MATCH REPORT: Senior League – Ross County (Away)

Lost By twenty-seven runs

On the hottest day of the year so far Fort Augustus travelled over to Strathpeffer to play Ross County for the latest game in the senior league. After heading to middle for the toss, Kev trudged back to say we were fielding… did I mention it was the hottest day of the year so far?

We toiled away in the field with the bowlers keeping things tight but no chances were coming from the Ross openers. The first change brought on Charlie T with his off spin. Chris Blake watched a couple then drifted outside of his crease and missed the ball. Off came the bails up went the call… and square leg umpire lifted his finger… out, stumped.

In came Carney, two balls later he was back in the shed. Another missed shot from Charlie’s spin, another stumping by Ryder, a great start.

Nilesh bowling from the “shinty” end was quick and hostile and eventually skittled the Hardwick’s wickets but Scott was still there knocking off the runs. Steve Embleton came in and stuck around, scoring twenty before getting bowled by Nilesh.

The fielding was hard work. The bowlers were toiling in the heat. But wickets fell steadily and with Scott out on eighty-four after a great knock, Ross County finished on one hundred and sixty-four for seven.

Charlie ended his overs on three for thirty-seven, Nilesh managed three for thirty and Anjum ended on one for thirty-five. Great work all round, but there were just too many extras who were second best scorer with twenty-six.

Ross and Charlie went out to open and batted steadily for the first twenty overs before Charlie was run out by some great fielding by Ross County. Anjum in at three was caught after a mistimed shot. Charlie Luxton was next in but out in a similar way to a donkey dropper from Blake.

Nilesh was looking good but after a good start was caught in the deep on twenty-four. When Ross was out on forty-nine (after a great innings), a mini collapse of the middle order, swung the game in RC’s favour. In came Mayank who hit thirteen not out ably assisted but the other two youngsters, Harshal and Yule, who both added runs. In the end we fell just twenty-seven runs short of the target.

A learning curve for sure, positives a plenty, with the U18’s showing some of the seniors how to do it. Could we have won? Yes. Should we have won? Maybe, but we will move forwards and learn from this. We are competitive and capable of winning against any of the other teams.

Notable Mentions – Batting

Fort Augustus

R. Lavin – 49

C. Thornton – 27

N. Pote – 24

Ross County

D. Scott – 84

S. Embleton – 20

C. Blake – 13

Notable Mentions – Bowling

Fort Augustus

N. Pote – 3/30 (8 overs)

C. Thornton – 3/37 (8 overs)

A. Anjum – 1/35 (8 overs)

Ross County

M. Barron – 3/20 (8 overs)

P. Moxon – 1/12 (8 overs)

M. Singh – 0/14 (6 overs)

MATCH REPORT: Senior League – Nairn (Away)

Won by seven wickets

Saturday, game day, and our first home game in the senior league.

The weather was okay for cricket and the track looked resplendent with the new fresh paint applied by Mark Dallas, who had been reading the law book and had put all of the correct lines down onto the track much to the pleasure of the umpires.

With the sight screens up, Kev, our skip, walked out to the middle for the toss, which he won, and chose to field.

As we went out to start our forty overs, the Nairn opening pair were looking confident, as they always do. Anjum bowled the first ball which was quick and accurate and this carried on through the first over, giving the batters a few headaches right from the start.

Ross opened his overs at the canal end and his first ball shocked everyone, including those at the crease when it hit the seam and became the perfect bouncer, great start. Our bowling attack did well to keep the runs down until Ross bowled a slower ball that was returned straight to him, one down, caught and bowled.

The bowlers were changed on a regular basis so that Nairn were unable to get used to the pace. After three overs from Anjum, Nilesh was brought on and from the first ball was sending them down quickly and they were hard those facing him to get them away. Still, Nairn toiled away, with Woodward batting particularly well.

Ronan was brought on from the canal end. Bowling left arm over at a brisk pace, the change of angle brought a wicket, clean bowled. Two down and things were looking reasonable but we still needed to get wickets. Woodward was batting well and was proving a problem, scoring steadily and leading the way.

It was time for some spin and so on came Charlie. By this time Woodward had scored fifty, a great innings where he gave us very few chances but Charlie was up to the challenge and floated one up. It was hit straight to Charlie’s safe hands, caught and bowled, a great wicket to get.

Then came the middle order eyes wide open thinking that with a spinner on one end they could get the runs to maybe make us struggle chasing, however, our bowlers had other ideas. Keeping everything tight at the canal end, Charlie went on to tease and frustrate Nairn’s middle order. Next a big swipe went straight to Ross, a great catch. Now the runs were starting to dry out but Charlie wasn’t finished; another swing, another high shot caught by Ronan quickly followed by another big swing and another catch by Ross. The first left hander came in and Charlie bowled what would have been a very wide, wide, but swing and click, bottom of the bat into the keepers glove. We were on a hattrick ball. It wasn’t to be this time but another great over followed and the next wicket fell with another catch by Ronan.

After forty overs, nine wickets had fallen thanks to great bowling figures from everyone and exceptional bowling figures from Charlie: eight overs, one maiden, sixteen runs and six wickets, a club record.

Time for the batters to do their thing chasing a total of one hundred and forty the only down side to this score was the twenty-four extras that we gifted Nairn.

Out to bat went Ross and Nilesh and they started quickly putting on twenty-five for the first wicket with Nilesh being bowled for eleven. In went Charlie who put on thirty runs with Ross but unfortunately fell for fourteen. Anjum follower and put on another twenty-two runs before Ross fell for twenty-six.

At this point were sitting at seventy-seven for three. It wasn’t entirely comfortable, another quick wicket and the game would suddenly turn around. Carrying this burden, in went Oz and who in great style took the game home with Anjum scoring forty-six not out and Oz scoring twenty not out.

A great game, a famous win – our first senior match victory – and one played in a hard but fair way. On to Ross County next week with the hopes of keeping up the momentum.

Notable Mentions – Batting:

Fort Augustus

A. Anjum – 46 (Not out)

O. Crasto – 20 (Not out)

R. Lavin – 26

Nairn

Woodward – 52

Whitehorn – 26

Elvines – 13

Notable Mentions – Bowling:

Fort Augustus

C. Thornton – 6/16 (8 overs)

A. Anjum – 0/16 (8 overs)

N. Pote – 0/26 (8 overs)

Nairn

Whitehorn – 2/30 (8 overs)

Elvines – o/33 (5 overs)

Hayward – 1/44 (6.1 overs)