Merv-ellous performance!

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Crathie CC experienced the bitter taste of defeat as a Merv Hughes’ Tribute XI came to Balmoral.

Resplendent in baggie green caps, the Mervs fielded first and quickly had Crathie in difficulty as Baker and Halkon ripped apart the top order.

Sliding from 10-3 to just 40-7, Crathie were in danger of being trounced as the Mervs took a number of outstanding catches to back-up a tight bowling display.

However, number nine Mick Bestwick (27) and last man Bob McAra (35*) showed the top order how to do it as they hit the ball to all corners, including a number of towering sixes, and the innings closed on a competitive 126-9 from 30 overs.

After a tea interval which featured pork sandwiches, a wide selection of freshly-baked pies and red wine the Mervs could have been forgiven for making a sluggish start, however the opening pair began quite brightly, putting on 34 runs before Taylor fell for eight in the ninth over.

His partner Keyte was next to go, for a spirited 26, before Gough and then Walker fell cheaply and the Mervs were 60-4 after 16 overs.

With the game in the balance it was Halkon who played the decisive innings of the day, forging partnerships with Gaca (15) and Baker (23*) before he was finally dismissed for a fluent and stylish 34.

By this time the result was nigh-on secure and the Mervs soon sealed the win by four wickets with more than three overs remaining.

Pick of the Crathie bowlers was that man McAra again, who purloined a wily 2-15 from six overs.

At the conclusion of the match there was a short presentation where the Mervs’ skipper Pete Breakwell presented Crathie CC captain Andy Shore with a commemorative cap to hang in the Crathie Pavilion and Andy Halkon was named Merv of the Match.

Match summary

Balmoral, Sunday August 4

Crathie CC 126-9 (30 overs)

B McAra 35*, M Bestwick 27 A Baker 3-8, M Freely 2-10

The Mervs 127-6 (26.2 overs)

A Halkon 34, S Keyte 26, A Baker 23* B McAra 2-15, C Bell 2-17

The Merv Hughes’ Tribute XI won by four wickets.