Boycott-inspired innings fails to nod off Selkirk

Massive appeal from Darren Fenton
Massive appeal from Darren Fenton
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Selkirk beat Musselburgh 2nds by eight wickets

EAST LEAGUE DIVISION FIVE

A week after a shoddy performance, Selkirk returned to winning ways thanks to a thumping victory, writes Alex Massie.

Visitors Musselburgh won the toss and opted to bat first, a decision which suited Rory Banks since the stand-in skipper, deputising for the absent John Everitt, would most probably have bowled first anyway on what looked a sporting Philiphaugh track.

So it proved. On a pitch offering ample assistance to seamers and plagued by some inconsistent bounces to boot, the visiting batsmen struggled to impose themselves on a Selkirk attack that bowled with admirable discipline, accuracy and patience. In all of these areas, the performance was quite unlike that produced in the previous week’s loss to Edinburgh South.

On this occasion, it was Kenny Paterson who garnered the lion’s share of the spoils. Though Jordan Reid struck to remove the dangerous James Allen thanks to a fine catch from Kyle Murray, it was the veteran Paterson who crippled Musselburgh’s innings with three wickets, the last of them being a perfect off-cutter that removed John Robertson.

After 12 overs, Musselburgh had limped to 14 for 4. A dozen overs later they had crawled to 27-6, Greg Fenton claiming a brace of scalps.

There then followed a period of quite soporific cricket as Musselburgh’s batsmen batted in a fashion that made Chris Tavare or Geoffrey Boycott seem like Chris Gayle or Virender Sehwag by comparison.

Rod MacKenzie, for instance, faced 74 balls before he was stumped off the bowling of Banks. Even more remarkably, Chris Turnbull took 44 deliveries to amass his final total of three. There was doggedness aplenty, but precious little effort except in trying to discomfort the Selkirk bowlers.

Malcolm Ford and Banks, however, found that conditions were ideally-suited to slow-medium wibbly-wobblers and between them broke the Musselburgh resistance, leaving the visitors on a total of 51 all out.

Barring disaster, that did not look like a threatening or intimidating total. And so it proved. Though Greg Fenton was bowled for a duck in the first over, Paterson and Darren Fenton took command of matters and made sure Selkirk would register a victory every bit as comprehensive as the scoreboard suggests.

Fenton was caught for 25, but by then Selkirk were within 10 runs of victory and all but home and dry.