For the second time this season St Boswells proved too strong for Selkirk and, in the process, confirmed their credentials as challengers for this year’s Border League. Despite going down by 87 runs, the Philiphaugh side performed more gallantly than had been the case when Selkirk visited St Boswells earlier in the season.
Boosted by the availability of Steven Wilson for the first time this year, skipper John Everitt asked St Boswells to bat first, reckoning that the former Scotland ‘B’ man’s efforts might be the most likely to lead Selkirk to success. Indeed, for the first dozen overs St Boswells’ openers were scarcely able to score. After ten overs, they had combined for just nine runs, pegged back by accurate bowling and some keen fielding.
Wickets, alas, were proving as hard to come by as runs and although Wilson bowled Ruthven that merely brought Steven Broom to the crease. Discomfited by Wilson early on – hit painfully on the shoulder and almost caught at short leg – Broom made the most of the good fortune that came his way. Even so, he should not have been able to plunder as many as 88 runs: Banks spilled a tough chance, Massie a very comfortable one and Darren Fenton a catch that if you were to call it a sitter might actually make it sound more difficult than it was.
Nevertheless, Broom and his partner in crime Turnbull, made the most of such gifts and, having seen off Wilson’s opening spell, began to make hay with the bowling. Too many short deliveries were sent down which, on a softish, greenish surface simply sat up and invited rough treatment from the batsmen. So too did Massie’s bowling and the spinner was twice hit into the football ground and the experiment of trying to buy a wicket was deemed to have failed after two expensive, sadly wicketless overs.
Indeed, as the Broom-Turnbull partnership seized control of the game Selkirk’s fielding, hitherto tighter than sometimes, began to become a little ragged as neither fielders nor bowlers were able to stem the flow of runs as the pair’s partnership galloped past the century mark. Wilson, however, had been held in reserve and still had four overs remaining. They would prove dramatic ones.
Broom flashed and edged and was smartly caught by Banks behind the stumps, Turnbull was bowled and White recieved a brute of a delivery that would have dismissed any batsman in the league: fast, back-of-a-length, fizzing and moving away from off-stump the batsman did well to even get an edge to it. Neither Hunter nor Ruthven lasted long and Wilson had speared six wickets in just four overs, leaving him with figures of 7 for 13. A decent performance from a man needing painkillers for a troublesome ankle…
Despite Wilson’s efforts, 218 was a more than resectable total. If Selkirk were to chase it down they needed an excellent start and, crucially, two or three proper partnerships. The first of these was accomplished as the home side skipped along to 30/0 after eight overs and the Selkirk innings looked to be being built on firm foundations.
Unfortunately Greg Fenton then scooped Hunter to mid-off just when he looked as though he might be set for a long innings. Keanrs was soon trapped palpably LBW before Hunter got one to straighten to Everitt who in turn got but a leading edge to it and sent a floating catch to Broom at second-slip. The skipper’s 32 had been as elegant and accomplished as ever but also, alas, rather fewer than either he or his team had hoped for.
Wilkinson, meanwhile, was nudging and nurdling to decent effect while Banks, having taken an over to get his eye in, was just beginning to unleash his driving skills when he hammered a full toss from White straight to Ruthven at short mid-off who only went and caught it, pulling off one of the smartest catches seen at Philiphaugh this season. Sometimes they really do just stick.
With that dismissal whatever last vestiges of hope Selkirk had more or less evaporated even though with 15 ovrs left victory was still, at least on a technical level, entirely possible. A run a ball would have produced a tight and interesting finish. Unfortunately it was not to be and although the tail chipped in with a moderate degree of wagging too many wickets had fallen too soon to make even a theoretical run-chase a practical proposition.
The spoils go to St Boswells then and, perhaps especially, to Broom who now averages 175 against Selkirk this season. Thankfully he doesn’t get to play the Souters every week.
St Boswells vs Selkirk, Philiphaugh July 24th 2010. St Boswells won by 87 runs. Selkirk won the toss and decided to field.
R Young ct Banks b Fenton 12
S Ruthven b Wilson 5
S Broom ct Banks b Wilson 88
S Turnbull b Wilson 91
K White ct Banks b Wilson 0
R Elms Run Out 6
E Hunter b Wilson 4
E Ruthven b Wilson 0
S Marshall b Wilson 0
Reid 5-3-27-0, Wilson 10-5-13-7, D Fenton 10-1-44-1, G Fenton 8-0-38-0, Wilkinson 7-0-31-0, Massie 2-0-29-0, Everitt 5-0-28-0
G Fenton ct Marshall b Hunter 17
J Everitt* ct Broom b Hunter 32
N Kearns LBW b Hunter 0
R Wilkinson b White 16
R Banks+ ct Ruthven b White 9
T Penman b White 7
D Fenton b Marshall 2
S Wilson ct Young b White 1
J Reid ct Marshall b Hunter 9
A Massie b White 13
I Buckley Not Out 6
Total: 131 All Out