BBC find the formula in the Glasgow Cup


Any match played between BBC Scotland CC and Glasgow University Staff CC is always going to be fraught, yet enjoyable. Tonight’s match at Titwood amidst weather that was as changeable as the fortunes of the BBC side was no exception. Without the usual Johnstone vs McGill stand-off, the tone of the match was always going to be an interesting one. It would be churlish to mention that Johnstone dropped three catches, so that will not be a part of this match report.

A downpour of rain just prior to the start of the match threatened to dampen the spirits of the two sides. But these were sides with two ambitions: the first, to enjoy themselves; the second, to win.

Without the usual team talk from club president, Jack McGill, it was difficult to predict just what would happen. But as Club Captain David Holmes led his troops out to battle, what occurred seemed to be the stuff of both nightmares and dreams.

And so it was that on a sun-soaked pitch the GU staff began to bat. Batsman Ikhlaq Ahmed might have been forgiven for a sense of fear and trepidation, since his previous visit to Titwood ended with a broken nose, but he ended up walking off the field with both his nose and wicket intact and a score of 135 (his highest ever). In total, GU Staff had scored 187.

Victory, it seemed, was a mere formality.

But the Producer (Holmes) and 1st Assistant Director (Mellis) are clearly men who do not read the script. With an opening batting display, the likes of which have probably not been seen at the club before, they might as well have been playing in the IPL.  Holmes, who is not normally lauded for the rate at which he scores runs, hit an impressive 26 before he was bowled lbw. It ended an impressive partnership, which could have spelled the end of the BBC’s chances of scoring anything approaching the formidable target.

Then a limping Dr ‘Lord’ Blane came in to replace Holmes, and it was clear that this was a night for fun, fours, and sixes.

Against all the odds (and pretty much everybody’s expectations) it seemed that this was a match the BBC could win. The dark rain clouds which covered the GU Staff in the field, and refreshed the two batsmen with invigorating Scottish rain, might have spoiled the party. But the BBC would have needed more than mere rain to come off the field. Though, sadly, it was a not a party that Mellis was going to stay to the end for. A swipe at a ball which some might say was wide meant that he walked back to the pavilion with a score of 87 – his highest for the club.

Now it seemed that this was a match that the BBC were capable of losing. Vaidya (who managed to put his bat down when running) was bowled lbw on the first ball of the last over. Only four more runs were needed to win.

Enter Steve Collins. And the sunshine.

A couple of dot balls, and it seemed that this would go down as a famous defeat and a valiant effort. Two runs scored. And then despite his obvious disadvantage playing as a left-hander, Collins cut a lovely four, and brought the BBC side a victory that they are unlikely to forget in a hurry.

Perhaps the saddest sight of all was that of Ikhlaq Ahmed limping over the boundary rope to retrieve the ball as everyone else walked off the field.

Expectant father and Club President Jack McGill, who was unable to play tonight as he is in Ireland filming a less important cricket match, texted various members to say that when his son is born, he shall be called ‘Lord Mellis Vaidya Collins McGill’. His wife, Lucy Lake, was unavailable for comment.

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