Big win for Methlick 2nds at Stonehaven
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Methlick 2nds travelled to Stonehaven on Grade 3 business, looking for a win to consolidate mid league position and maintain momentum after the strong showing the previous weekend writes Mark Woodhouse.
Stoney opted to bat first on a firm green pitch, a trim outfield suggested a high scoring match. Liam Davis opened as usual, alongside Alan Hill who it was that made the quick breakthrough.
A quick footwear change, after a loose opener, made the difference and saw Mantaj adjudged LBW on his third ball.
Liam bowled a tidy, but fruitless, spell of 5 overs and was replaced by Fraser Grant, John Morgan was on at the other end.
Morgan had the no 3 Stoney man smartly caught by Ryan Lyndsay at square leg for only 6 runs.
Stonehaven now had the highest partnership of their innings, 31 runs, before Fraser got a lovely swinging ball through the obdurate Bonds defence to knock over middle stump.
Fraser was into his rythm now, getting a lot of swing and movement off the grassy pitch.
The Stoney opener Gale was causing concern, a rock solid defence, and taking on anything loose, saw him quickly get to 25.
An inspired piece of work by Hill , fielding at slip, saw him gather a ball parried by Chalmers and throw down the stumps, Gale was out by a foot and Methlick knew they had made a significant breakthrough.
Hill returned to bowl Hudson for a duck, the run rate slowing dramatically from the previous 4 an over, Methlick were now in complete control. Now Fraser Grant took over as he rattled through the remainder of the Stoney line up.
First up a calm caught and bowled saw Oosterhuiven off, next ball saw Deni catch at mid-off to dismiss Rhind. Sanderson survived the hat-trick ball but succumbed to another magnificent swinging ball which hit leg stump.
Sanderson jnr couldn't add to the score as he was bowled by the same bowler.
Last man in, Hinchcliffe, hit a few lusty blows as he chanced his arm before he was given out, as plumb LBW as it is possible to be, to Fraser. Stoney were all out on 84 in the 29th over, a return which delighted Methlick and great reward for a strong bowling and fielding performance. Fraser was the star, returning 6 for 30, with Hill, Grant and Davis providing strong support.
Predictions of a high scoring game were very wide of the mark as the 2nds controlled the run rate, wickets tumbling regularly.
Deni shuffled the batting order again, Fraser Grant getting the opportunity to make a further impression with the bat, alongside Ross Morgan who did so well the previous weekend opening the batting.
The lively Hinchcliffe made the breakthrough for Stoney as he knocked Fraser's off stump back for only 7 runs.
Deni was in at 3, he got to 24 quickly before being caught at mid-on.
Ross was moving along steadily and without concern, until he was adjudged LBW for 10.
The score was now 68 as Dave Chalmers joined Hill, these two solid batsmen saw the winning runs scored without fuss.
This win, the second of the season, was important for the improving Methlick 2nds, as it catapulted them to sixth place and into a close battle for fourth place with the two Gordonians sides.
The basics of the game are now being performed to a good, and consistent standard.
With a big squad to choose from Deni can look forward to the rest of the season confidently.