Dark clouds gather over BBC as sun shines on Victoria

Victoria, fielding a strong team, threatened the Evening League record books on Wednesday with an astonishing 251-6 and 174 run win on a balmy evening at Titwood. It was a brutal crash back to earth for the BBC after their recent excellent win over Hillhead.

Winning the toss and controversially electing to field, BBC captain, Peter Mellis, provoked audible delight in the Victoria dressing room as they realised they were going to enjoy a full 20 overs in the sunshine.

With tails up and ears pricked, Victoria’s opening batsmen raced to 70 off the first four overs, rendering redundant some excellent field placement by simply panning the ball far over the boundary and a variety of fences surrounding the pitch. Colin Moffat and Matt Walmsley soaked up much of the damage.

Bharat Balani gave some cause for optimism by taking three wickets, the second of which will be remembered as one of the balls of the season. But as much as the wickets fell in quick succession, the run rate in between was so high that by the end of 8th Victoria’s ton was up.

Toby Stevens played his part in choking off the runs, but even that was at an economy of seven runs an over and it was always going to be a case of how many runs over 200 Victoria could score. Each new batsman who emerged seemed as confident as the last and the BBC was shown no sign of a tail end at which to bowl: five batsmen reached at least the 30s (though none made a 50).

Wickets for Moffat, Hines, and Dean with catches from Mellis, Walmsley and McGill were offset by some clumsy misfields from the BBC’s demoralised fielders, but they did not affect the final result.

Shell-shocked, the BBC response was far from adequate. Only Peter Mellis (20) showed any touch with all the other batsmen scoring in single figures. The cause was not helped by three farcical run-outs. The final total of 77 was the most disappointing of the season.

Victoria: 251-6
BBC: 77 All out
Victoria win by 174 runs

MotM: Bharat Balani

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