After the great effort shown by the team last week, Fraserburgh’s players will not be happy with the manner of their defeat this week, as Crescent eventually strolled to a comfortable win by 127 runs.
Captain Mark Ironside was in the squad for his first appearance of the season, and this was accompanied by another first as Fraserburgh won the toss for the first time this year and chose to bowl.
It was clear from the off that Fraserburgh were up against it, Crescent’s batsmen starting aggressively.
With quick scoring generally comes wickets though, and this proved true as Fraser Lawrance followed up an edge by bowling the batsman for his 100th wicket for Fraserburgh. It wasn’t long before he took his 101st either, an edge this time coming back onto the stumps.
Fraserburgh were still conceding too many runs, the batsmen scoring more than 4 per over, but Lawrance took his third and final wicket of the innings to give them some momentum. That, backed up with two quick wickets by Alan Rennie and another from Paul O’Neill left questions being asked of Crescent’s batsmen, who didn’t look like lasting much longer.
At this point, in the 18th over, Crescent were 72-6 and it wasn’t a given that they would even reach 100.
But that was the turning point. Despite seemingly having all the momentum, the 7th wicket partnership was frustrating the bowlers. Vickram in particular was enjoying a tremendous period, reaching a total of 77 individually including 8 fours and 5 sixes.
Eventually though, Rennie made the breakthrough in the 39th over with the score on 162.
Unfortunately any fears Crescent’s tail end might have had disappeared with the efforts of their predecessors, as shown by the two consecutive sixes hit off Chris Gospel’s bowling in the next over. Even with that setback it was only a mixed over, after a second run out in as many weeks from Bryan Ritchie.
Two good catches from Ironside and Lawrance from the bowling of Rennie and O’Neill respectively ended the innings, but too late for the Fraserburgh players’ liking as they were set a total of 208 to chase down for the victory.
Cory Bowie and Michael Watson opened the batting for Fraserburgh, knowing that in order to win, a quick-scoring, lengthy partnership would be needed, and they did start with some purpose.
Watson hit a 6 early on and was looking to play his shots from the moment he started, but the warning signs were there. Bowie – the focal point of most of Fraserburgh’s innings this season – was dropped before he had the chance to make an impact on the scoring, but again survived only to see others fall around him.
Watson was bowled attempting to play a big shot, and he was quickly followed by Garry and Paul O’Neill. That left the remaining batsmen playing for a draw even in the early stages of their innings. Bowie was picking his shots and scoring well, but he needed to build a partnership, and no-one was sticking around long enough to do so. The captain Ironside fell for 7, and the vice-captain Lawrance fell for a duck not long after.
When Rana Uppal was trapped lbw for just 2, it was realistically just a matter of time. Top-scoring Bowie’s departure for 32 was critical, and it didn’t take long for the rest to fall. Rennie and Ritchie each departed for ducks, leaving Gospel on 4 as the sole survivor as Fraserburgh lost by 127 runs.
A promising start with the ball was undone by a quality performance by one or two Crescent batsmen, the inability of the bowlers to close the innings out and the failure of the Fraserburgh batsmen to score runs. Their over-dependency on Cory Bowie – he has scored 43% of Fraserburgh’s total league runs - was apparent, and it is something that they will need to reduce if they want to be successful over the course of the season.