The auld enemy arrive

Sam Page
Sam Page

It’s not often that a Scotland-England match in any sport is staged in the douce environment of Pollokshields.

Last week, there were three such matches, at Clydesdale Cricket Club’s Titwood venue, between Scotland’s under-18 cricketers, and England’s Development XI, who were under 17.

Scotland’s youngsters — including Danial Choudhry of Poloc and Sam Page of Clydesdale — are preparing for next year’s under-19 cricket world cup. This was an ideal series of 50-overs-a-side games at the tail end of the season, to assist the selectors in assessing which players are ready for top-level competitive cricket.

With rain clouds swirling round the ground, it was a source of wonder than any cricket could be played at all.

But thanks to groundsman Cyril McLatchie and his team of volunteers only one match — the middle one — had to seek recourse to the Duckworth-Lewis method of achieving a result.

The first game saw the Scots dismiss England for a modest 196, with all-rounder Sam Page among the tail-end wickets with a haul of 3-32.

But the Scottish batting failed to cope with some fiery England fast bowling — Page the leading batsman with a fighting half-century out of a poor total of 130 all out.

Young Page was again showing the way for Scotland in the truncated second game. He again top-scored, this time with 31 not out, as the Scots strove to reach the revised target of 186 from 27 overs, falling short by 30 runs.

But it was a different game altogether in the third match, after the Scots won the toss and elected to bat first in sunny conditions.

They posted a total of 222 — Page completing a good week with the bat, scoring 21.

England’s reply got off to a good start, but faltered at crucial stages, before they were all out for 190, giving the Scots victory by 32 runs.

Meanwhile, as rain continued to plague the national league in its closing stages, both Greaves Clydesdale and NVT Poloc were defeated in the final end-of-season play-offs.

Clydesdale finished in eighth place in the Premiership table, but Poloc will be disappointed at finishing third in the Championship after a poor showing in the last few weeks of the sodden summer.