Inverurie start new cricket season all square as

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A new cricket season rumbled into life with a high scoring draw between Inverurie Don Valley and Grammar FP’s at Kellands Park on Saturday.

Heavy overnight rain put the fixture in doubt but conditions relented to allow a full game, although elsewhere all the other grade one fixtures were voided.

Inverurie won the toss and found the going heavy early on as Grammar’s new recruit , Alec Keith, looked in ominous form for the visitors. The total had bustled along to 35 for 0 off 8 overs before Coutts kick started the Inverurie season with a stunning double wicket maiden. First Morrison was comprehensively cleaned out by a yorker and then a remarkable diving, sprawling, caught and bowled effort to dismiss Booth, which registered as a minor seismic event in George Square.

A direct hit from man of steel Randell at the bowlers end ran out Williams, and Jessamin combined with new player Weber to dismiss Senthil, but Keith continued to dominate and a damaging partnership with McDonald powered the innings to 146-4 in the 30th over. With a hint of desperation , Norval was the seventh bowler to be tossed the ball and remarkably he dismissed both batsmen with consecutive deliveries as first McDonald hoisted to Anderson, waiting patiently at cow, and then, crucially, the untroubled Keith managed to find Hadden on the extra cover boundary.

Suddenly Inverurie were back in the game and with Mitra bowling a tidy spell , wickets fell regularly and Grammar were restricted to192 all out in 40.2 overs.

Norval and Hadden got the Inverurie reply off to a great start with an 88 run partnership which started watchfully and then flourished as both batsmen were untroubled by the Grammar bowling. Norval was in fine touch and he sailed serenely past his 50 before holing out unexpectedly on the square leg boundary. The momentum now shifted dramatically as Grammar bowlers, Hameed and Keith completely strangled the innings and nine precious overs were used moving from 90 to 100 and when Randell came in at five to join Hadden, 89 were still needed from 12.

The pair gave renewed life to the chase with 41 off 36 balls as Hadden unleashed a succession of boundaries and both batsmen hit sixes over midwicket. Hadden tried valiantly to keep it going but the run rate was now climbing relentlessly in the face of completely defensive fields and he finally fell for a gutsy 74 with seven balls of the match remaining.

This left Inverurie to settle for maximum batting points which were secured by Jessamin off the penultimate ball and the match was drawn with Grammar receiving 25 points to Inverurie’s 21. It should be mentioned that the Inverurie batting effort was somewhat unluckily hampered by two drives which cannoned off the rugby posts, costing at least four runs, but the players did at least have the consolation of watching a fine ladies rugby match during their strenuous pre-game warm up routine.

The match ball was kindly donated by Ellis Thorpe.

AGSFP’s: 190 (40.2 overs)

A Keith 80, P McDonald 35, T Norval 3-12, G Coutts 2-26, S Randell 1-28, J Jessamin 1-31, Mitra 1-31

Don Valley Inverurie: 176-8 (49 overs)