A DEPLETED Bute County Cricket team travelled to Helensburgh for their first WDCU league match for six weeks.
The weather was overcast and humid. Helensburgh won the toss and put Bute into bat.
The opening pair of Tim Stobart and Alan Peacock soon got the runs flowing. The Helensburgh attack of Rash Arachchi and S. Isihiaq struggled to find the form they had when the teams met back in May on Bute when Arachchi destroyed the top order. They were not helped by the fielders who dropped chances.
A steady partnership built until the 9th over when Peacock mis-timed a shot to chip the ball to mid off to be caught. (26 for 1). Stobart was joined by Captain Mark Crichton. Both men batted with confidence and started to find the boundary.
With the partnership building nicely, Helensburgh turned to their young spinner Tim Mills who immediately did the trick, bowling Stobart with his 4th ball for a fine 26. Guy Crichton joined his brother in the middle but with the total on 81, it was Guy (7) who was back in the pavilion having been given out controversially LBW.
Richard Harding came to the crease and in no time helped skipper Mark move the total to 117. Mark (36) stretched out to hit a ball well wide of the off stump and gave an easy catch to A.Sterry in the covers off the bowling of C Caskie.
Craig Murray was in next, for the first few balls he waved his bat at the ball, giving the home side hope of another break through. It was then that the first golden moment contender happened. Craig hit a big, beautiful, straight 6 out of the ground. His first ever! The home side sighed! Bute players cheered! Another partnership built.
Harding found the boundary six times including hitting a 6 into the pavilion. The next ball he was caught for 33 with the score on 146 for 5. Craig ended the innings ‘not out’ with his highest personal score of 21. Ian Downie the last man out, run out 7. Bute’s final total 175 all out.
Helensburgh got off to a good start in their run chase. The opening bowlers Mark and Guy Crichton hit for 33 for 0 before the 1st bowling change. The skipper turned to Harding and Peacock to dry the run rate up. Peacock spun his first wicket bowling I. Chambers for 16. With the aid of some great fielding by Sam Parkins the run rate was dropping as the batsman struggled to get the ball of the square. Harding, who was producing a lot of ‘in swing’ had opener Willowsby (19) caught behind by Stobart with an ‘away swinger’. He struck again 6 balls later bowling C.Barnett (2).
Peacock followed up taking the wicket of Lewis (17) with the help of, the second golden moment contender, a diving catch by Guy Crichton on the fence. They were key wickets as they had scored 44 not out and 50 in the home tie.
Guy Crichton bought back to bowl at the left handed Arachchi bowled 4 wides, before changing to round the wicket, that next ball Arachchi hit the ball straight back to Guy who took the catch above his head. (70 for 5) Gary ‘Mulai’ Dickinson joined the attack and ended a potential match winning partnership on 46 between D Stevens and P Davies when he had Stevens (30) caught deep on the boundary to the third golden moment contender, an excellent catch by 12-year-old Louie Ware.
The sense that victory was now possible ran through the Bute team and when Dickenson bowled Davies (17) around his legs the momentum was Bute’s. Dickenson took the last 3 wickets, A. ‘whooping’ Sterry ct M. Crichton 8, S Isthiac stumped 1, and finally C Caskie ct C Murray 4 to finish with figures of 5 for 26 from 8 overs. Helensburgh total was 147 all out giving Bute the win by 28 runs.
Bute would like to thank their Helensburgh, especially Josh, for their hospitality and after-match drink.
* Next week Bute hosts the league leaders Anniesland. Players to be at the ground for 10:45. Spectators are welcome.