Selkirk, 192/6 defeated Melrose, 137 all out, by 55 runs.
Two weeks of glorious, unseasonable sunshine came to an end on Saturday. There was nothing surprising about this. It was the first day of the cricket season. That meant jumpers and grey skies and players soaked by rain. It’s April and it’s Scotland and that’s the way it goes.
Selkirk’s players were rewarded for their perseverance, however, with a 55 run victory over a dogged Melrose XI who played their part in a fine match at Philiphaugh on Saturday. Chasing 192 Melrose needed just a run a ball from their final 12 overs and a game Selkirk thought had been safe looked to be slipping away from the home side.
Melrose’s hopes rested on the partnership of Green and Prabarkar. So long as they remained at the crease hope still lived for the visitors. But when Prabarkar was caught behind off Darren Fenton and Green adjudged LBW off Paterson Melrose’s fate was sealed. Green in particular had looked in fine form, compiling a gallant 67 and his was the crucial wicket. Fenton and Paterson mopped-up the tail in swift fashion and Selkirk’s Border League campaign is off to a winning start.
That victory owed much to the platform built by the top order. Inserted by Melrose on a pitch that, though in fine condition for the time of year, offered bowlers some assistance the Philiphaugh batsmen played with admirable discipline.
Greg Fenton, still just 17, batted with great maturity to anchor the innings before dragging a half-tracker on to his stumps when he was just a run shy of a much-deserved half-century. At the other end, John Everrit, newly-installed as club captain, compiled a typically fluent 31 until he was deceived by a nicely-flighted delivery from Furqan and bowled.
Kenny Paterson, meanwhile, was regularly biffing the bowling through midwicket as Melrose desperately sought a breakthrough that might stall Selkirk’s gathering momentum. With Selkirk 90/1 the Souters had eyes on a total* of more than 200.
That was not to be as Paterson heaved and was caught at deepish mid-on. Michael Fenton, however, produced a classy innings in which his cutting through the covers was especially memorable. He too was unlucky not to make a half-century, being left on 49* when Selkirk’s innings ended.
Selkirk’s batting had been conducted through annoyingly persistent drizzle but that was nothing compared to the rain that fell when it was Melrose’s turn to bat. Just seven overs had been bowled and the visitors were 15/1 when heavy rain forced the players to scuttle from the field. For half an hour it looked as though no further play was likely. Mercifully, however, brighter skies moved in from Yarrow and the rain eased just enough to permit a resumption of play.
For a while it looked as though Green might forge a famous victory for Melrose as Selkirk’s bowlers – hampered by the sopping conditions – offered too many long-hops and full tosses. Melrose’s prospects were dimmed, mind you, when Furqan was run-out by a direct hit from Everitt. Still, until Green’s dismissal the visitors were gaining the upper hand.
Thereafter Paterson, who finished with 4/17, and Darren Fenton ran through the Melrose tail, securing an important, morale-boosting victory for Selkirk.
No more than ten minutes after the last Melrose wicket fell, the sun finally appeared for the first time all day, capping a splendid afternoon which ended with the home side, for the time being at least, top of the league. Cricket is back and all seemed fine with the world.
*A total that might have been reached but for a loss of momentum after Fenton’s dismissal. Alas Rory Banks, of whom much is hoped this season, was dismissed for a duck that, unusually for such a brief innings, merits some commentary: a top-edge offered short fine leg the dolliest dolly in the history of dollies and yet, inexplicably, was dropped. As if ashamed to have survived, Banks thoughtfully declined to play a stroke and watched Prabakar’s next delivery trundle into his off-stump. By contrast with Test Match Special’s “Champagne Moment” this was Philiphaugh’s “Buckfast Moment”.
Selkirk vs Melrose, Border League, April 23rd 2011. Selkirk won the toss and opted to bat first. Selkirk won by 55 runs.
John Everitt* b Furqan 31
Greg Fenton b Jessop 49
Kenny Paterson ct AN Other b Ali 24
Michael Fenton+ Not Out 49
Rory Banks b Furqan 0
Darren Fenton b Prabaher 13
Jordan Reid Run Out 4
Blaine Gillie Not Out 4
Iain Gardiner Did Not Bat
John Graham Did Not Bat
Cammy McDonald Did Not Bat
Total: 192.6 (40 Overs)
Bowling: Loftus 8-1-22-0, Jessop 7-0-27-1, Furqan 8-0-45-2, Prabaher 8-0-25-1, Rhatigan 2-0-16-0, Paisley 1-0-9-0, Ali 3-0-24-1, McKay 3-0-19-0
Colin Green+ LBW b Paterson 67
A Irvine-Roberston ct M Fenton b Reid 6
Furqan Run Out 17
Ally Prabaher c M Fenton b D Fenton 22
Barry Scott b Paterson 4
K Paisley b Paterson 5
M Ali b D Fenton 0
Stuart McKay ct & b D Fenton 4
E Jessop b Paterson 0
J Loftus ct AN Other b D Fenton 0
D Rhatigan Not Out 0
Total: 137 All Out (34.1 Overs)
Bowling: Paterson 7.1-1-17-4, Reid 5-0-13-1, D Fenton 8-2-23-4, G Fenton 8-0-34-0, R Banks 6-0-44-0