Staffordshire, this year’s hosts of the annual event, are bidding to win the cup for the first time since 2009.
But it was Keele who took the early lead today (March 20) in the cricket clash – the first of 17 events throughout the day.
Staffordshire lost the toss and were put in to bat first, but started poorly in the 12-overs a side game.
Captain Alex Bilham, who missed the game last year due to a scalded leg, was up first to face the Keele bowling.
At the end of the first over Staffordshire were 0-14, but after a bright start Keele began to exert control.
The visitors took three key wickets with captain Alex Bilham, Jake Thompson and Matt Carnwell all being caught.
Tom Snelling was then trapped and out LBW, before Paul Goodwin was run out at the of the innings.
Staffordshire were 110 all out, a new Varsity record, with the previous record of 107 set by Staffordshire in 2009.
Keele did not get their innings underway in spectacular fashion and limped to 25 for 0 in the first four overs.
And with six overs remaining they needed an average of 18.5 runs an over.
But then Staffordshire began to crumble under the pressure and Keele batsmen took advantage, as they reached victory with 111 for 2 with just four balls to go.
The first team to earn nine victories overall will win the Varsity Cup.
They will also compete in rugby, hockey, volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming, lacrosse, netball, fencing, badminton and football.