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Darshan Chohan sets Cambridge University the task of turning the tide against Oxford

By CambridgeIndependent Reporter

Varsity cricket match at Lords cricket ground, Darshan Chohan. Picture: Mike Harris
Varsity cricket match at Lords cricket ground, Darshan Chohan. Picture: Mike Harris

Light Blues captain sets sights on Varsity Four-Day Match

Cambridge University will be intent on denying Oxford a whitewash when they face each other in the Varsity Four-Day Match at The Parks from Monday (July 2).

The Dark Blues earned a five-wicket win in the Varsity One-Day Match at Lord’s last Friday, thanks in no small part to Matt Hughes’ 132 not out, and that added to their success in the Varsity Twenty20 Match in May.

The Oxford opener aside though, and the sides were quite evenly-matched.

“Matt Hughes got 130 not out and he bowled 10 overs for 30-odd runs,” said Cambridge captain Darshan Chohan.

“It really was a one-man show from them. I actually think we put in a fairly good performance; 220 was a fairly good score on that pitch, he just had an absolute stormer and sometimes you just have to take your hat off and say well played to that.

“He has been a bit of thorn in the Cambridge side for a while now.”

The four-day game at The Parks, Oxford offers a different challenge entirely though, and the use of bowlers will be one of the biggest challenges.

“The four-day game is massively different, in so many respects,” said 22-year-old Chohan, a St Catharine’s student.

“I think both sides are short of bowling. Oxford have very much relied on 20 overs being bowled by their part-time spinners, and that’s not going to cut it in the four-day game because there is no scoreboard pressure in a four-day game so part-time spin isn’t as effective when you still get three runs an over.

“Similarly, we’ve had a few part-time options we’ve looked at, so I think the bowling changes on both sides as it’s more about taking 20 wickets than stopping the flow of runs.”

There certainly seems to be runs in the Cambridge batting line-up though.

“We’re a very strong batting unit and we’re very confident in our batting,” said Chohan.

“Getting 220 at Lord’s was decent, I think if a couple more players had pushed on, myself included, we were looking at 250 or 260 which I think would have been a winning score. The Parks is traditionally a pretty dead wicket; there are usually runs in there.

“If a batsman can get in, it’s usually quite hard to get them out.

“There are two sides of the coin. As a batting side, it’s giving yourself that first 30 to 40 balls to get yourself in and see off the new ball or a threatening spell. As a bowling side, it’s getting people out when they are vulnerable, putting your best foot forward against new batsmen.”

Cambridge face the MCC at Fenner’s in a three-day match starting today (Wednesday) and the team for the Varsity Match will be decided after that game.

“It’s a bit of an audition for a few players,” added Chohan.


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