Victorians victorious in Berwickshire
At last, some proper cricket weather arrived at Manderston over the weekend to welcome the visiting Victorians, a side from Whitley Bay.
The pitch had received plenty of attention over the previous week and a few dry days meant much of the damp had been driven off to leave a good surface.
Friends and families from both sides gave the match a relaxed and amiable air, with all ages enjoying the sunshine in a glorious setting.
Opting to bat first, the visitors got off to a slow start in the face of some accurate, hostile bowling from Hector Tomlyn and Mark Richards.
The ball kept low, meaning front foot play was essential, but movement off the pitch meant it was hard to score or even survive, with the score a mere 22 for 3 after the opening exchanges.
However, the next batsmen began to hit out, taking their chances where they could and running well. Good partnerships were interspersed with wickets at regular intervals, as some balls were unplayable.
Top scorer was Naveed with an exciting 37, sprinkled with five fours and a six, with good contributions from Asif, Javid and Siraj.
Pick of the bowlers was Tomlyn, with 3 for 29, backed up well by M. Richards (2 for 22), with Walsh, E. Richards and Leslie each picking up a wicket.
There was also an excellent display of offspin by debutant George Richards (14-year-old son of M), who bowled the dangerous-looking Tahir with a well-flighted delivery to take the first of no doubt many wickets. The total of 166 for 9 looked daunting, in the circumstances, but not unattainable.
Manderston’s reply started well, with the batters understandably cautious in the face of some very accurate and difficult bowling. But wickets started to tumble, and the scoring rate didn’t climb enough to compensate. Adnan (8 overs, 2 for 17) led the way, with captain Shoab picking up two wickets.
With the main batters back in the pavilion, the lower order did their best but the task was beyond them. Nadeem (3 for 11), Javid (1 for 10) and Naveed (2 for 4) completed the rout in fine style.
The two openers, Tom Leslie (24) and Will Conington (16) made the highest scores, with contributions from others, but nowhere near enough to challenge the now tough-looking total. In the end, the home side struggled to 99 all out.
It was notable that, of the 19 wickets to fall, 15 were bowled, several off inside edges, demonstrating the difficulty of batting. Still, Manderston are looking forward to the return match later on in the season.