Cricket

Army's T20 Title Defence Starts With Loss To RAF

All three teams still have a chance to win the championship after the first two matches of the day.

The Army's defence of their Inter Services title got off to a rotten start against the RAF at Arundel Castle.

The Royal Air Force bounced back from an earlier defeat against the Navy to triumph over the reigning champions.

A strong showing with the bat was followed by a dominating spell with the ball as the RAF won by 30 runs.

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The RAF were disappointed by the batting performance against the Navy earlier in the day and went out to prove a point at the start of their innings.

The opening partnership of Ross Diver and Tom Shorthouse delivered 64 runs before the Army got the breakthrough.

Diver was caught and bowled by Urie Hill and that brought in Adam Fisher.

He continued his scoring form from the first match with a total of 24, but Shorthouse was the second wicket to fall.

He top scored for the RAF with 36 runs, but was caught by wicket keeper Connor Reed.

WATCH: Navy Edge Out RAF In T20 Opener

That started the Royal Air Force collapse as Sam Beals (6), Ashley Watson (15) and Andy McGeorge (7) failed to get meaningful scores.

The RAF were consistent with their runs - constantly scoring from singles or doubles as their score breached the 150 marker.

Tom Berzins (15) and Sam Bloor (6) ended the innings for the RAF with a total of 163/6.

It's an intimidating target to chase and the Army buckled under the pressure in the first few overs.

Liam Fletcher (2) and Tade Carmichael (0) were both dismissed trying big shots, while Varun Bali (14) was out lbw from Watson.

That left the Army at 23/3 and things got worse when Denson Narayan was out for a duck on his first ball.

It was an impressive performance from the RAF bowlers, and Kieran Pearce grabbed his third wicket of the innings to send Ollie Cross (1) back to the changing room.

Jay Boynton came to the crease with the Army needing a captain's performance from him.

His partnership with Graham Wiseman stabilised the innings, but something dramatic was needed to get near the target.

Wiseman reached his half century before Boynton was out for 27 runs, soon following him after one big shot too many saw him caught for 57 runs.

The Army finished up with 133/7 giving the RAF a 30 runs victory.

That result means all three teams could still win the title going into the final match between the Army and Navy.