Ruari Crichard signs off time at Cambridge University on a high

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 July 2017

Ruari Crichard in action in the Four-Day Varsity Match. Picture: Keith Heppell

Ruari Crichard in action in the Four-Day Varsity Match. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Bowler stars for Light Blues in Four-Day Varsity Match

Ruari Crichard signed off his Cambridge University cricket career in style by skittling out Oxford University in the Four-Day Varsity Match.

The 22-year-old St John’s College modern and medieval languages student claimed match figures of 11 for 142 to give the Light Blues the series win, after they had taken the T20 match and the Dark Blues had won the One-Day game at Lord’s.

“It’s very special for me to finish like this in my last game here at Fenner’s and my last one for the club,” said Crichard, who is now going to work for the JMAN Group in London.

“I wanted to put in a big performance. I’ve played well this season but it hasn’t counted for anything until the big games, the games against Oxford, so it’s really nice to do it when it really counts and get us a win.

“It’s a special feeling.

“In my time here, I’ve never won at Lord’s but each time that defeat at Lord’s has really spurred us on in the four-day game.

“Two years ago, we lost at Lord’s with a really good side and we used that as motivation to try to do something in the four-day game, and we’ve done it again here.

“It’s really nice to win the series 2-1, and it’s always really nice to win a four-day game because it’s mentally and physically really challenging.

“I will remember it for a long time. I would be lying if I didn’t say I’d thought about it, and fortunately everything that I’d hoped would happen, did happen.

“I’m obviously very proud of what I’ve done.

“I’ve worked hard over the winter and through the season so it’s nice to have some payback for all that effort, and all those hours that you spend at the training centre.”

Cambridge had posted scores of 225 and 417 for 7 declared, while Oxford’s first innings of 212 meant at 49 for 0 overnight heading into the final day, they had 385 to chase down, or bat out the day to earn a draw.

And the huge lead gave the Light Blues something to attack, and they did just that through Tim Moses and Crichard, who had already taken five for 74 in the first innings.

Moses was proving a menace at one end – eventually finishing with three for 62, having also scored 80 not out in Cambridge’s second innings – and at the other, right-arm medium bowler Crichard was getting to work.

He finished with six for 68 as Oxford were bowled out for 214, giving Cambridge a 216-run win to wrap up the series of matches 2-1.

“The first day it was tricky,” said Crichard. “The ball was doing quite a lot and 15 wickets fell on the first day. Then the heavy roller and the sun came out and it just flattened out a bit.

“Our batsman batted really well on the third day to give us this total to defend, and when you’re defending 430 you can try things out a little bit more.

“When I’ve got a 6ft 7in bowler at the other end charging in and trying to hit people on the head, it becomes a lot easier at my end to try and snick people off.

“The trick was to be patient, keep running in and eventually something will go your way.

“We were very confident. We had a few half chances – a catch that could have been taken – in the final session of the third day so although they were 47 for 0, it could easily have been 30 for 2.

“We knew we had to get their two openers out early because they are brilliant cricketers.

“We did that fortunately, and then it was a case of staying together, working hard and being patient and we did it.”

He added: “I’ve loved it here, but I’m ready for a new challenge.”

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