Gouda and Virk swing it for Banchory

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Banchory’s premier side gained a morale-boosting victory against a very useful Methlick side last Saturday with some fine individual performances.

And once again, despite the cold conditions, a heart-warming and exciting match was the result.

Methlick have a strong batting line-up, boosted by the decision of the prolific Stuart Kennedy to leave their 2nd team and play for the senior side.

The visitors batted first and were given a boost by some wayward deliveries by Zac Crawley, conceding four fours in his first three overs while at the other end Itaz Virk bowled well but was guilty of bowling too many wides.

However it was Virk who made the breakthrough, trapping Mark Woodhouse (13) lbw with the score on 31.

Crawley was taken off and James Stirling struck almost immediately - Methlick skipper Stuart Anderson (18) hitting a huge steepling catch to the grateful Matthew McPherson at midwicket. Aussie Andy Saward raced to a rapid 29, including two expansive sixes, but then fell victim to a great catch in the deep by Zac Crawley’ the first of three.

The same player caught Stuart Kennedy (3) who couldn’t seem to settle and this time the bowler was new leg-spinner Kushal Ghuwalewala who impressed with his control.

Methlick’s batting was beginning to unravel due to some bad shot selection and some fabulous fielding. Zac Crawley’s third catch involved a balletic leap in the air almost after the ball had passed him.

Despite 28 from S.Murphy and a gutsy 18 not out from Brian Anderson Methlick must have been disappointed with their total of 147 for 8 off 45 overs.

For Banchory, Crawley bowled a much better second spell and finished with 1 for 45, Virk took 3 for 32, James Stirling an impressive 3 for 32 and Ghuwalewala 1 for 11.

Banchory’s reply was notable for the unflappable way their batsmen went about scoring the winning runs.

There were two blips in their run chase: Carl Counsell (4) nudged an away swinging Murphy delivery to wicket-keeper Mark Woodhouse to make the score 6 for 1, and later in the innings only Matthew McPherson will know how and why he was stumped first ball.

Once Counsell was out, Sunil Gouda (47) and Itaz Virk (44) had an exciting 77 run partnership which swung the game Banchory’s way. This was a paricularly pleasing partnership because last season these two players were badly served by the club and lost all confidence.

Wilkinson (31 not out) along with James Stirling (8 not out) continued where the other two had left off, and with Methlick’s heads rapidly dropping victory was achieved with 15 balls remaining. Methlick’s only wicket-takers were Kennedy (2 for 29) and Murphy (2 for 46).

Saturday’s match ball was donated by Williamsons, Accountants