This so-called summer may be among the wettest on record but, figuratively speaking, the sun continues to shine on Selkirk Cricket Club. On Saturday, the Souters preserved their unbeaten record in Division Six of the East of Scotland league thanks to an 83-run victory against Boroughmuir 2nd XI. That’s played seven, won seven.
Since the Souters travelled to Edinburgh without six first choice players, this victory has a decent claim to be considered the best of the season so far. Heavy rain had left the Meggetland outfield only barely playable and the match was played on an artificial wicket. Selkirk rose to the challenge, however, and produced a fine team performance in which every player contributed to the victory.
Asked to bat first, Selkirk got off to a brisk start before Smith was trapped LBW. At the other end, however, Darren Fenton was busy producing the best innings of his 1st XI career. He announced his intentions in fine style, clumping a six over mid-on. Thereafter, his innings featured a number of fine drives and even finer cuts through the covers.
Jordan Reid lived dangerously and only briefly before stand-in skipper Alex Massie was dismissed for a second-ball duck but Gordon Branston arrived to steady Selkirk nerves and ensure the Souters could post a challenging target. Though Fenton played around a yorker to be dismissed for 68, Brnaston was on hand to accelerate the scoring. Two mighty sixes over square leg were the highlight of a finely-paced innings.
The lower order, called upon to contribute for the first time this season, rallied in style. Chris Fairbairn clubbed a couple of boundaries before Blaine Gillie compiled a rapid 32 to take Selkirk past 200.
Conditions were never exactly pleasant and, resuming after tea, it looked as though rain might curtail proceedings. It was imperative, then, that Selkirk achieved an early breakthrough and that they rattle through their overs quickly.
Boroughmuir’s skipper had other ideas however, punishing anything short and wide as Selkirk struggled for the necessary breakthrough. Fenton, however, given the responsibility of opening the bowling for the first time this season, rose to the occasion. Bowling unchanged, his nine overs included the precious scalp of Docherty.
Iain Gardiner, another player who has had to exist on short rations this season, also performed splendidly and, given how often he found the edge, was perhaps unlucky not to take more than two wickets. Meanwhile Massie bamboozled Davidson with an outrageous lob that landed – fatally for the batsman and much to the bowlers’ surprise – perfectly on the base of leg stump. A reminder that it is the taking of wickets that counts, not how you take them.
Selkirk were assisted, it must be said, by some cavalier running between the wickets that produced two simple run outs, including the wicket of the dangerous Mohammed.
Finally, young Mitchell Branston capped a fine day in the field for the visitors by taking his first ever 1st XI wicket to seal victory.
All in all this was a grand performance in adverse circumstances and it was pleasing to see players take advantage of the opportunities afforded them by the absence of so many senior cricketers.
Boroughmuir 2nd XI vs Selkirk. Played at Meggetland on June 30th. Selkirk won by 83 runs.
D Fenton b Mohammed 68
I Smith LBW b Mohammed 3
J Reid c Mohammed b Shah 10
A Massie* b Docherty 0
G Branston c Chaudry b Davidson 65
C Fairbairn c Spiers b Mohammed
J Graham+ b Mohammed 0
B Gillie c Spiers b Chaudry 32
I Gardiner c&b Davidson 0
M Branston st Duncan b Davidson 0
R Wilkie Not Out 1
Total: 201 All Out (40.5 overs)
Bowling: Docherty 7-0-30-1, Mohammed 9-0-34-4, Saha 9-0-44-1, Chaudry 6.5-0-50-1, Davidson 7-2-21-3, McCutcheon 2-0-20-0.
A Spiers b Reid 6
K Docherty* b D Fenton 24
A Cornick b Gardiner 13
K Skidmore b D Fenton 1
N Davidson b Massie 13
I Mohammed Run Out 18
H Malik c Gillie b Gardiner 13
M Saha b Massie 5
I McCutcheon Run Out 0
M Duncan+ Not Out 4
S Cahudry LBW b M Branston 1
Total: 118 All Out (33.4 overs)
Bowling: Reid 9-1-22-1, D Fenton 9-3-24-2, G Branston 2-1-12-0, Gardiner 8-0-30-2, Massie 4-0-15-2, M Branston 1.4-0-5-1.