Rain restricts Bute cricketers to 20/20 vision

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BUTE County Cricket Club have been left increasingly frustrated by the British summer weather in recent weeks thanks to waterlogged pitches and rain-filled skies, leaving the islanders’ season two-thirds complete with only six games played.

However, Bute have managed to play two 20/20 matches in the last fortnight, enjoying mixed fortunes at home to Vale of Leven and away to Brooksbottom in Manchester.

Vale travelled to Bute for a 50/50 league match, only for the heavens to open while the visitors were on the ferry to Rothesay, and taking the view that it was a shame for the Vale to travel without a game, the decision was taken to press ahead with a 20/20 friendly fixture.

Vale won the toss and elected to bat, and though the early run-out of captain Chris Dalby set the visitors back, they soon recovered.

Lawrence was caught by Alan Peacock for 22 off the bowling of Frankie Lintermans, but Alex McAdam and his next partner, Graham Lawrence, both finished unbeaten, giving the Dunbartonshire side a total of 116 for two from their 20 overs.

Bute’s reply was fast and furious, with Richard Harding opening alongside Alan Peacock; Harding was the first to fall while attempting his third six in a row, missing the ball and being bowled for 34 off just 21 balls.

Peacock, Craig Murray and Gary Dickenson each scored nine, while Mark Crichton added 19, including one six, before being bowled by McAdam.

Bute completed their 20 overs in pouring rain on 100 for six, 16 runs short of Vale’s target, before all concerned repaired to team sponsors Mac’s Bar to dry out.

Seventeen members of BCCC travelled to Lancashire on July 9 as part of this year’s tour to play Alan Peacock’s former club, Manchester league side Brooksbottom.

Bute were greeted by yet another damp wicket, but also by glorious hot, bright sunshine – and the islanders’ main strike force and fielders wasted no time showing why they have taken 58 wickets at an average of 14.4 runs in their six matches this year.

Brooksbottom, having won the toss, could only manage to set Bute a target of 87 for the loss of six wickets, with Mark Crichton, who took two for nine from four overs, the pick of the bowlers. D. Brown was top scorer for the hosts with 27, while P. Hopton managed 19.

The Bute fielders also did a great job, taking four catches, while wicket-keeper Tim Stobart managed a stumping – he would have had two, but for the young Brooksbottom umpire refusing to give his father out.

Bute found the bounce variable at the start of the innings, and at first struggled to get the ball off the square, but the Crichton brothers, Mark with 20 and Guy with 10, along with Gary Dickenson on 13 not out, finally steered Bute to the win with seven balls remaining.

This Saturday, July 21, Bute are due to return to league duty with an away fixture against Helensburgh.