Cricket: bowling attack is key to Bute victory

SOME excellent bowling paved the way for a six-wicket win for Bute away to Hughenden on Saturday – a result which means the island club haven’t lost a league fixture since the beginning of May.

Glorious golden sunshine at last greeted Bute as they arrived in Glasgow looking to complete a home-and-away double over their opponents; the home side, having lost the toss, were put in to bad, and Bute’s opening attack, Crichton brothers Mark and Guy, soon found pace and bounce on the dry wicket.

Mark was the first to pick up a wicket, knocking the centre stump out of the ground as he bowled S. Bates for a single; the visitors’ bowling made run-scoring a real struggle for the hosts, who had only 14 for one by the tenth over.

Frankie Lintermans and Richard Harding then entered the attack for Bute; Lintermans’ first delivery was hit for four, but Hughenden’s sighs of relief were short-lived, as he then had opener G. Locke caught and bowled for six in his second over.

A struggle to control his swing made that Lintermans’ last over of the day; at the other end, ‘unplayable’ Harding was also swinging the ball, just missing the outside edge of left-handed batsman A. Tervet, who played and missed several times.

With the run rate strangled, the home team had to try and force the score, and as a result Harding had K. Mather caught for ten by Gary Dickenson.

That brought K. Blackwood to the crease, and he too found it hard to play Harding’s swing, though he did manage runs off the bowling of Dickenson, dispatching good deliveries to the boundary including four fours in Dickenson’s last over.

But Guy Crichton’s second spell with the ball soon brought Hughenden’s revival to a grinding halt, bowling a swing full toss on to the off stump to bring Blackwood’s efforts to a halt on 34, leaving the hosts on 78 for four from 25 overs.

With Bute well on top, the visitors now moved in for the kill; the score hadn’t changed when Harding finally got Tervet (8) to edge one to keeper Tim Stobart, who held the catch.

Guy took his second wicket, bowling R. Wilson for nought, to leave the hosts on 85 before Alan Peacock caught A. Faulds for two off Harding, giving the bowler figures of three for 23.

Peacock then took the wicket of Mehradam, who was caught by Harding for five, before some great fielding by Phil Ware, who dived, stopped and quickly returned the ball to run out K. Soni for a single.

Mark Crichton then finished the innings by bowling L. Faulds for nought to leave Hughenden all out for 98.

With thunder and lightning surrounding the pitch, Bute set off like a train in search of the victory, with Alan Peacock, undeterred by a heavy shower, smashing the ball to the boundary time and again.

The shower ended with Bute on 29 from just six overs – but then the wheels came off for the visitors, with S. Bate, back in the home side following knee surgery, having Stobart caught for seven, before dismissing Mark Crichton for three and Harding for a duck.

Peacock, having amassed an excellent 31, was caught behind by wicket-keeper A. Faulds, but with the islanders’ score on 51 for four it was left to vice-captain Guy Crichton and David ‘The Mechanic’ Reid to put the wheels back on Bute’s run-chase.

Victory was duly secured in the 22nd over, with Crichton finishing on 15 not out and Reid on 20 not out to leave Bute in fourth place in the Lords WDCU Championship due to their win percentage.

* This Saturday, August 11, Bute are at home to Inverclyde, and players should meet at the ground at 10.45am.