Langholm feel the heat as Selkirk batsmen turn on the style at last

Selkirk's Kyle Gillie was almost bowled after reaching his 50. Photograph: Grant Kinghorn
Selkirk's Kyle Gillie was almost bowled after reaching his 50. Photograph: Grant Kinghorn

Selkirk beat Langholm by 78 runs

BORDER SUNDAY LEAGUE

ALEX MASSIE reports from Philiphaugh

WHAT a difference a week makes.

Never mind the cricket, on Sunday Philiphaugh was blessed with something much more unusual than a Selkirk victory: sunshine and more than just a hint of summer. So much so, in fact, that a drinks break was required for the first time this year. Astonishing scenes.

On the field, Selkirk bested Langholm by 78 runs to get the Souters’ season back on track after last week’s defeat to Gala. Though the final scorecard might suggest this was a comfortable win, the truth is that for a while it looked as though Selkirk – inserted by Langholm – might struggle to post a challenging total.

That they were able to do so owed much to the efforts of Kyle Gillie and John Everitt. Gillie, asked to bat at number three for perhaps the first time in his career, responded with a maiden half-century that delighted his team-mates almost as much as it surprised them.

True, he rode his luck in the early stages and was dropped badly on 21, but though his first dozen runs were edgy Gillie grew in confidence as his innings progressed.

He thumped the ball straight in fine style and clubbed anything short through midwicket during an innings that set an admirable standard for application.

Everitt, meanwhile, was in the process of composing a typically elegant 40, the highlight of which was a brace of cuts through cover.

Between them, Everitt and Gillie added 80 runs for the third wicket and rescued Selkirk from a less than wholly promising beginning.

A bumpy track, plagued by inconsistent bounce, made scoring heavy work to begin with as, for an hour or so, the Souters crept along at barely two runs an over.

For their part, Langholm bowled accurately but without much fortune.

Everitt finally fell, bowled by Wilson, as he looked to increase the scoring rate, and Gillie soon followed for a splendid 56. By then, however, Selkirk were past 100 and on track to posting a challenging total.

In contrast. Langholm’s innings never quite got going. but that owed plenty to some accurate Selkirk bowling.

Blair Amos was first to strike before Lee Oliver struck twice in an over to leave Langholm struggling. Gordon Branston, who would later bowl a fine spell himself, took a grand catch in the gully to dismiss Andrew Bell.

That brought Euan Wilson, always a key wicket, to the crease. Though the Langholm’s skipper looked in decent nick he was undone by a fine inswinger from Jordan Reid that clattered into the middle-stump.

If that owed nothing to luck, Duncan Elliot’s dismissal certainly did. The Muckle Toon veteran was bowled by a shooter that was utterly unplayable.

By this stage, however, Langholm had lost all hope of victory. True, Bell biffed a belligerent 37, but these were but the final flickers of a fire that was clearly on its way out.

And so it proved as Oliver returned to the attack to claim another two wickets for figures of 4-15 before Ian Gardiner concluded matters by tempting Bell into slapping a long-hop straight to Reid at midwicket.

Selkirk

G. Branston, c Hall b Paisley 4

J. Reid, c Elliot b Paisley 3

K. Gillie, c A. Bell b Wilson 56

A. Parr, b Gormley 0

J. Everitt, b Wilson 40

A. Massie, not out 24

J. Graham, not out 10

Extras 15

Total for 5 152

Langholm

R. Rae, c Reid b Amos 1

J. Hall, ct Graham b Oliver 7

J. Bell, ct Branston b Oliver 2

E. Wilson, b Reid 12

A. Paisley, ct Amos b Reid 2

A. Bell, ct Reid b Gardiner 37

C. Little, ct b Branston 3

D. Elliot, b Amos 0

B. Wilson, b Oliver 2

C. Bell, b Oliver 0

J. Gormley, not out 4

Extras 4

Total all out 74