Aberdeenshire beat weather and Dunfermline
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
NEIL MacRae, the Aberdeenshire player-coach, admitted his side had secured victory in the nick of time following a dramatic encounter with Dunfermline Knights at McKane Park.
MacRae’s men overcame the elements as well as their opponents to secure a seven-wicket win that rekindles hopes of a top four finish.
However, there is little doubt that had they failed to dismiss Dunfermline for just 93 or taken any long to knock off the required runs this match would have been abandoned as yet another “no result.”
In the event Chris West and Tyler Buchan ran through the Knights top order with seven wickets between them before Gerry Strydom’s 20-ball 32 helped the visitors sprint to their target.
Even then victory was only complete as torrential rain started to fall and thunder rumbled all around the ground.
In the circumstances – slightly farcical though they were – it was a credit to both sides and the umpires that a result was achieved.
It would have been just as easy – though a lot more farcical – for play to have been suspended with the scores tied.
MacRae, still coming to terms with a remarkable match, said: “We knew we had to get the job done because we could see the storm was not far away.
“To be fair we got the rub of the green when an early shower livened up the track when Dunfermline batted.
“Tyler and Chris are the best bowlers in the country in these conditions and they took full advantage.
“It was a good effort to get them out for less than 100 but even then we knew we wouldn’t have long to get the runs.
“That’s why we put all our big hitters in at the top and Gerry got us off to the start we needed.
“We played in similar conditions at Greenock earlier in the season and the same formula worked for us then.”
Aberdeenshire also benefited from home skipper Gowtham Rai’s agreement to delay the tea interval – a decision which caused consternation among some home supporters.
Given that puddles had formed on the square within minutes of the conclusion, there is little doubt that had tea been taken at the appointed time the match would have been abandoned and the Knights would have avoided defeat.
However, player-coach Kevin McLaren insisted: “It was bad batting that cost us and we can’t really claim we deserved anything from the match.”
West and Buchan set the tone by reducing Dunfermline to 47-7 after the first twenty overs.
There was a little late resistance from Amir Shahzad and youngster Ben Wilkinson as the home side hoisted their tally to 93.
Strydom announced his intentions by smacking the first ball of Aberdeenshire’s reply for six in an over that cost the Knights 23 runs.
The South African went on to strike six boundaries in his 32 before Safyaan Sharif trapped him lbw.
Sharif, Scotland’s latest fast bowling star, also claimed the wicket of Colin Smith before Kenny Reid and Graeme Tomlinson guided Shire to their target in 11.4 overs.