Knightriders prove too strong for Thistle

STCC 141 for 9

2nd Knightriders 142 for 7

STCC returned to Mineralwell Park after six weeks of away matches looking to mirror last week’s victory against Queens Cross/Stoneywood Dyce.

With heavy rain forecast and overcast skies, it was with sheer hope that the match would get under-way at all.

The toss having been won by Knightriders captain B.Balaji, they decide to put the home team into bat, in view of trying to replicate their win earlier in the season.

R.Devlin and D.Crozier headed out to the square with high expectations of replicating their earlier season form as an opening pair.

A clear strategy became apparent as the pair stood firm on 10 runs after 10 overs. Seeing off the opening bowlers can be a tricky task, especially with such a varied line and length with no apparent consistency.

Shortly after, in the 16th over, the rain came and forced the players off the pitch for almost an hour. Devlin was on 24 and Crozier on 18, after the break for rain, and the players headed back out in hope that no more rain would interrupt play.

Following a short burst of runs from Devlin, Crozier was caught and bowled off a leading edge by Balaji for 21. Clearly the break for rain was not helping the vice-captain to maintain composure. Following the demise of the opener, another quick wicket of J.Van De Ruit fell for just two runs.

With Devlin going well, A.Gale joined him at the crease hoping to stabilise the innings. Devlin raced to 57 just a few overs later before an unfortunate delivery ricocheted off his elbow to dislodge a bail.

After Gale faced 37 balls, he was dismissed for four runs after being clean bowled by Balal. BCMD (UK) joined J.Crozier at the crease, with the captain hoping that the mature head on his shoulders would come to fruition. Shortly after, Crozier was bowled for six, bringing Crozier Snr to the crease.

As the two gents of the team brought up the average age by what we can only imagine to be 20 years at the least, surely they would help Thistle get closer to batting out the overs.

After a partnership of just 11 runs, BCMD (UK) was run out following a suicidal second run attempt for 10. A.Long only spent a few deliveries in the square before being dismissed for a duck. G.Bonds, “007”, joined Crozier Snr at the crease and put in a fantastic cameo appearance adding 14 to the total with a few cracking shots.

With only three balls left of the innings, C.Findlay came to the crease. Flashing at the ball hard and missing three times brought the innings to a close, Thistle finished on 141 for 9 after their allotted 45 overs.

A slightly rain delayed start brought a refreshed Thistle team out to the field, hoping for some quick wickets and getting them on the front foot. After the fourth over and Hinchcliffe already having two wickets to his name, he managed to dismiss the opening batsmen for a total of five runs.

Knightriders soon begin to gain momentum with their number three and four batsmen.

Their partnership hits 85 runs before the dismissal of B.Sony by J.VDR with what can only be described as the easiest catch of the season. However, as it was J.Crozier in the firing line, the whole team seemingly held their breath hoping he held onto the ball.

Just a few balls later, Findlay was re-introduced into the attack and took a caught and bowled of the new batsman, Lokesh. As the runs got tighter, every one starts to count, with knightriders currently sitting on 117 for 4 after 30 overs. With 15 overs left and only 24 runs to score, Knightriders look in control. A bowling change brought Hinchcliffe back into the attack and with just his first ball dismissed their captain for onerun. Findlay,back into the attack to reduce the run rate, took another wicket to dismiss C.Balaji for 36, as the batsmen starting to look aggressive.

After just a few runs added, Thistle were looking to take charge and bring the game to Knightriders. Hinchcliffe took another wicket in the 40th over to dismiss Karth, caught behind with a stunning catch by Devlin.

Unfortunately for Thistle, just one run was required by Knightriders to win the match with five overs remaining. The winning run was hit from the last ball of Hinchcliffe’s 12th over.

Thistle hope to get revenge next week as they face Kinghtrider again in the cup!

Captain’s man of the match, C.Hinchcliffe 19 for 4 off 12 overs.

Match ball sponsor – The Station Hotel