Banchory ease to win

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The midweek rain made this fixture a doubt, but improving weather and a decent Burnett Park wicket produced an enjoyable game of cricket in which the home side gained a fully deserved victory.

Put in to bat on a damp wicket Banchory got off to a cracking start with openers Carl Counsell (29) and Sunil Chikanna (27) providing a solid platform for the later batsmen with a confident opening stand of 60 in 17 overs.

Counsell belied his recent form with a knock of growing confidence while Sunil Chikanna continues to shine this season.

Caley’s fast bowler Giet Grover was a match-winner in the earlier encounter at Sheddocksley but he was unable to get much out of the Banchory wicket - in fact the wicket was becoming batsman-friendly.

Both openers fell to Chris Bugg’s bowling then Kushal Ghuwalewala (13) had a busy, brief but sparkling stay at the wicket.

The best pairing of all was between Saad Khan (41) and Tim Wilkinson (40 not out). These two took the score effectively beyond Caley’s reach with a 73 run partnership in only 14 overs.

By this time the Aberdeen side were becoming ragged in the field and their heads were beginning to drop. As the 45 over declaration approached Khan’s elegant innings came to an end when he was caught, only to be replaced by pinch-hitter Ashish Thakur who hit a rapid 10.

For the visitors Chris Bugg finished with 3 for 35 and Grant Cordiner 2 for 30.

Caledonian’s innings never really ignited. Opening bowler Josh Crawley bowled superbly for no reward while 17 year old Sam Morris was more wayward and yet took the first three wickets.

The first was by way of a spectacular catch by Kushal Ghuwalewala in the covers. Morris was occasionally getting the ball to rear up off a length, and this accounted for the vital wicket of Giet Grover (15) who was caught behind.

After this Caledonian wilted apart from a tiresome partnership between Chris Bugg (21) and Grant Cordiner (18) but both players fell to the wicketless Crawley who fully deserved his success.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Banchory had discovered a new pace bowler in Ghuwalewala whose figures of 4 for 16 in 12 overs speak volumes.

The game ended in the 41st over when Tim Wilkinson held on to juggled catch off his own bowling and Banchory had wrapped up a convincing victory.

Banchory’s bowling figures were Crawley 2 for 29, Morris 3 for 17, Ghuwalewala 4 for 16, Tim Wilkinson 1 for 17 and Guru Sharma 0 for 17.

Saturday’s match ball was donated by Williamsons, Accountants.