HIBS won the toss and elected to bat on what appeared to be a hard, consistent wicket. The openers, Nikunj Patel and Logan Slee started off cautiously, but built a strong partnership of 46 off 11.4 overs before Slee was bowled by Scot’s first-change bowler looking to drive. In came Rachin, and Nikunj and him put on a positive partnership of 23 before Nikunj was dismissed in the 17th over for 20, with HIBS at 69-2. A couple of wickets fell cheaply in the next 3 overs (Joe Foote, 0, and Jesse Tashkoff, 8, respectively) to leave HIBS teetering at 88-4.
In next was Adam Webster, who after a slow start to the season, returned to form with a grinding 22 off 47 in tandem with Rachin, who made it look all too easy. They appeared to be cruising and were scoring at a strong strike rate until in the 28th over, Rachin was strangled down the leg-side to Benson Wilde for 39 to leave HIBS at 125-5 and bring to an end a partnership of 37 off 48 deliveries from Rachin and Adam. HIBS needed a strong performance from the middle order and with a team batting right through to number 11, we were confident of making a strong total. However, a spell of bowling from Wilde, who found some movement in the pitch deep into the first innings, changed the complexion of the game by removing 3 batsman (D Blair, 6, T Simpson, 0, and A Webster, 22) for only 5 runs.
This left HIBS struggling with their “tail” in at just 146-8. Caleb Hewson and Nathan Watt came to the crease with HIBS in trouble and Scots ready to finish off the tail. By the time Hewson was out for 10, HIBS were 207-9 off 47.3 and in an excellent position to defend the total in the return innings. Their partnership of 61 off about 12 overs was a crucial moment in the victory for HIBS and left the boys confident at lunch. Nathan subsequently got out the next over, looking to increase the run-rate towards the latter overs and score some late runs, leaving HIBS all out for 208 off 48.2 overs, a satisfactory but not dominant performance in the first half of the game. The boys built a few good partnerships on a decent wicket and managed to regain control after losing clumps of wickets at points throughout the innings.
In the second innings, HIBS picked up 3 wickets in the first 15 overs (One each to Tyler, Nathan and Rachin) to put us firmly in control with Scots 29-3. Scots struggled with the run-rate pressure, and when a Ravindra/McComb tandem bowled 4 straight maidens, through tight bowling lines and some sharp fielding, the pressure began to tell. Scots stumbled to 95-9, with small contributions from B Soper and E Western. The boys were sharp in the field for the most part, making Scots work for their runs and forcing them to take more risks. A last wicket partnership of 35 restored some respect to the Scots innings but HIBS were to be comfortable victors, bowling out Scots for 130 to win by 78 runs and make it two-in-a-row for us in Prem One.
In his first game for the HIBS 1st XI, Nick Mcfadyen had an excellent bowling spell, bowling a reasonably consistent line & length and finishing off his first over with a wicket, bowling E Western with a full delivery. The wickets were typically spread among the HIBS bowlers, with everyone contributing to the excellent second innings defense. The opening bowlers, Tyler and Nathan both took a wicket each and bowled very good lines in the first 10 overs to the Scots openers.
The left-arm spinners, Rachin and Jesse, took two wickets apiece on a turning wicket to rip through the middle-order. Mcfadyen bowled 2 batsman to cap off a fantastic debut for the team, bowling figures of 6 overs, 19-2. Matt McComb bowled an incredibly tight spell to go for only 11 runs off his 10 overs, heavily increasing the run-rate pressure on the Scots batsman and ultimately leading to a flow of wickets. Tashkoff also had a fine day in the field, making two excellent run outs, including the Scots opening batsman, S Gandhi.
Overall, a great win for the boys and a satisfactory performance. Making it two wins in a row and leaving us in 5th place in Premier One with 12 points, 4 points off the top 4 with 2 rounds to go in the first half of the season. Next Fixture: Well Coll 1st XI @ HIBS 1
Match Report: Daniel Blair