Fine form propels Braw Lads to hat-trick of victories

Jamie Crooks in action for Gala.
Jamie Crooks in action for Gala.

Rory Hancock and Jamie Crooks proved the Gala heroes in a nail-biting win at previously unbeaten Musselburgh.

Hancock took 5 for 25 to restrict ‘Burgh to 132 all out before teenager Crooks kept his cool to score the winning runs with just three balls to spare, to make it three out of three wins for the Braw Lads in Division One.

Overnight rain in Musselburgh area had put the game in some doubt but a morning pitch inspection saw the match be given the green light.

Gala captain Dinesh Tharanga won the toss and decided to bowl on a Lewisvale pitch which is notoriously tricky and proved so again, as both teams scored at less than three runs an over.

The visitors made a good start when Nick McIntyre had Ahmed caught behind by Duncan Millar with the score on just two.

Tufail and Howe rebuilt the innings well, putting on 51 runs, before Howe was run out by Graeme Ormiston for 13.

Musselburgh then collapsed from 59 for 2 to 61 for 5, as Hancock struck three times to put Gala on top.

Verma led a fightback with an aggressive 23 before being caught by Finlay Rutherford off Hancock’s bowling.

Further wickets fell as Gala reduced their opponents to 101 for 9 but last wicket pair Middlemass (16) and Khalid (17) showed plenty fight to drag Musselburgh to 132 and gave them a fighting chance.

Gala openers Sid Siddhu and Rutherford put on their second successive 50 partnership, before the latter was stumped for 32 with the score on 72 off 23 overs.

Siddhu fell soon after for 39 but Millar and Ormiston looked to be taking Gala to a fairly comfortable win.

Even when both departed, Gala needed 21 runs off eight overs which, in normal circumstances, should be have been straightforward.

However, up against the slow wicket and a disciplined Musselburgh bowling attack led by Middlemass (2 for 19) it went two to the last over with two runs needed to win.

But up stepped youngster Crooks (22 not out) who show maturity and patience to wait until the third ball of Verma over to score two needed and give the Meigle Park men all 20 points.

In addition, females of all ages are invited to come and try a new sport later this month at Gala Cricket Club.

The club already has two Scotland women internationalists, Caitlin Ormiston and Charis Scott, alongside upcoming Eastern Knights squad player Maisie Maceira.

And Caitlin and Charis will help lead the sessions, which will be run at under 13 and senior age group on Friday, May 31.

There will also be an opportunity to find out more about the various social events at the club and enjoy some food and drink after the sessions.

Caitlin Ormiston added: “The sessions will be fun and are open to any female of any age or ability or fitness level to try.

“We will have music and the bar will also be open afterwards, so it would be great to see as many people there as possible.

“You do not need to want to play cricket competitively to come along and the sessions will predominantly be softball cricket to try and get some exercise.”

The evening begins at 6pm-7pm for under 13s and 7pm-8pm for senior age group, with more information from galacricketclub@gmail.com.