Croma Vigilant Dumfries Bruised but not Battered – Cricket News

Croma Vigilant Dumfries started off the season with a hard fought but competitive away loss against Ayr. The pre match discussion for Dumfries seemed to closely resemble the plotline of an episode of Casualty with an assortment of fitness concerns that threatened to derail a season where Croma Vigilant Dumfries were looking to bounce back strongly after a tough 2016.

Ayr 258-6 v Croma Vigilant Dumfries 222 all out

Captain Stuart Corbett Byers won the toss and elected to field, with the matchball sponsored by Andersons Kilts. On a fairly green but flat wicket the dominant opening partnership of Smith and Papps got the home side off to a great start against the pace attack of Niall and Stuart Alexander, punishing the bad ball and seeing out the good deliveries in an engaging contest between batsman and bowler.

Niall finally won the battle between himself and the ex New Zealand international batsman Michael Papps, when the experience professional edged a stunning delivery behind to Corbett-Byers for 17. Croma Vigilant Dumfries landed a second blow when birthday boy Stuart Alexander demonstrated his youthful exuberance by bowling a cracking ball to bowl the Amateur Crawshaw out for a seven ball duck.

Croma Vigilant Dumfries’s dream start got even better when the Alan Davidson marked his return from injury with the wicket of Smith caught behind by Corbett-Byers. At 65-3, Croma Vigilant Dumfries were on top but weren’t able to capitalise as the Ayr Captain Andi McElnea and Vice-Captain Shujaa Khan were able to calm the Ayr innings after a rocky start and wear the field down with some sensible batting and cool runnings. The 82 run partnership was finally broken by Scott Beveridge who got McElnea out for 43.
With Wickets in hand and the pitch not offering to much for the bowlers, Ayr were able to tack on a lot more runs, with Khan after hitting his 50 upped the run rate significantly, playing more scoops than an ice cream parlour and his supporting batsman chipping in with some big hitting. As the run rate spiralled out of control, Niall Alexander was able to get his second wicket when Millar hit a high one straight to Scott Beveridge in the deep.

The vital innings of Khan was ended by David Davidson when Khan charged down for one too many and Corbett-Byers was there to dispatch of him with Ayr on 215-6. Scott McElnea and Mark Morrison came in with a few overs to spare and batted like a raging bull to pile an extra 40 runs to finish on 258/6. After such a promising start for the visitors it required a very strong batting display to pull out an opening day result.

Croma Vigilant Dumfries opened with the McBride brothers who got the innings off to a great start with some sumptuous drives and taking advantage some sloppy seam bowling from Ayr. Despite Tommy departing after getting called LBW, Robert and the returning Josh Forsyth continued their fine form from the previous week by hitting the ball to all parts of the ground putting Croma Vigilant Dumfries in a great position early on.

However, Ayr began to turn the screw by bringing on the spin attack of Leck and Andi McElnea which managed to slow down the run rate before getting Robert McBride caught by Miller for 41 with Dumfries 104-2. Two quick wickets followed with David Carlton and Alan Davidson. With Ayr threatening to snatch the innings away from Dumfries, Niall Alexander came in and batted a patient and productive innings against the spin.

Forsyth managed to secure his 50 but lost his wicket almost instantly afterwards by hitting one straight up to the Ayr Captain McElnea off the bowling of Papps to quickly turn the game in Ayr’s favour at 131-5. Corbett-Byers came in and after surviving an early appeal for a caught behind was able to get Croma Vigilant Dumfries back into the game forming a productive 62 run partnership with Alexander with the drama of the game reaching fever pitch.

However this was to be short lived as Corbett-Byers departed bowled by Scott McElnea for a 23 which led to wickets tumbling around Alexander before he finally holed out leaving his terrific 60 in vain and Dumfries all out for 222.

Whilst it was a tough defeat, there was enough promising signs throughout the game against a strong side that suggest that the visitors would be able to achieve their goal this season of being a competitive force in the WDCU Premier Division, starting next week with another away game against Prestwick

Photo: Robert McBride in action against Ayr

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