After two consecutive draws Banchory 1st XI got back to winning ways last Saturday by doing the double over lowly Academy.
The game was played in the wide open spaces of the Aberdeen links on a dry, breezy day and the home side were put in to bat.
Banchory had the rare luxury of opening the bowling with the two Crawley brothers and Josh and Zac were an impressive partnership from the off, taming the aggression of skipper Majeed (8) and the normally accomplished Karthik (8).
The former was the first to fall, victim of of a good diving catch by Sam Rotheram in the slips off Zac’s fifth over and Karthik was bowled by a beauty from Kushal Ghuwalewala.
An annoying partnership then developed between Abinav (34) and Adnan (45) - annoying because both decided to take the aerial route in relatively unaccomplished fashion, but kept managing, somehow, to avoid the fielders.
Eventually a short four over spell of pace from Sam Rotheram accounted for the wicket of Abinav, beautifully yorked by the Englishman.
Adnan soon followed when he was smartly caught behind by Sunil Chikkana off Zac Crawley. Academy were 80 for 4 but, as in the earlier game at Banchory, the lack of depth in their batting meant a collapse was on the cards, and so it happened.
Tim Wilkinson (2 for 11) tied up one end and in the course of his long career experienced a first - a batsman being clean bowled and being given not out, allegedly because the wicket-keeper touched the stumps with his gloves, which was complete news to him.
Anyway, after words were said an international incident was averted, but the decision left a bitter taste in the mouth. Wilkinson and Zac Crawley mopped up the tail and Academy were all out for 139.
Zac finished impressively with figures of 5 for 45 while his older brother Josh, who perhaps bowled better but without the rewards took 1 for 31. Ghuwalewala took 1 for 30 and Rotheram 1 for 15.
As in last week’s game against Queens Cross Banchory’s start was a stuttering affair. Sunil Chikkana (4) mishit a full toss to midwicket, Sean Hicks (9) was the victim of a superb slower ball by Karthik, Ashish Thakur was bowled for a brief but whirlwind 14, Rahul Maheshwari was caught for 2 as was Kushal Ghuwalewala.
The score was 74 for 5 with Sam Rotheram at the non-striker’s end watching his teammates press the self-destruct button.
However, no more wickets were to fall as Rotheram (52 not out) and Tim Wilkinson (30 not out) rapidly took advantage of an increasingly delapidated bowling attack with only poor old Karthik (3 for 60) offering any problems.
The young bowler began to experiment too much and paid the penalty. The 65 run partnership took just 12 overs with Rotheram gaining his excellent 50 with a huge 6 over midwicket.
Second bottom Academy look destined for the drop.
This Saturday Banchory travel to Countesswells to play bottom side Gordonians, a more unpredictable outfit.