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Qayyum the Ali-cat hits half-ton at Helensburgh


The grey and dismal weather at Ardencaple was a portent of the BBC’s fortunes last night in their league match against Helensburgh. Struggling for numbers, it was always going to be a difficult match for the visiting side. Fortunate enough to win the toss, the BBC elected to bat first – an advantageous decision based on the presence of just six BBC players as the match started.

 

Mellis (13) and Blane (10) made a necessarily cautious and conservative start to the batting. Blane was bowled by Batty in the fifth over, and replaced by Qayyum. Not known for his half-measures Qayyum (54) came out attacking, though played some very sensible cricket, setting himself up for a long stand at the crease. Though it should be noted that a new nickname of “Ali-cat” might well be in order given the number of times he was dropped. With the middle-order offering little resistance, and the lower order failing to fire, the half-century that Qayyum scored constituted over half the team’s final total of 103-8. It is a shame that Leithead (1) returned to his old ways of slashing without moving his feet, leaving Moffat not out without having had the privilege of facing a single ball.

 

Defeat seemed inevitable. A depleted field against a side that has proved in the past its’ capability of scoring runs against the BBC would need to work hard, especially since the required run-rate was 5.2. But this is exactly what they did. For the first eleven overs the Helensburgh batsmen stayed just ahead of the run-rate, but some excellent bowling from Mishra particularly (4-0-10-0) pinned them back. An unfortunate six in Moffat’s second over took them ahead once again. It is worth noting, however, that in their entire innings, the Helensburgh batsmen managed only two sixes and four fours. But in a game where the margins were so tight these boundaries proved expensive.

 

At the end of the eighteenth over the scores were level. Only a miracle could save the BBC now. That miracle did not come. The dubious honour of bowling the nineteenth over was presented to Leithead, who hit for an impressive four off the second ball of the over, and Helensburgh had won with seven wickets and ten balls in hand.

 

Despite the depleted numbers, the BBC battled hard. Qayyum, Moffat, and Jose all took a wicket each, and the fielding remained very tight. With two league matches left in the season, a third victory for the BBC should be achievable.




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