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MCCU beat Pietersen's Surrey Published: 13 May 2011

Cambridge MCC University beat Surrey, captained by England's Kevin Pietersen, by a resounding ten wickets at Fenner's.

Victorious skipper, Robert Woolley, who took Pietersen's wicket in the second innings described facing the 6'4" Ashes winner at the toss:

"It was quite surreal really. He's a big fella so he takes a bit of looking up to!

"He was very kind and very polite - it was a great experience." added a smiling Woolley.

Woolley and Cambridge coach, Chris Scott had both heard rumours the England star was set to play in their game and confessed to an inside line on the rumour mill:

"We had a whisper - we've got Zafar Ansari in the squad. He's with Surrey and heard that, with [Pietersen's] rehab, this game would fit where he was going.

"It's been fantastic. I think we owe him some money!" Scott laughed "We've had more people here for this match than we've ever had which is all down to him really."

Level heads

The skipper, Woolley, described the moment he took Pietersen's wicket, clean bowling him in his first over of the day:

"I knew he needed some runs before the Test match. It was a bit lucky, it nipped in a bit and bowled him.

"It was quite difficult to calm the team down after getting that wicket - it's the big wicket - but we had to remind ourselves there are nine other wickets to get and get our heads down.

"There's quite a few level heads out there - I have to be one of them, as captain... unfortunately!"

Cambridge kept their cool though to become the first MCC University side to beat a county for six years.

They narrowly missed out on being the first since 1954 to win by an innings - knocking off the required four runs, without loss, to win in their second innings.

MCCUs - 'massive'

Woolley, who has played second XI cricket for Lancashire says the MCC Universities scheme has been career-changing for him:

"I applied to all the MCCUs - it was a huge part of choosing where I went to study.

"The MCCU scheme has been massive for me. The improvement since I've been here has been huge. I've got to play against the best players and on the best wickets.

"I'm looking to give cricket my best shot. If it happens it happens. If not, a career in accountancy beckons.

"I'm on the fringes for Lancashire, playing second team cricket. Hopefully if I do well for them it'll help. Hopefully a few pictures of that [Pietersen] wicket going down won't hurt!

"I'm studying finance at Anglia Ruskin - so I find accountancy and cricket very exciting!" the 20-year-old said.

Aiming for Lord's

This famous win was a real team effort. Zafar Ansari took 5-33 in the first innings; Paul Best's mammoth 150 formed the mainstay of Cambridge's score; with Woolley and leg spinner Josh Poysden each taking three wickets in the second knock.

However, both coach and captain were in agreement about their stand-out players of the season so far:

"Pete Turnbull." said Woolley "He's always taking wickets up front. He got two for us today in the first over. He got three in the first innings too."

"We have two contracted players - Paul Best (Warwickshire) and Zafar Ansari (Surrey)." Scott added "But I'm sure there'll be counties that look at Pete Turnbull - I'm sure there are worse bowlers than him playing first class cricket.

"I've been here 11 years and this is the best side I've had in my time here.

Ansari, who had Pietersen caught at slip in the first innings, was missing on day three:

"We did it without Zafar today as he was on a field trip - quirks of the job. It happens a lot, especially at this time of year." explained Scott.

"We knew he could only play two days but even if he could have only played that first day I'd have taken him because he took five-for and got 40-odd."

Cambridge are currently second in the MCCU Championship table, behind Durham MCCU. At the end of the season the top two teams face off at Lord's for the trophy.

With a captain's head on his young shoulders Woolley had the final word:

"Our main objective at the start of the year was to get to Lord's. We've won one game today so hopefully we can win the next and the next."


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