The indoor cricket season kicked off last week in Edinburgh with the Seagulls winning one and losing one. The results mean that victories in their next round of fixtures are essential if the dream of becoming BUCS indoor and outdoor champions is to be kept alive.
A group of seven players made the journey south for the indoor cricketing bonanza. The first game of the day was to be played against Dundee. St Andrews lost the toss and were asked to bowl on a pitch that looked to offer very little for the bowlers. With negligible cloud cover and the central heating on full blast it looked likely to be a tough ten overs in the field for the St Andrews boys. However, not disheartened by these setbacks, the Seagulls took to the field with aplomb, confident that they could make a good start. Fresher Gus Portig ran into bowl with pace and hostility and initially it looked as though Dundee could be easily restricted. However after a slow start the Dundee top two started laying the foundations of a formidable total. The captain turned to his spins options in the wake of this development and was richly awarded. Angus Berry and James Earnshaw with a wicket apiece steadied the scoring and wrestled the momentum back.However, batting on a flat wicket the Dundee tail countered. With the final over of the innings going for 20 runs, Dundee ended on a very reasonable 114.
In response St Andrews made a confident start with James Earnshaw smoking the ball to all corners of the room at a career high strike rate of 70. However wickets fell at regular intervals and the responsibility of steadying the ship fell to club stalwarts George Robinson and John Lowe. This they did well and at one point it seemed as though St Andrews would romp to victory. Unfortunately a couple of quick wickets slowed the scoring and with two new batsman at the crease St Andrews needed 18 to win off the last over. After some bizarre running between the wickets the equation for victory became 11 off two balls and it seemed as though the game was lost. However two lusty blows later St Andrews had pulled off an unlikely victory and there were high fives all round on the balcony.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked and no sooner had the Seagulls left the playing vicinity, they were walking back onto it with Aberdeen providing the opposition on this occasion. Flushed with their previous success, St Andrews thought nothing of being ask to bowl again on a pitch that, like the one before it, was essentially a road. Robert Chadwick toiled to little avail whilst the technically questionable Aberdeen top order began forging a daunting total. St Andrews once again decided to take pace off the ball and this seemed to do the trick. After an outrageous one handed snare by John Lowe on the boundary it momentarily appeared as though Aberdeen were ready to collapse without batting out their allotted overs. This was wishful thinking as once again the Seagulls struggled to quell the tide of lower order runs and Aberdeen finished on 119.
The St Andrews response never got off the ground. With Fresher Kit Betley being castled in the second over of the innings. No player managed to get going and so the asking rate steadily increased throughout the innings. There was to be no lower order heroics on this occasion and instead the tail collapsed with barely a whimper.
And so, St Andrews left with the sour taste of defeat in their mouths. Whilst defeat is a setback, it does not mark the end for the Seagulls indoors. Some big fixtures in February will no doubt be targeted to get the campaign back on track.