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MATCH REPORT: Clydesdale pay for slow start as BBC walk the winning runs


Clydesdale Dev. XI: 96-6
BBC Scotland: 98-6 (16 overs)

BBC win by 4 wickets

Given the long-standing relationship between the BBC and her parent club, Clydesdale, it is perhaps surprising that the teams have never met in competition.

Clydesdale's own standing in the midweek league has been muddled by the promotion of their Development XI to Division 2 and the relegation of their Cavaliers team to Division 3, giving rise this week to the odd situation of their "weaker" team carting 181 without loss past Inverclyde (Allan - 108, Hart - 55), and their "stronger" team losing here.

The BBC took the field against the Development XI as the home team - a point that was made to the Clydesdale XI, who were unceremoniously evicted from the home dressing room before the match.

Fielding a combination of Cavaliers and Bees players as well as some promising Juniors, Clydesdale struggled from the off. Opening batsmen, Adil Ghaffar and Jeetinder Berman, played and missed at an alarming number of deliveries, including one extraordinary run of 12 consecutive dot balls.

They could not, however, be accused of profligacy with the BBC bowling quintet of Colin Moffat, Zohaib Ali, Michael Hines, Seth Edwards and David Blane in a particularly parsimonious mood.

So ruthless were they in fact, that by the eleventh over Clydesdale were languishing on just 44 runs.

But despite several "confident" appeals from wicketkeeper, Jack McGill, who was in boisterous mood, the opening pair could not be budged - something that seemed to frustrate the Clydesdale supporters more than the BBC players.

Just as Berman was starting to get generate some momentum, the BBC made a breakthrough. David Blane, arguably the pick of the bowlers, reacted quickly from his own bowling to pick up, spin and fire off a direct-hit run-out.

After Ghaffar's dismissal, Berman followed in the same manner, this time after sharp fielding by Ewan Crawford and Zohaib Ali, who also took the wicket of Jat Dhami.

It allowed some of Clydesdale's bigger hitters the chance to open up, but the wickets also came faster with David Blane taking the important wicket of Mark Williams, and Colin Moffat also claiming a scalp.

Given the BBC's current batting form, 96 was a defendable total, but three no balls in the first over set the tone for what would be an ugly, but comfortable, innings at the crease for the BBC, with Extras top-scoring on 30.

Ewan Crawford (25) looked assured in his return to the team and a mid-order wobble that saw Ani Vaidya out for a golden duck, and David Blane (0) c&b by the shortest child on the field, was steadied by an unglamorous knock from McGill (9*) and a sprightly and entertaining cameo from Michael Hines (15*).

There is much work still to be done by the BBC batsmen to find any kind of rhythm or free-scoring, but the bowlers can take great credit for a disciplined, attacking performance that rivalled the great Hillhead Rorke's Drift defence of 2009.

The fielding too was much improved, epitomised by a superb stop at fine-leg by man of the match, Michael Hines (even if the camera didn't capture the proceeding commando roll).

Wins breed confidence and this was a good one to get under the belt early in the season. The return fixture, however, will not be as straightforward.

MotM: Michael Hines




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