Such has been the dominance of Edinburgh University’s indoor cricket sides in recent years that both the 1st and 2nd VI have been promoted into the Northern Premier division for the 2014-15 season.
Before being able to test themselves against the best players from the North of England, however, they launched their seasons with an all-Edinburgh clash at the National Cricket Academy at Mary Erskine School.
Any fears that an over-familiarity between the two sides would lead to a drop in quality were quickly allayed by a hostile opening over from 2nd VI opening bowler Ed Abel Smith, who seemed intent on proving he deserved a place in the 1sts by injuring as many of their batsmen as possible. It was left to opening batsmen Michael English and Elliot Foster, both club freshers playing their first indoor game for EUCC, to negotiate Abel Smith, and new-ball partner Kevin Meier, and lay the foundations for the 1st VI to push towards a strong score.
Both English and Foster used the pace on the ball to find gaps in the field, steadily accumulating without risk or undue uncertainty. Indeed, the 1st VI reached 60 from five overs with only one six and one four being struck. Foster was the first to reach the retirement mark of 25 with a boundary off Nandesh Patel although he was quickly followed by English.
These two retirements brought captain Leo Glover and Siddanth Prasad to the crease, the latter another player new to the club and to this format.
The momentum of the innings slowed here to a degree, catalysed by tight 2nd VI bowling and inventive field placings from skipper Rob Taylor. Both Glover and Prasad ran themselves out for single figures due to this pressure but some ill-disciplined death bowling and some frantic running from Tom Pratt and Will Blease saw Edinburgh 1st VI post 133-2 from their ten overs.
This total appeared to be insufficient, however, as Taylor and Duncan Anderson put on 45 for the first wicket from just four overs. Taylor especially seemed in a hurry to finish the game as he took 20 runs off one over from Pratt, including a flat-batted six that oozed impudence.
His run out in the following over, however, changed the game and from there the 2nd VI lost wickets with regularity, subsiding from 45-0 off five overs to 68-5 from seven.
Foster and Prasad both picked up two wickets, the latter’s tally of 2-14 from his two overs of leg-spin on debut particularly impressive.
That proved to be the game won for the 1st VI, although Kevin Meier did ensure the onlooking gallery would be entertained until the last with an exhilarating 49* in the last four overs. Incredibly, he hit two fours and a six from Blease, an onslaught that pushed the 2nd VI up to 108 all out with one ball of the innings remaining.
It was a remarkable effort from Meier and did prove that with a little bit more composure in the middle- order, the 2nd VI could have had a chance of chasing the target down.
This was not to be, however, and the 1st VI can be very pleased with the fact that they avoided a potential upset and will travel to Durham in February on top of the Northern division.