As the players congratulated each other on another hard fought victory, news filtered through to the changing rooms of Pleasure Park, Kintore of other results that meant Stonehaven Thistle CC were the only side in League One with a 100% record.
Thistle sit proud in the almost unperceivable position of league leaders after six games, especially as an hour earlier they were 75 runs short of Kintore’s 144 total and had just lost their last recognised first team batsmen.
The day started well enough for Thistle, despite having to delve deep into the 2nd team resources for firepower, when the toss was won and the home team inserted.
Left armers Hinchcliffe and the drafted Nigel King opened proceedings with accurate swing bowling on a receptive hard track. Hinchcliffe was to be inspired throughout and opened his account by bowling Guruwadayarahalli for 1.
When Kintore skipper Prosser and danger man Laird both fell to the same, the home side were in trouble. But with the help of some comedy fielding, a little luck and some determination, the Kintore total started to climb.
The luckless King was replaced by Wilson and Ali Gardiner gave Hinchcliffe his due leave. Again catches went down and boundaries were struck that brought a 4th wicket partnership of 34, broken when Brian Campbell caught Sudhakar for 11 from Gardiner’s bowling.
Kanchera took up the baton and with ingrained no.3 batsman Samani, took the KCC score to 115 when Hinchcliffe took the days 5th wicket of Kanchera for 17. Both opening bowlers returned to restrict the scoring and the innings closed at 144 for 8 from 46 overs. Hinchcliffe finished with a fine return of 5 wickets for 22 runs from his 12 overs. The KCC top scorer Samani was finally removed in the last over by Wilson, for a worthy and valuable 71.
Regular openers Milroy and Donald were soon split with the score on 20, Milroy beautifully bowled by Desai for a quick 15.
A promoted Brian Campbell fell to the same ball for 0 and when the out of form David Crozier was out for 4 STCC were in trouble.
Second team regular Steve Crozier joined Donald and was determined to show his worth in the highest division. They doggedly put on 25 together before Donald, the STCC batting rock was caught for 24. Nigel King joined Steve and while KCC were sensing a rout and victory, the two warhorses weren’t obliging. Steve nurdled, pushed and ran while King stood and hit.
When the partnership began less than half of the winning total had been banked, yet when Crozier departed for a fine 23 the score had leapt to 113. Kintore still felt confident and this was enhanced when Gardiner was cleverly stumped on 4. Jacobsen joined King, and keen to make up for his disappointment the week before, played with solid determination.
However 28 runs can be a mountain when the nerves and wickets tingle but King was solely focused on pushing STCC to the winning line. The field that had been tightly gripping the batsmen started to spread as King plundered his way through the bowling changes. Jacobsen didn’t falter and King fittingly drove the winning 4 in the 40th over.
STCC claimed a 4 wicket victory and maintained the club’s 100% start to the season.
Match Sponsor was The Station Hotel.