KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Leeds/Bradford continued their superb season with a tense three-wicket win over Cardiff in a thrilling, rain affected MCC Universities Challenge Final at Lord's.
Favourites Leeds/Bradford looked to be cruising to a modest Cardiff total before a collapse either side of a heavy rain shower which caused play to be suspended for more than an hour.
The Yorkshire-based centre of excellence went from a comfortable 93/3 to wobbling at 95/5 when heavy rain disrupted play for over an hour, then slumped to 104/7 shortly afterwards, chasing a revised Duckworth/Lewis target of 118 in 37 overs.
Cardiff's bowlers restricted batsmen Charlie McLeod and James Lee to singles, but with five still needed in the final over, MacLeod smacked Phil Harris down the ground for four before slogging the next through mid-wicket to the fence, sparking wild celebrations on the Home Dressing Room balcony.
An excellent all-round bowling display earlier helped Leeds/Bradford restrict their opponents to a below-par 143, with all five bowlers used collecting wickets.
The conditions were difficult for Cardiff's batsmen early on, with movement for the seamers and some grip and turn for Leeds/Bradford's trio of spinners.
Captain Alex MacQueen in particular bowled with good discipline to take 2/18 in 8.2 overs while also juggling his bowlers well.
Cardiff were likewise disciplined in their approach with the ball, but the match appeared to be going away from them when Charlie Roebuck - who top-scored on the day with 35 - was batting well.
Despite Leeds/Bradford doing their best to hit the self-destruct button, the match way always theirs to lose and they now approach the BUCS final against Loughborough MCCU seeking to collect a third piece of university silverware for 2013.