'In a fitting fashion, the game ended with a six from Houillon straight into the Cambridge crowd, to win the final Varsity match at Lords'Dik Ng (With permission for Varsity)

One year on from Aaran Amin’s heroics at Lords, Alex Moen led Cambridge to Varsity victory for the men, whilst the women lost out to a well-drilled Oxford team.

On the Monday after May Week (27/06), there was no better way to rest up than to watch Varsity cricket for the final time at Lords — also a first for the women’s match. One of the square boundaries, measuring a mere 39 yards, assured spectators of a high-scoring game.

Issy Routledge (stand-in captain for the injured Emma Jones) led Cambridge to the field first and they began off well with tidy overs from Immy Jenner and Emma Parker.

'Every boundary from Houillon was greeted by the Cambridge Ultras'Dik Ng (With permission for Varsity)

Wickets seemed to be falling at a steady rate, but Oxford opener Alex Travers was a mainstay at the crease. With Cambridge struggling to get her out, she amassed 68 from 48 deliveries, making great use of the short boundary and required an amazing catch from Alice Bennett diving forward to remove her.

A brief rain delay meant the game was shortened to 19 overs a side, with Oxford achieving 131. Cambridge would have been relatively pleased to keep the required run rate under 7 an over, considering the short boundary and the form of Travers.

The Cambridge innings were hindered by Oxford’s smart bowling, whilst the fielders supported bowlers ably. Openers Alicia Maxwell and Routledge looked good with the bat, hitting the ball cleanly and looking assured at the crease, but found the fielder more often than not.

When the pair had a mix-up and Maxwell was run-out, The Oxford bowlers pounced on this window of opportunity and took wickets almost every over. Elodie Harbourne in particular stood out with 3 wickets for just 12 runs from her 4 overs as well as Hannah Sutton with 2 wickets for just 1 run!! All in all, it was a comfortable victory for the team in dark blue.

Dik Ng (With permission for Varsity)

Another frustrating rain delay meant the Men’s game was now reduced to 12 overs a side, with Cambridge also bowling first. Oxford got off to a flying start getting 15 off the first over; from then on, however, Cambridge were always in control. Moen made the breakthrough with his medium pace, clean bowling Hardwick, shortly followed by a good caught and bowled by Charlie Fernandes. This removed the Oxford skipper George Hargrave — a dangerous player who, in fact, made 322* against Cambridge in the 4-day match a few days ago.

Oxford managed to maintain a left/right hand combination of batters for the majority of the innings to target the short boundary, but they too also failed to utilise it to its full potential. From then on, the quartet of Moen, Fernandes, James Vitali & Uday Modhwadia ran the show, all bowling extremely well- in particular Modhwadia the quickest of the bowlers who was unlucky to not get a 3rd over. They ended on 108 off their 12 overs, a commendable score but something Cambridge would’ve taken before the game began.


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Now here is when the fireworks came. Out from the iconic Lord’s Long room walked Harry Houillon and Adil Ibrahim, knowing that they have the opportunity to deliver on the stage that is Lords. A quiet first over was followed by a flourish of boundaries from Houillon peppering the short boundary. Oxford realised soon after that anything quick would be dispatched into the stands, and so maintained several overs of spin and medium pace.

However, even this was to no avail. The left/right hand combination of the two batsmen meant there was always someone hitting towards a short legside boundary. Every boundary from Houillon was greeted by the Cambridge Ultras with cries of “Hooouillon”, riling up the Oxford fans who were a minority on the day. Ibrahim started off on the support role, but grew into the game eventually matching the striking rate of Houillon.

Anything that Oxford sent at the two batsmen was futile as the pair chased down the total with 10 balls to spare. In a fitting fashion, the game ended with a six from Houillon straight into the Cambridge crowd, to win the final Varsity match at Lords.