West/Hillhead Team Start Campaign
By David Hinchliffe
Away win at Ayr.
On a glorious May Sunday, Hillhead/West Dev XI made their inaugural debut as a joint team, taking on an Ayr Development XI at Cambusdoon.
Upon Ayr’s decision to insert the opposition, Hillhead/West got off to a solid start, with Jack Holland and Keshev Soni (both Hillhead) scoring freely on what appeared to be an extremely good wicket to bat. Holland was the lynchpin of the innings, and scored a brilliant 146* in an imposing 264-6 from 40 overs.
After a couple of quick wickets inside the first 10 overs, there were other good contributions from Ross Wilson and vice-captain Ayub Khan), who both played positively, with an array of scoring shots around the wicket – and helped support Holland to reach his ton.
After tea, "WestEnd" took to the field. The new team searched for the first wicket that frustratingly eluded them early on.
The introduction of Robbie Walsh led to success, with the young seam bowler trapping the opener leg before. However, first team player Bhandari was playing a classy innings, and was joined by overseas Amateur Singh, who looked nervy early on, but soon was scoring quickly and putting pressure back on the bowlers.
Walsh and off-spinner Piash Khan bowled tightly in the middle overs to well-set fields, with Ayr were still behind the asking rate at the halfway stage (20 overs) but the opposition realised that quick wickets had to be taken.
A partnership of over 100 was developing and crucially Jack Holland dismissed the amateur (immediately after a very close run-out call) and then took another in the same over.
A quick mention to Gordan Bratt - who bowled very admirably to two well-set batsman in a crucial period of the innings. Promising signs from this young team!
Howgate then got rid of Bhandari shortly after reaching his hundred, as Hillhead/West took control of the game after the 30 over mark. With the rate increasingly climbing, Hillhead/West continued to maintain high standards even as the game looked a certain victory. Sutherland displayed excellent control alongside with a variety of slower balls to ensure the lower-middle order had to work hard to score off him. Marriott entered the attack in the final four overs, with more than 60 still required and looked promising, and will certainly be used more in future games. The day was rounded off by a wonderful reflex catch at leg-slip by Holland off Marriott off the last ball of the game.
In the end, Hillhead/West were comfortable victors by 48 runs against a strong Development XI opposition. Our thanks to Ayr for their hospitality and providing a wonderful wicket where over 500 runs were scored in the day.