Musselburgh beat Kirk Brae by one wicket

MUSSELBURGH Cricket Club became joint leaders of ESCA Division 1 with a close-fought win over Kirk Brae on Saturday.

In their first game at Lewisvale this season, Burgh lost the toss and the visitors elected to bat first.

Burgh got off to a great start, dismissing both Gandhe and Hiley early in the innings. When Littlewood and Khan followed shortly after, Kirk Brae were reeling at 27-4.

Blake was trapped LBW for eight, but Qazi and Hancox patiently rebuilt for the visitors. At drinks the scoreboard showed 49-5, and Kirk Brae seemed destined to set a low total.

Despite Qazi departing for 26, and the subsequent loss of Sangster for four, Hancox batted well with the tail and made Burgh work for their wickets.

The score finally reached 100, but next ball Bukes fell for 14.

Shahzad provided some fireworks in a short but effective spell in the middle before Hancox was left stranded on 34 and the visitors set Burgh 135 for victory.

The top Burgh bowler was Raja Tufail with 3-29, with Hemant Verma and Rizwan Ullah both picking up a brace of dismissals.

After the break, Musselburgh stared cautiously and, despite losing last week’s top scorer Verma for four, they progressed steadily. Solanki contributed a nice innings of 29, but neither Ullah (9) nor Vignesh Devaraj (7) could build on promising starts. Tufail was settled, though, and batting well. Eddie Gatner provided good support, and home nerves began to settle.

Gatner was caught for 17 just before drinks, and the total of 92-5 compared well with the visitors at the same point. Vik Kumar could not add to the total, though, and when Tufail was finally bowled for a fine 44 Musselburgh needed only 14 for victory.

Debutant Rajesh Patil was bowled for a duck, and when Abdul Mohammed managed only one run, Burgh were nine down with nine runs still required.

Vice-captain Asim Ahmed remained calm and, despite the experienced Hiley being thrown the ball, he dispatched this bowler to the boundary several times in quick succession to guide his team home.

Musselburgh will hope their unbeaten start to the campaign continues when they travel to Watsonians 2nds tomorrow (Saturday).