Inexperienced side loses close contest

Banchory 1st XI 170

Knightriders 171 for 7

DESPITE last Saturday’s Grades fixtures being decimated by heavy rain, the weather relented sufficiently on Sunday for this Bon Accord Cup match to be played on the artificial wicket at Harlaw Academy playing fields.

Banchory’s side consisted of only five recognised first team players but, despite this, all the players acquitted themselves well in a surprisingly close game.

For once the game was played in warm, humid conditions and the visitors got off to a blistering start.

Sam Rotheram began batting like a man possessed, ably partnered by Sunil Chikkann, and the first six overs yielded 56 runs with the free-hitting Sam hitting the unfortunate Mohan (0 for 40 in three overs) for four consecutive sixes, the longest clearing the road to Hazlehead Park!

A giant score was on the cards but, with the score on 90, Sam (58) was finally out to a very smart caught and bowled chance by Manas.

It was difficult for the following batsmen to continue this onslaught; nor did they need to, as the platform had been built for a very competitive total. But it didn’t quite work out that way.

Rahul Maheshwari (one) was bowled by Manas and, not longer after, Tim Wilkinson came to the wicket and promptly ran out Sunil (22) who looked in good touch

The danger now was that the long tail was exposed.

However, some sensible batting from the veteran, with some good support from the likes of Sam and Paul Morris (both four) and James Douglas (0), raised the score to respectability.

After Wilkinson was out for a valuable 23, a useful last wicket partnership between newcomer Noby Jacob (10) and Karan Sharma (four not out) lifted the score to 170.

For the home side Manas took five for 28 and Sony three for 20.

After tea, Banchory’s hopes were given an immediate lift when opener Rashid (four) was well caught at point by James Douglas off Sam Rotheram’s
fourth ball.

Sam Morris, at the other end, had a wayward over and had to be relaced by James Douglas, but this talented youngster should bounce back.

Rotheram’s lively pace was causing problems, and Douglas showed some promise in his short spell but, with the score on 73 for one, a change of pace was required.

Spin brought immediate dividends as Tim Wilkinson trapped Rowan (20) lbw with the dangerous Rashid (47) suffering the same fate two balls later.

The same bowler had Prem (0) smartly stumped by Sunil Chikkanna and then skipper Guru Sharma had Sony (two) edging the ball to the grateful Paul Morris in gully.

The score was now 94 for five but Knightriders now girded their batting loins and Somu (21) and, in particular, Siva (55 not out) saw the home side home with seven overs left.

Near the end, a very promising five over spell of genuine spin from Rahul Maheshwari (two for 24) underlined what a useful bowler he is becoming.

The other wicket-takers were Wilkinson (three for 37), Rotheram (one for 31) and Sharma (one for 24). A defeat, yes, but a very creditable effort by this mixed team.

The match ball was donated by Deeside Cleaners.