The cricket season for Crathie CC got under way on Saturday.
R arely can a game have begun in such Dickensian gloom, as the Aberdeen haar smothered the Duthie Park bandstand and all around it; even the national papers were reporting the Dons’ match down the road as rough value for money, it was hard keeping track of the ball – in their case a football.
But Crathie made light of the fog and the small ball, and were inserted by the Grade III opposition of Academy. The opening pair of Matt Taylor and Rhod McEwan cautiously laid the foundation for a solid score. The wicket was muddy, becoming ever muddier, and running between the wickets was hazardous, but the openers coped admirably in putting on 80 before Taylor, after a flurry of boundaries, top edged a pull and was caught at square leg for 46. Andy Shore played round a straight one for 3, which brought Forbes Macdonald to the crease. Both he and McEwan looked a little leaner than yesteryear as they scampered for some well-judged singles, adding 70 for the third wicket before Macdonald was excellently caught and bowled off a straight drive. This left the score at 154 for 3 after 40 overs and Crathie were looking to post over 200. McEwan was tiring and starting to misfire, and on 61 the skipper was well caught and bowled in attempting a mighty swish. Last year’s batting champion Mick Bestwick had risen from his sick bed and he managed a quickfire 11 before holing out on the boundary, Crathie ending their innings on 181 for 7 in 45 overs. The team would have accepted this competitive score before the start.
he climate eased fleetingly for the second half, the sun making a token appearance in mid-afternoon before disappearing above the stygian fog once more. The Academy batsmen started quite well, and after 22 overs they had scored 105 for 2. Bob McAra and Mick Bestwick were bowling steady lines and Mike Baldry and Forbes Macdonald followed up with containing overs without ever looking dangerous, although a few catches going to ground helped the home side’s cause. McEwan brought Bestwick back for a second spell who immediately struck with his first ball, bowling the settled Uday for 60. This opened the floodgates, Bestwick mowing their batsmen down like the spring daffodils adorning the park, and Academy lost 5 wickets for 6 runs, taking them to 129 for 9 in the 32nd over. But their number 9 and 11 batsmen knuckled down and held the Crathie bowlers at bay, holding out for a gutsy draw at 151 for 9 in the allotted 45 overs. Crathie rued their lack of a regular fourth bowler although, as usual, their fielding was not without blemish. But it was an enjoyable game with both sides playing in the right spirit. Crathie ended up with 23 points while Academy gained 18. Man of the Match was Mick Bestwick for his manful bowling analysis of 7 for 23.