May 4, WDCU Evening League Division 2 v. Biologists

Nothing's ever simple; not for the BBC Scotland cricket team. Losing the toss, for the fourth consecutive match, Holmesy elected first to gouge out the eyes of the opposing captain with a two pence coin before huddling up the team in preparation for twenty overs of fielding.

Off the back of Sunday's bowling, Gregor, Michael, Humphrey, Phil and Bharat, kept up their run of form with some excellent pressure bowling against last year's Division 1 whipping-boys, The Biologists. It's the unfortunate side-effect of a losing streak that players leave like rats off a sinking ship and the Biologists are much-changed from last season, but for a batting side like the BBC, this made for an evenly-contested and exciting match.

The ugly spectre of Bharat attempting another catch far beyond his reach and hitting the ground like a sack of spuds should not detract from a largely positive fielding performance, the highlight of which was a direct-hit run-out from Gregor Dean at cover point and a splendid catch from Ani Vaidya at backward short leg. Pick of the bowlers was Phil Goodlad (2-15), whose tremendous start to the season (when the ball is travelling away from him) continues apace. The BBC were left chasing a very achievable 93 to win.

From a batting perspective, however, the age-old problems continue to plague a side that should be performing better. Mellis did what Mellis does and Crawford and Rougvie lost a stump each in quick succession. Holmesy dug in and Ani is to be commended for a late flourish to keep the runs-chase going. Enter McGill, whose contributions this season have been largely negligible. His first contribution, crossing for a run, was to polaxe his skipper who hit the deck with his legs in mid-air still pumping away. After scrambling to make his ground, Holmesy took several minutes to get his wind back before resuming without any of the momentum that had seen him previously battle to a turgid 30.

The scores were tied on 92 with one ball remaining. McGill contributed what at the time seemed an inspired decision: with Holmesy facing, McGill was off his mark from the non-striker's end. Holmesy played and missed and the quick-thinking wickie, Kevin O'Dell, went for the stumping. To no avail; the umpire signalled not out and McGill called to run the bye having already made-good most of his own run. With the Biologists in disarray the batsmen crossed - this time without colliding - and the game was won.

Cue mayhem. Amid protests and accusations of bad sportsmanship from the fielding side and angry law-quoting from McGill, Holmesy quietly decided that on reflection maybe the wickie had let him off lightly after the mid-run collision and we should show better spirit. With batsmen and fielders angrily marching from the pitch grumbling about their own perceived injustices, Holmesy magnanimously conceded the tie.

"I thought about the bigger picture," reflected Holmesy after the game. "It's not what we're about. It seemed silly to tarnish our reputation as a hard-drinking, fun-loving team. Besides, they'll never know the thallium sulphate in Kevin's system came from me."

Biologists: 92- 4
BBC: 92- 4
Result: Tie
MOTM: David Holmes

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