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Home Leeds/ Bradford MCCU fall just short
Leeds/Bradford MCC University came within two runs of beating Surrey in the opening round of first-class MCCU matches.
Leeds/Bradford, playing their first ever first-class fixture, after a rescheduling of the Universities programme last year, came within two runs of an upset.
Surrey set a stiff target of 315 after an attacking declaration at 134/5 in their second innings.
Former Cardiff MCCU player Rory Burns had been the star for Surrey in their first innings, making an unbeaten 101 for the recently promoted Londoners.
Leeds/Bradford’s batsmen then showed the lessons learned from their first-innings 205 all-out, with their middle order excelling against the CB40 champions.
Half-centuries from Joe Leech and Dan Hodgson kept them in the hunt, before a last wicket partnership of 27 between Matt Higginbotham and Ivan Thomas brought them tantalysingly close to the win – Tim Linley finally breaking their resistance.
Elsewhere, Zac Elkin was the standout performer with the bat, making 138 for Cardiff MCCU in their total of 342 against Somerset in Taunton.
Cardiff’s bowlers were quickly brought back down to earth though, as Somerset piled up 642/3 declared, which included a mammoth 450 partnership between Nick Compton (236) and James Hildreth (268). Cardiff held out for a comfortable draw.
The only other result from the round of matches came at The Parks, where Oxford MCCU were soundly beaten by Glamorgan, who ran out 253-run winners.
At Merchant Taylors’ School, Durham MCCU played out a comfortable draw against Middlesex.
Left-arm seamer Luke Blackaby took career best figures 4/51, while there were some notable efforts with the bat in Durham’s second innings, 199/3 – Rishabh Shah’s 56 not out the top score.
Cambridge MCCU drew with Essex at Fenner’s, Craig Park making 71 not out in an unbeaten partnership of 110 with former captain Akbar Ansari (48) – who is back at Cambridge studying for a masters after a year away.
Loughborough MCCU finished their match with Nottinghamshire a day later than the rest of the teams, with rain ruining most of the final day after Notts had dominated much of the clash.