Nottingham Trent men’s cricket team lost by the narrowest of margins to the University of Nottingham in an encounter that was cut short by rain.
UoN won the final Varsity fixture by one run on the Duckworth-Lewis method after their run chase was abandoned due to thunder.
There was an element of controversy about the result as some of the Trent contingent felt the players should have been brought off a few balls earlier – when the Duckworth-Lewis method would have seen an NTU victory.
Trent batted first in the twenty-over contest played at the NTU Clifton campus and made a competitive score of 129 for 6.
Michael Jepps was the pick of the Trent batsmen with an innings of 31, which included some massive sixes and an audacious reverse sweep which went for four.
Trent’s innings was effected by a rain delay in the middle of their 17th over which lasted an hour, but they recovered their momentum and scored 13 off the last over to mean that UoN needed to score at a rate of 6.5 runs an over to win.
UoN’s reply started disastrously, losing an early wicket to the bowling of Jepps whose pace was too hot to handle for the UoN batsmen.
Trent took a second wicket soon after thanks to the deceptively quick bowling of Jaspreet who put the Beeston boys under all sorts of pressure.
These early setbacks spurred the UoN batsmen into a revival and they began to find the boundaries on a regular basis.
However Trent, spurred on by their rowdy fans took a third wicket thanks to a spectacular catch in the covers after a skied shot took an age to come down in the rain.
With ominous clouds looming overhead the controversy began as the teams arguably should have been taken off the field at the first hearing of thunder – at this stage Trent were ahead on the complicated Duckworth-Lewis method.
But the Umpires allowed play to continue for an extra three balls and these proved vital for UoN who scored 10 more runs to win the game on the Duckworth-Lewis method when the game was eventually abandoned with a score of 69 for 3.
This means that UoN win the Varsity series 9-6, but Trent will be looking for revenge next year…
Simon Murfitt and Robin Murray