Methlick Spirited till the close!
On a very damp Burnett Park, where the strip was difficult to pick out from the outfield, MCC got their 2019 season off to a delayed start.
Having lost the toss MCC batted 1st with veteran Bremaneson opening with S Anderson in the absence of M Woodhouse. Banchory have a crop of very promising youngsters and 2 of the Abbott brothers opened the bowling on a pitch that would always favour the bowlers. Scoring was very difficult with even well-timed shots merely trickling along for singles in the wet outfield. Both openers departed in the 6 & 7th overs to dubious, in their eyes, runout and LBW decisions. A Smith looked like he needs a net but put on a decent partnership with T Acton who was looking good and playing some nice shots that would have been boundaries on most other days. On a day when no batsman really got going with the young side fielding well. Acton, Aussie Veersema, pugnacious MacDonald and skipper Duffy all got into their teens without anyone pushing on in the difficult conditions. Banchory stalwart and veteran Tim Wilkinson wrapped up the tail with 4 for 13 and left MCC all out for only 91. Notable bowling also from G Nixon who took 3 for 21.
A pleasant tea was taken and MCC took to the field in the now decidedly chilly afternoon with Skipper Duffy as usual opening the bowling with young Acton coming down the hill. Would they be able to defend such a low total? A peach of a last ball of Acton’s 1st over hitting the top of off stump to give them the early breakthrough they would require. This brought Banchory’s top scorer from the previous week, S Hicks to the crease. With Duffy rotating the bowlers and some good fielding MCC were able to keep the scoring rate down. However, Hicks was still batting well and taking his side ever closer to the target although he couldn’t get anyone to stay with him. 51for 5 was still a strong position for them but MCC felt with a young side they could still dominate them. As Banchory slowly crept closed to the target Jones was introduced and his extra bounce got another edge for Anderson’s 3rd catch behind (who needs Woodhouse?) to remove the dangerous Hicks for 49. Banchory lost their last 2 wickets when their youngsters just couldn’t hang on and great bowling allowed MCC to claim the victory with just 1 run to spare! Skipper Duffy his usual frugal self with only 15 off his allotted 10 overs, Veersema an excellent 2 for 10 and Addison claiming another young boy to end up 2 for 19 were the bowling highlights. Some excellent fielding saw 2 run outs, no catches dropped and hopefully a trend that can continue as MCC travel to play Aberdeen Superkings next week.
A cracking game played in a good spirit with MCC showing an enviable team ethos.
By Stuart Anderson