Selkirk’s run in the National Murgatroys 20/20 Cup came to an abrupt end on Sunday when Dumfries proved simply too strong for the Souters. Nevertheless, reaching the final of the Southern Section of the competition represents a considerable improvement upon performances in past seasons.
Batting first in tricky conditions – the pitch having been affected by a downpour on Saturday night and now being dried by the strong winds gusting down the valley – Dumfries made an impressive 130/6. Conditions were such that sage judges considered this a challenging total and that 100 might have been considered par for the day.
Selkirk might have restricted their National League visitors to less than that had Kenny Paterson’s men held their catches. Four relatively straightforward chances were put down – Banks, Gardiner, Graham and Everitt being the guilty men – while a brace of half-chances were also grassed. Individually these errors were not calamitous; collectively they were.
Jordan Reid was an exception to this dispiriting rule, taking two catches, the second a peach diving back and to his left at mid-on to pluck the ball out the air and give Darren Fenton the wicket. Fenton, mind you, was guilty of bowling too short too often in conditions that demanded the ball be pitched up and given a chance to swing or seam. Greg Fenton was arguably the pick of the Selkirk bowlers, though he had little luck. Likewise Reid and Paterson, both of whom saw chances spilled off their bowling.
126 was, then, a tough total to chase and Selkirk had been given warning of the potency of the Dumfries attack in the semi-final earlier in the afternoon during which Gala were routed for just 62.
Everitt and Greg Fenton got the home side off to a flying start and after 3.5 overs the pair had added 30 thanks to some fine drives and keen running between the wickets. Fenton, however, fell to the final delivery of the fourth over and never again would Selkirk be ahead of the required run-rate.
Too much of Selkirk’s subsequent batting was either desperately casual or fatally reckless. . Darren Fenton prodded weakly and was caught behind; Rory Banks made an ill-advised attempt to heave a leg-stump yorker over midwicket and was, deservedly, bowled while Bob Wilkinson ran himself out calling for a single to square-leg.
John Everitt and Kenny Paterson were each victimised by splendid deliveries as the Dumfries bowlers took advantage of the helpful conditions. They attempted little in the way of fancy variation, trusting that putting the ball into awkward spots would bring its own reward. And so it did.
Thereafter the tail was left to wag enthusiastically – thanks to Buckley – but not especially productively as the home side subsided to a score of 56 all out and a defeat that was much more comprehensive than it needed to be or might have been had more catches been held or had the batting shown greater discipline.
Nevertheless, reaching the final of the Southern Section is itself a step forward. Good luck, too, to Dumfries in the national semi-finals.
A Dawson ct J Reid b G Fenton 7
D Davidson LBW J Reid 33
A Batty ct J Reid b D Fenton 14
S Corbett-Byers ct Banks b R Wilkinson 3
C Potts b J Reid 31
J Greary ct J Everitt b K Paterson 17
D Brotherstone Not out 3
D Goodin Not out 2
Total 130 for 6 (20 overs)
Best bowling J Reid 2 for 31
J Everitt b R McBride 14
G Fenton ct Corbett-Byres b McBride 12
D Fenton ct Corbett-Byres b McCutcheon 0
R Banks bowled McCutcheon1
K Paterson bowled McCutcheon 3
J Reid ct Davidson b Geary 3
R Wilkinson Run Out 1
L Oliver ct McBride b Geary 3
I Buckley Not Out 9
I Gardiner ct Corbett-Byres b Goodin 2
J Graham ct McBride b Brotherstone 0
Total 56 all out (14 overs)
Best bowling McCutcheon 3 for 10