Banchory 1sts faced a tough challenge last Saturday when they travelled to King’s College to face league leaders St Ronald, and it was a match in which they emerged with a great deal of credit but let themselves down in the bowling department.
St Ronald have gained a reputation for being an aggressive, lippy side who can rile the opposition and that was the case at the start.
The visitors batted first and immediately lost a wicket when Carl Counsell edged a Pandit ball to first slip who took a spectacular catch.
The sledging, particularly from Adarsh fielding at point, was an irritation but by the tenth over the skill of Banchory’s batting was beginning to silence the comments.
From 0 for 1 the score steamed ahead to a very respectable 87 for 1 due to a fine partnership between the initially tentative Sunil Chikkanna (30) and the powerful Sam Rotheram who smashed any faintly loose deliveries to all parts.
What the opposition didn’t realise was that the Englishman had tweaked a back muscle early on and had to disguise his growing discomfort.
The St Ronald pace attack was the fastest and most experienced for a while but it was tamed quite quickly.
Rotheram (76) had a number of partners who supported him briefly : Itaz Virk (14), Sean Hicks (10) and Tim Wilkinson (11).
The last foolishly ran out Rotheram but other batsmen had useful cameos towards the end especially Ashish Thakur (16), skipper Guru Sharma (9 not out) and Sam Morris (7 not out).
Banchory’s total of 188 for 9 off 45 overs had silenced St Ronald and given the visitors a tremendous boost. Adarsh (4 for 30) proved to be the home side’s most effective bowler.
However, Banchory’s fortunes nosedived after tea.
Things began swimmingly when opening bowler Thakur had dangerous opener Imran (0) caught behind by Sunil Chikkanna.
The quick bowler then had Iqhlaq (21) caught by James Stirling off a rank full toss. The bowler was showing signs of waywardness and his fourth over proved a disaster: for the record the over lasted 15 balls, including 9 wides, a 6 and a 4. Probably the longest over ever bowled by a Banchory player. Ashish was distraught and he will bounce back, but St Ronald had been gifted 39 runs in just 2 overs.
It was difficult for Banchory to regain control after this but they kept plugging away: Itaz Virk (0 for 27) bowled well without any luck as did Tim Wilkinson (0 for 29), but wickets went to James Stirling (1 for 27), Guru Sharma (1 for 19) and the promising Sam Morris (2 for 17).
Banchory did well to reduce St Ronald to 189 for 6 at the end but there were still 14 overs left, a measure of how quickly St Ronald scored. For the home side Asif (48) and Indy Pandit (37) batted with great power.
St Ronald 2nds are almost stronger than their 1st team which is an odd situation to be in.
Saturday’s match ball was donated by Brian Sith, Funeral directors.