Rawlins and MCC roar to victory
Delray Rawlins and Marylebone Cricket Club basked in glory after their emphatic triumph over County Championship First Division champions Essex in the four-day Champion County Match at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
MCC completed a crushing innings and 34-run win on Thursday with a day to spare at the Test venue in Bridgetown.
Rawlins, the first Bermudian to play for the MCC, belted five boundaries during an innings of 28 from 44 balls after being promoted one spot up the order to No 5 in his team’s only turn at bat.
The 20-year-old Sussex all-rounder was not called upon to bowl his slow left-arm in the day-night match played with the pink ball.
“It was a good game and nice to get a win,” Rawlins told The Royal Gazette. “The boys did well and nice to get a pink-ball fixture in before the season.”
MCC dominated from the outset with Northamptonshire fast bowler Richard Gleeson claiming five for 50, which included a maiden first-class hat-trick, as Essex were skittled for 187 in 68 overs after electing to bat.
MCC then tightened their grip on the match after replying with 408 for eight declared on the second day for a 221-run first innings lead.
Warwickshire’s Sam Hain (140 not out) and Somerset’s Dominic Bess (107) each scored centuries and shared in a 172-run eight-wicket partnership as the MCC piled on the runs before declaring late in the final session to give themselves eight overs to bowl at the county champions before stumps.
After falling behind in heavy arrears the pressure was now on Essex to try and save the match.
But it proved to be a task way beyond reach as Bess, the man-of-the-match, snared six wickets with his off spin to seal a convincing victory for MCC in the traditional curtain-raiser to the English county season.
He picked up two wickets in his first spell before returning for a second to mop up the lower order and finish with six for 51 from 18 overs.
Gleeson provided solid support in the attack, claiming three for 46, to take his overall match haul to eight wickets as Essex were dismissed for 187 for a second time in 60 overs.
The MCC squad boasted former Test players Paul Collingwood, of England, and Fidel Edwards, of West Indies, and were captained by former England Under-19 player Daniel Bell-Drummond.
Founded in 1787, the MCC is the most active and famous cricket club in the world and owner of Lord’s, the traditional London home of English cricket. The team are usually ad hoc because they have never taken part in any formal competition.
MCC has visited Bermuda on multiple occasions, the last of which being in 2011, when the club suffered a crushing 104-run defeat against Bermuda’s 2007 World Cup team in a Twenty20 contest under floodlights at Somerset Cricket Club.
Rawlins also featured in the 50 overs North-South Series in Barbados for the first time. His South side lost the three-game series 2-1.
The former St George’s Cup Match player scored 76 runs in three innings at No 5 with an average of 25.33 and a top score of 53. He was also his team’s most economical bowler (5.14).
“Some good stuff coming out of preseason for me,” Rawlins said. “Just looking forward to the season now.”
Rawlins made four appearances for Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship second division last season. He also helped Sussex win the Second XI Twenty20 tournament.
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