The Edinburgh University Men’s Indoor Cricket 2st XI produced a poor first opening display of 2015 in the Cricket Scotland Media 6s tournament. This is an event that they have enjoyed a good deal of recent success in, and as such their two defeats to Stuart Melville Royal High and Stenhousemuir CC were certainly a bitter surprise to the team.
Recent departures from the playing squad have meant that it was an inexperienced XI at the disposal of Captain Leo Glover, who decided to field first against SMRH. Ill-discipline with the ball, coupled with the extremely penal indoor playing regulations meant that SMRH reached 138-3 from their eight overs, all three wickets coming from run outs.
This was always going to prove a testing chase but openers Michael English and David Braithwaite ensured that EUCC got off to a powerful start. But once Braithwaite reached the compulsory retirement point of 25 not out, Edinburgh lost four wickets for only 40 runs as the chase fell away. These wickets meant that Braithwaite was able to return to the crease for the final eight balls, with an unlikely 37 still needed. He produced a devastating display of clean hitting however, striking the back wall five times to finish 68 not out. Edinburgh came up just five runs short of their target, and Braithwaite will have been left wondering what more he could have done.
In their following fixture against Stenhousemuir, Edinburgh once again fielded first, determined to make up for their lacklustre previous efforts. Left arm fast bowler Will Blease found an early breakthrough, but after that more inaccurate bowling allowed Stenhousemuir to post 115-3 from their allotted overs.
This time English was the more composed of the opening pair, reaching 25 not out in a typically untroubled and classy manner. Braithwaite could not replicate his form from the previous game, running himself out after a mix up with Glover. From that point the middle order once again failed to gain any momentum and Edinburgh were left once again facing a huge last over target.This time Tom Pratt and Siddanth Prasad could only scramble 18 of the required 25 runs, and Edinburgh once again came up marginally short.
There still remains a good deal of fixtures in this competition for Edinburgh to improve on their skills and arrest this slump, but with other challenging BUCS appointments to come in the Northern Premier, these results certainly do not augur well. The form of the opening pair was notable, however, so if their standards can be matched elsewhere in the group, then there is little reason why Edinburgh cannot return to their remarkably high indoor standards of recent years.