Hawick and Wilton’s strength in depth in the batting department, coupled with another fine bowling performance, saw them record a narrow victory at home to Musselburgh on Saturday.
Home skipper Lee Stewart won the toss, and Stewart himself and the returning Neil Storey opened the bowling in fantastic style, with the latter claiming the first two wickets with pacey deliveries.
After 12 overs the score had reached two for 16, at which point Stuart Hair replaced Storey and put on a display of fast, aggressive bowling.
Alexander took over at the college end and duly bowled the long-standing Burgh opener. Mackenzie (43) was holding Musselburgh’s batting line-up together, but when Hartop claimed his wicket to a good catch by Storey, the scoring again slowed.Storey returned to claim two further wickets and return four for eight, while the visitors reached 103 from their 40 overs.
Chasing only 104, victory seemed a formality for Hawick, but Gemmil, in particular, caused havoc with flighted spin mixed with fast dart- like deliveries, removing Moffat with the score only on four.
Alexander and Solley steadied the ship until both were bowled by Miller on 24. Gemmil then removed Hartop with a flighted slider which saw the keeper pull off a stumping.
Hawick’s all too familiar batting collapse was again upon them as Phil Mactaggart and Stewart were both bowled with less than half the total scored.
Again Hair was the glue in the middle order, recording a hard-hitting run a ball 29. But when he, then Storey, were removed Hawick’s chances looked grim.
With only two wickets remaining and 30 runs still required, seasoned campaigners Bruce Mactaggart and Craig Macdougall both batted securely to see the home team to within 20 of victory, until disaster almost struck twice in fourballs – with Macdougall after a drive to long on, the batsman attempted a second run only to be sent back where a full length diving slide saw him safely home.
Then Mactaggart (9 not out) survived a dropped chance from a powerful shot.
With only 13 runs needed, Musselburgh turned to their fastest bowler Ahmed in an increasingly desperate attempt to take Hawick’s last two wickets.
Macdougall (19 not out) met fire with fire, though, as he first hooked a short ball to long leg for four, then unfurled a thunderous pull shot for six to mid wicket, before ensuring a Hawick victory with another hard-struck boundary to square leg.
n Hawick’s Border League campaign has again been delayed, following a frustrating cancellation by Selkirk who were unable to raise a team for Sunday’s match.