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President's Weekly Cricket Report - Week 6

President's Weekly Cricket Report - Week 6

Kenny Reid13 Jun - 11:36
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A brief report of week 5 of the season from the President, Stuart Grant

It has been several years since Aberdeenshire Cricket Club started a season as well as we are doing now!

On Monday night our very promising u 13s qualified for the National Finals by comfortably overwhelming Forfarshire. Our youngsters have also defeated Gordonians and Stoneywood/ Dyce to reach the business end of the tournament. In each round they have looked a talented well-organized squad.

Accurate and at times penetrative bowling by several home players restricted Forfarshire to a modest total of 51. Oscar Vila was the leading wicket-taker and he was expertly backed up by the efforts of Marcus Vila, Ethan Shedbal, Edward Nicolson, Vikaash Saravanan and Aarav Kola in a formidable display by the Aberdeenshire attack.

An aggressive knock of 29 runs by Marcus Vila made the run chase fairly straightforward.

Afterwards a very proud coach, Phil Wood, said, “This was a real team effort!”
This positive team spirit has come not by magic, but as a result of hours of work by Phil, Rahul Chandu and their team of coaches. The hard work over the winter has certainly paid off and the whole club is very proud of this team!

This morning, I have just received the wonderful news that our u15 squad are also to go to the National Finals as well, after returning as victors from a competitive tie against Arbroath United.

A new spirit is being forged in our youth ranks; success is around the corner for several of these players. They have all put in the hours at practice and two very competitive squads have been built. These coaches and players have earned the support and best wishes of all at the club!

1st XI
These triumphs came hot on the heels of a highly successful week-end. The first eleven extended its 100% league record with two very useful wins. On Saturday they were at home to Strathmore. The Forfar players found the bowling skills of our left-arm spinner, Calum Howard, too much to cope with as our expert groundsman managed a five-wicket haul. The other successful bowler was Cameron Brown, whose sharp right arm seam bowling is proving a real weapon this season.

Chasing only 139 runs our openers skillfully fashioned another significant partnership until Kenny Reid disgraced himself, not for the first time this season, by failing to reach his half-century, falling for 47. His partner Pranav Saravanan is proving a very valuable signing; he possesses a range of elegant, prolific front-foot shots, the best of which on Saturday was an opening boundary superbly driven on the up through the offside. Pranav was to end the match with a mighty six over long-off the achieve his own 50. Entertaining stuff from young Pranav, who was ably backed up by the club professional, Harsha Vithana.

Sunday’s fixture had seemed in advance the trickier tussle. Forthill tend to be a very challenging outfit on their own, splendid ground. Batting first, Aberdeenshire did what teams have been doing in Broughty Ferry for decades; they made a very sizable total: 291 for 5. The innings was built round three significant contributions. Harsha hit his first century of the season. Aberdeenshire fans are delighted to see the popular Sri Lankan finding his touch as the season progresses. On Sunday, he was backed up by half-centuries from Kenny Reid and Lewis Munro.

No team is more capable of chasing large totals at home than Forthill. On their own ground, they know how to make big scores. Nevertheless, a telling spell of tight bowling from our spinners, Calum Howard and Manu Saraswat pegged the home side back. Lewis Munro and Cameron Brown then took key wickets at the close to restrict our opponents to a total of 213 all out.

All eyes this week are on Mannofield where our neighbours, Stoneywood/Dyce will be here. Our rivals have recovered from a slow start and have recorded five consecutive league wins to date. This will give them confidence and they will be eager to cause an upset in this fixture. So far, we have coped with every challenge this season. This is likely to be another stern test.

I am equally sure our lads will be looking forward to it!

2nd XI
The second eleven recorded another away win on Saturday at Rubislaw. On ground with a painfully slow outfield, our batsmen did well to make a healthy total of 232 in 39 overs, assisted in no small measure by a staggering 44 wides from a benevolent Grammar attack! We were indebted to runs in the middle order from the ever- consistent Rutwik Hegde backed up by crucial contributions from “tail-enders” Ali Gohar, Abid Ali and Marcus Vila and a classy 2 not out by skipper, Rahul Chandu, batting at eleven.

Youngster, Arnav Saraswat, bowled well to claim three Grammar wickets, including the dangerous veteran opener, Sandy Keith as the home side fell behind the required scoring rate. A hard-hitting innings of 46 by Karan Anand proved briefly threatening, but, when he fell to a juggled catch by Abid Ali off the bowling of Arnav, the points were secure for Chandu’s men.

The seconds now lie in fourth place in Grade 1, well placed to mount a challenge in the coming weeks. On Saturday, they will face a sterner test in second placed Master Blasters. We wish them well!

3rd XI
The third eleven were again able to play their home fixture on Sunday on Mannofield against Stoneywood-Dyce. Henry Hamilton took advantage of the fine wicket to strike a half century, a feat narrowly missed by the veteran bat, captain, coach and general “club hero”: Phil Wood who carried his bat to contribute 48 runs to a healthy team total of 191.

Despite his fine rush of form, Phil was not tempted to turn his arm over in the second innings, an effort that might have been all too much. A heavy rain shower was to halt the match and our bowlers and fielders faced the handicap of dealing with a very wet ball. A fine, unbeaten knock of 79 by Scot Reid saw the visitors win a fine game of cricket.

This week the thirds have another home match on Sunday against Grampian. Hopefully a drier day will see them enjoy another fine tussle on the ‘Hallowed Turf!”

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