Hawick and Wilton

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Heartache as Hawick fall 2 runs short vs Edin Acci

Phil MacTaggart , 2 July 2018 10:08

Edinburgh Accies 2nds v Hawick & Wilton

 

Edinburgh Accies 2nds 227 for 7

Hawick & Wilton 225 all out

Edinburgh Accies win by 2 runs

 

For the second week running Hawick & Wilton fell to an agonisingly close defeat as they came up 2 runs short of Edinburgh Accies formidable total of 227.

On a glorious day in the capital, the artificial wicket and lightning fast outfield ensured a tough day for bowlers and plenty of runs on offer for the batsmen.

With skipper Ronan Alexander on holiday, Phil MacTaggart was in charge but lost the toss with Accies electing to bat first. With little help from the wicket and not much movement in the air, the visitors struggled to make a breakthrough.

It eventually came when Gareth Welsh took a smart catch off Gary Alexander’s bowling. Alexander and Stuart Chalmers were bowling tightly especially the latter making a welcome return to a Hawick shirt.

Bowling for the first time in three years, the former Scotland cap took two wickets and was just starting to crank up a gear or two when he suffered a hamstring injury in his fifth over. He was unable to bowl again which was a major blow to the Buccleuch Park side. Chalmers only conceded 9 runs in his 4.5 overs whereas those who filled in the other 3.1 overs went for 32.

Accies then started to up the run rate. Even at 30 overs though, they were only 119 for 3. From this point they started to pepper the boundary with a series of late sixes shooting their final total up to 227.

Hawick were faced with breaking 200 for the first time this season if they were to secure victory. After the early loss of Declan Solley, opening partner Alexander senior departed for 11.

Stuart Hair (24), Phil MacTaggart (29) and Euan Hair (18) made useful contributions but were all disappointed to get out when each was just starting to get going.  However, they ensured the run rate was good and laid a solid platform albeit Accies were in a slightly stronger position at this point.

A fantastic partnership of 96 then developed between Evan Alexander and Ryan Johnston which firmly swung the advantage in the Hawick side’s favour. Batting with great maturity, some excellent shot selection and execution they pushed their side well ahead of the required run rate.

Even the loss of Johnston for a superb 35 was mitigated by the arrival of Chalmers at the crease with the assistance of a runner. He and Alexander continued to push their team towards victory. Alas Alexander edged one behind after a mature innings full of clean hitting and three sixes, one huge strike off his hips being particularly memorable. He fell for 61, his maiden League 50 for Hawick, and there is surely more to come from the 17-year-old wicketkeeper.

Morgan Tait quickly followed but with Chalmers still at the crease Hawick remained favourites although when he was bowled for 16 the pressure turned onto youngsters Gareth Welsh and Justin Tait.

They took Hawick to three runs of victory when Welsh was bowled off the last ball of the 39th over sparking wild celebrations from Accies who were joined by members of their first XI who had finished their match on the adjoining pitch.

It was evident the pressure the Teries had put on Accies when the home team attempted to have the 38th over bowled by F Hussain who had already completed his eight over spell. Whilst Accies captain attempted to influence the scorers, Hawick rightfully held firm and refused to buckle to such practices.

This was an even harder pill to swallow than the week before for Hawick as they had worked so hard, and played so well, to get themselves into a winning position against a very challenging total. They must not look back on the pain of defeat but on the quality of their performance and the fact they have pushed the top two teams in the League to the limit. This predominantly young team can undoubtedly improve and develop further when such performances will be rewarded with victory.

 

Link to scorecard: http://www.eastleague.org.uk/fixtures/division-3/