BBC battle to secure second successive league victory

The last time BBC Scotland CC won back to back league victories was on 23 May 2012, with a win against the Clydesdale Development XI. But this is a slightly spurious claim since the first match, against Clyde, was won by default as Clyde forfeited the match.


More significantly, the corresponding fixture played against Helensburgh at Titwood from last season occurred the week after the club’s historic win over GU Staff in the Glasgow Cup. Although there were many positives to take from the performance (Periscope of prosperity pops up against Helensburgh), the BBC lost by 17 runs.


But so far, this season has been like any other. Inspired by the leadership of Mellis and Qayyum, the team has shown desire and dedication in the field that has previously been lacking. What happened last Wednesday is testament to this.


Having won the toss, Helensburgh elected to bat. Moffat took first blood when Helensburgh skipper Barnett was caught by BBC skipper Mellis (score 8-1). The partnership that developed between Barnett’s replacement Curtis and Chambers was broken by Thomas Jose, who bowled Curtis lbw, leaving Helensburgh on 57-2. Stephens was then removed, caught and bowled, by Jose – his six runs coming from a magnificent strike that reached the far side of the hockey pitch.


The batting attack remained fairly steady, especially with the sterling efforts of Chambers, who finished the innings 53 not out, and in desperate need of a drink. But Qayyum took two quick wickets, on 99 (Kodithuwakku arachchi – expertly caught by Mishra), and 100 (Burt).


But T20 is not just about taking wickets. Baibhab Mishra bowled very tight balls and helped restrict the visitors to a final score of 123-5.


With a required run rate of just over 6 an over, the BBC knew they were in with a strong chance of another win. All was required was some sensible batting.


Perhaps giddy with excitement there was a real risk of a batting collapse. McGill was caught on the fifth ball of the innings (0-1), and Jose didn’t last long either (9-2). When Mellis was caught, with a hint of symmetry, by Helensburgh’s skipper Barnett, the side had slumped to 26-3. Victory now seemed very unlikely.


Qayyum steadied the ship slightly, scoring 29 runs off as many balls before being stumped. Collins came in to score 14 runs, which included a six which he is no doubt still savouring. Suddenly victory looked like a possibility again. It was all about supporting Mishra, who had been building a steady score. Leithead was caught for a duck, but Hines (who added three runs himself) and Murray both had more success, and by the time Mishra had reached a personal score of 47 he had taken the side’s total to 124 with two balls remaining in the innings.


With bowling figures of 4-0-10-0 and a batting score of 47*, most valued player in the match had to be Mishra, but the collective effort in the field should not be underestimated either. Saving boundaries, communicating, and getting the ball in sharply to the wicket keeper is paying dividends. Further victories are certainly possible. Whether they follow we shall have to see.

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