Cricket is not meant to be played in a temperature of six degrees, but despite the wintry conditions Banchory’s opening pre-season friendly proved an exciting fixture with the home side winning with two balls to spare.
Banchory CC is in the stage of transition having lost near-on a dozen quality players due to work commitments, and this match was a chance to look at some of the newcomers as well a chance to blood some of the budding youngsters.
The Aberdeen side raced to an impressive 151 for 2 off only 21 overs thanks to four hard hitting knocks from Arul (40), Pehlaj (26), Karthik (35) and the impressive Jonathan Davey (48).
At times the home fielding and bowling was raw, ragged and occasionally over-enthusiastic, understandable since it was the first time some players had experienced Scottish conditions, but gradually they forced their way back in to the match with Sean Hicks taking a remarkable 7 for 18 in just five overs and Grammar collapsed to a final total of 206.
Itaz Virk bowled impressively though he only took one wicket, and Sandy Richards’ promising spin gained a late wicket.
Banchory’s reply after a much needed warming cup of tea was the obverse of Grammar’s in that whereas the Aberdeen side began their innings at a rate of knots and slowed down drastically, Banchory began stolidly and accelerated in the last ten overs.
Sean Hicks (8) and Khartik (11) saw off the first ten overs for 31 but were out almost together, soon followed by Rahul (2).
However, the moment Itaz Virk came to the wicket he looked confident and in command and it was he who was instrumental in seeing Banchory over the winning line.
He couldn’t have done it without partners, though. Ashish (17) struck the ball very well and is one to watch, Zac Crawley (10) also gave Virk good support but it was the unlikely figure of 13-year-old Jamie Richards, playing in his first adult match, whose astonishing 33 surprised even his own parents.
Meanwhile Virk (90 not out) was hitting the ball to all parts and victory came with just two balls remaining.
Terrible conditions for cricket but a good winning start for the Burnett Park side.
The Deeside club is still looking to recruit cricketing enthusiasts of all ages to its teams and training throughout the summer months. Banchory Cricket Club runs two teams in the Aberdeen Cricket Association, and also two junior teams. Playing at Burnett Park, the club has excellent facilities and a number of qualified coaches.
Anyone interested in joining the club, with or without previous experience, should contact Kath Richards on 07818 420735.