CAPTAIN Mark Crichton returned to form in style on Saturday with an excellent 84 not out as Bute returned to winning ways with a five-wicket victory.
On a beautiful day set fair for cricket against old rivals Garscube, Bute won the toss and tried their more successful formula of putting the opposition in to bat.
Garscube’s regular openers made a slow start to proceedings and with a limpet of their own and had only got up to 28 for two in the 16th over, with both batsmen falling to the ever-economical bowling of Taff Barnsley, who finished with figures of two for 17 off ten overs.
The visitors gathered more momentum from this point, but the game was a well-balanced affair, with neither bat nor ball dominating, and Garscube, who lost to Bute in the opening match of the season, were made to work hard for their runs, the fielding from Bute being a notch above anything they have displayed so far this year.
The two mainstays of Garscube’s innings were Ali, with a well-crafted 59, and an entertaining 41 from Kallu, who hit one of the biggest sixes seen at the ground, the ball sailing straight over the wall and onto the Brandanes’ pitch next door.
Guy Crichton was impressive with the ball, repeatedly passing the outside edge of any number of players’ bats and finishing with figures of two for 23 off 10 overs, while Richard ‘Silver Fox’ Harding also caught the eye - his second spell of bowling saw him finish off the tail and return figures of three for 24 off nine overs.
So far this season, Garscube have been the only team to make Bute bowl their full quota of 50 overs, and on this occasion they only fell three balls short, posting 182 in the process and giving Bute their second highest total to chase so far this season.
Captain Crichton opened the batting for the first time in many a moon, and after losing his partner Harding in the third over, he and Alan Peacock settled down to giving the team a really steady start to the innings.
They kept up nicely with the required rate, with a partnership of 94 runs, and it wasn’t until the 27th over, with the score on 127, that the next wicket went down, with Peacock, who had knuckled down to his task really well, falling LBW for 32.
Another couple of good partnerships with Jonathon Mann and Chris South – the latter extending to 40 runs – saw a tired Mark see Bute across the finishing line with 15 balls to spare for a five-wicket victory. Crichton’s own tally of 84 not out was a superb effort of patience, determination and cricketing nous, and it’s good to see him back in the runs again.
Bute play Kirkstyle away this Saturday, July 9, and players should meet for the 10.10am ferry.