Close Finish in Friendly Match
By David Hinchliffe
West come out winners thanks to fine innings from Kevin Singh.
There was a healthy friendly feel in the air at Hamilton Crescent on Sunday for the visit of Glasgow University; a side featuring six West of Scotland players in a 12 a-side contest. A gentlemen’s agreement at the toss saw West bowl first on a seam friendly surface after the liberal April rains.
Sujeet Roul and Graeme Etheridge shared the new ball for West with some probing lines, but Rob Corner (opening for GUCC) was quick onto anything short on the soft surface. In a tactical master stroke, a second slip was put in for the other opener Harvey who proceeded to edge one straight into Karthik Sankaran's waiting hands off Etheridge.
Etheridge had his second shortly after when Corner bunted a full toss back to the bowler for a sharp catch after a well made 31. Through the middle overs Liam Howgate probed away up the hill picking up 3 useful wickets for 16 off 6, finding good areas on the helpful surface.
Will Hunt, Karan Roul and Nakul Jain all made useful contributions.
GUCC struck up a very useful partnership between Kinshuk Bhardwaj (53) and Hamish Rathborne (35) which saw the visitors threaten a score surpassing 200. West manage to stem the flow through the returning Etheridge and skipper Duncan Sutherland, the latter getting Rathborne with a strangle down leg - thanks to the excellent footwork of stand in keeper Richard Wing - and then Bhardwaj with a top edge caught well by Manmeet Singh Kaneja.
Etheridge (3-31 from 8) picked up a further wicket and West were left with 200 to win.
In reply Sutherland went early, top edging a pull to fine leg off Kanukolanu, bringing Kevin Singh to the crease with Sankaran. The Kev-Singh-cover-drive™️ was soon in full flow.
Sankaran supported well and together they amassed 74 runs taking West to 90, before Sankaran went for 23 after drinks, caught off the bowling of Corner, having removed the gloves to have a bowl!
There were unusual scenes as a wild throw hit the keepers helmet gaining the hosts five penalty runs, which would go on to prove costly.
Richard Wing looked good with Singh until some “experimental” bowling saw him inside edge a would-be wide which yorked him on the second bounce. He then kicked onto his stumps in an effort to deflect the ball away.
Cricket was not the winner.
Rizwan Shah then joined Singh who passed 50. Shah struck some good blows to the leg side and west looked to be cruising home. However, when Shah was run out and another wicket fell in the same over things looked less certain. Singh reasserted authority with a beguiling Masala Twist Maximum over long on for the short of the day.
Etheridge made a run a ball 8 before being bowled by Corner for his 3rd scalp of the day. Howgate came in in the penultimate over and between him and Singh, West made it home with 4 balls to spare.
A great contest played in good spirit.
Kev "Finisher" Singh surely the man of the match for his superb and unbeaten 85