Battling spirit not enough as BBC flirt with relegation

Queen's Park 2nd XI v BBC
QP2: 149-2
QP2 wins by 8 wickets

BBC: 101-8
GHK: 106-1
GHK wins by 9 wickets

Two defeats in two days for an under-strength BBC Scotland have left the club in a precarious position in Division 2 of the Glasgow Evening League. Sitting in the relegation zone, the pressure is now on the Beeb to take victory from at least two of their remaining three games to have any chance of survival.

That the season has come down to such fine margins is certainly due to the unkind weather over a rain-soaked season, but also to matches like Tuesday's with Queen's Park, which saw some of the best of BBC Scotland undone by a Queen's Park team selection that raised eyebrows and sank hearts across the Glasgow Evening League.

A classy, not to mention exhausting, half century for Ewan Crawford was the backbone of a competitive 145-5 that included useful cameos from Holmes (17), Butt (18), and McGill (21*).

Little, however, could be done about the batting of former Scotland international, Paul Hoffman (22), and Uddingston regulars: Ricky (45*) and Sandy Bawa (49*); although if McGill had held a straightforward catch at mid-off, perhaps the defence would have been more competitive. Ewan Crawford showed everyone how it was done with a routine catch off Hoffman who found himself cramped for space cutting Butt through the covers.

A victory by eight wickets with six balls to spare didn't tell the whole story and McGill and Zohaib Ali can feel pleased with their bowling.

MOTM: Ewan Crawford

At Old Anniesland on Wednesday, under another beautiful blue sky, BBC paid for poor preparation and a late arrival, collapsing to 17-5 in the opening overs. In an atmosphere of panic and hurriedness, the wickets tumbled in a manner only the individual batsmen concerned can explain.

Building, however, on an excellent debut season, Zohaib Ali - the hungriest man on the field - dug in and resolutely bludgeoned his way to 37, his highest score for the club. He was aided, however, by quite extraordinary innings from Will Cory (10*) and Michael Hines (16*), who both showed a discipline and flair sadly absent from the top order to help the team to 101-8.

Kamran Butt (0-24) opened the bowling with a hitherto unseen aggression, stinging the palms of the cautiously positioned wicketkeeper, but wayward legside deliveries needed only a feather touch to take them to the boundary and for all the pressure exerted, the GHK runs never fully dried up.

Zohaib Ali, meanwhile, put in one of the bowling performances of the season from the other end. But for a poor final ball in his fifth and final over, his figures of 0-20 would have been almost Olympian.

But it was Will Cory who took the only wicket of the innings in a well controlled first over; Ewan Crawford, again, with the catch (We'll gloss over his second over).

A man short in the field, BBC struggled to contain Hussain and Ahmed, who finished off the runs chase with a trio of fours and over four overs remaining.

MOTM: Zohaib Ali

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