires to come together and make the decision to take the players off, with Trent on 47-1 after 5.5 overs. Whilst the rain was heavy, the shower was relatively brief, prompting hope amongst the players and the crowd that the fixture would be able to go ahead albeit in a shortened form. 

As fans and players headed back towards the pitch there was an air of confusion as to what was happening. There was a definite possibility that the match would be reduced to a six over game to ensure a conclusion before the bad weather returned, meaning that the University of Nottingham would head straight out to bat, chasing a target of 48 to win.

Although the outfield was fairly sodden, the speed in which the covers had been put on paired with the work of the groundsmen offered the hope that the pitch would be in an acceptable state for the game to continue.

With the cut-off point being 6.24pm, the umpires scheduled a final pitch inspection for 6pm, where unfortunately it was deemed unfit to play upon. From the perspective of the umpires the heavy rainfall and, consequently, the muddiness of the pitch was considered too dangerous and sub-standard for the game to go ahead, forcing the rivals to shake hands and call it a day.

As of yet there has been no confirmation as to whether the fixture will be replayed or be considered a draw. If it is the latter, then it will be a considerable shame, as a match between the two sides always promises to be equally entertaining and unpredictable. As it stands, if the match is deemed a draw then the University of Nottingham will become Varsity victors for the sixth year in a row.

Here’s hoping for better weather next year.

Laura Williamson

Images: Impact Images

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