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Having agreed that the BBC could bat first to allow for latecomers, Jose and Mellis got the scoring underway for the visitors. Perhaps in a bid to keep the genetically-modified midges at bay, Mellis was in his element, swatting away the deliveries with the eagerness and agility of a (much) younger man. In just 35 balls, which included 8 fours, he made his fifth half-century for the club before being caught out.

Sadly none of the other big-hitters managed to follow suit. Lord Blane and Jack McGill were both despatched without scoring, and Ali ‘I’m fasting’ Qayyum was caught on nine.

With a score of just 83-5 it seemed that the BBC were going to slump to another sub-hundred score. But then a fightback came from the unlikeliest of quarters. Two batsmen not normally known for their style, panache, or scoring ability raised their individual games and steadied the tiller. Tom Cara (who produced a magnificent shot to the boundary which was bounced just a couple of feet short of the boundary rope) and Alex Leithead both scored a personal best for the season with 14 and 15n/o respectively. Once Andrew Lawson (who was playing cricket for the first time in his life) scored a run before being bowled on the last ball of the innings, the BBC had scored 119, not the highest score they’ve recorded, but certainly defendible.

Some excellent bowling from Qayyum (who really does seem to play better when he’s hungry) and Blane meant that the home side were consistently below the required run rate. Victory, it seemed, might just be possible.

But a couple of wickets down, thanks to the bowling of Qayyum and McGill (who stopped keeping wicket for the privilege), Helensburgh brought on their big guns. M. Pendle, fresh from scoring 125 for the Royal Navy a few days previously, brought a level of class not often seen in BBC Scotland CC matches. With a score of 77no, which included 5 sixes and 9 fours, he brought the game to a rapid conclusion. Helensburgh won by 8 wickets with 37 balls to spare.

But, on a more positive note, the kit has arrived from Hong Kong.




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