It was “Bothwell Castle Policies” for thrills today, as Shawholm sneaked home, with just one wicket in hand, against hosts Bothwell in a low-scoring affair. Set just 86 to win, the run-chase would go to the wire, James Cathcart, Shawholm’s number eleven, being called up to pull a Jahanzeb delivery through mid-wicket in the 30th over to seal the win. Just. And Cathcart was needed after a batting collapse by his team-mates that had mirrored what had happened in the first innings. That innings had seen Bothwell skittled out for just 85, Aasim Khurshid doing most of the damage early on when he cleaned up the hosts’ top three batters. 38 for 3. Saad Salim (2 for 8), Anil Roy (2 for 6), and Hasan Rafiq (2 for 12) then each taking a brace as only two Bothwell batters got in to double figures. 20 runs in extras boosted the dismal home batting display to see some sort of respectability applied to the total. 85 all out inside 25 overs; 86 to win.
But then a second batting collapse. Actually it was worse. 17 for 3 worse. Then 25 for 5! Five of the top six Shawholm batters had failed to reach 7, and it would be left to skipper Rafiq (25) to claw his side back in to the contest. Salim (10) gave him some support, but neither could see their side home. And so it was to that dramatic ending. Fahid Iqbal (1), faced 25 deliveries, but would also depart, leaving last pair – Shehroz Hussain and Cathcart – to try and secure the win. And they did just that, Cathcart holding his nerve, and pulling a short delivery from Jahanzeb to get across the winning line. Again, just! [Scorecard]