St Ronald 103 all out
Stonehaven Thistle 1st X1 103 for 5
The sound of willow on leather echoed around Mineralwell on Saturday for the first time this year as the first match of the cricket season got under way.
Thistle took the field with a new look side, having lost players owing to retiral (all too early!) and non availability. New captain, J.Van Der Ruit, won the toss and inserted the visitors.
Haider and Bode didn’t take long to get the score moving, hoisting Hinchcliffe for a six in the firest over, and a boundary against King in the next. The bowling looked a little “early season” and friendly.
However, Hinchcliffe found some hint of rhythm and bounce, and Haider was caught with the score on 19.
A period of consolidation then took over with the bowlers getting into their stride, the batsmen hitting the odd loose ball hard on the quick outfield and Bode doing most of the work with the bat.
King then swung one in sharply onto Amman’s pads, leaving the umpire little choice but to send him back to the pavilion, 38 for 2.
Hinchcliffe bowled tightly but without much luck, while King threatened at the river end.
Some smart field placing by VDR and vice captain, and stand in ‘keeper Alec Keith allowed the swinging ball to be used effectively. Tiwan lobbed gently to Mason at mid off,and then Bashar repeated the same move a few balls later. Bode holding the other end in dogged fashion. 51 for 4 .
Thistle’s attack had their tail up, and J. Van Der Ruit took the ball at the hill end, replacing Hinchcliffe.
King used the conditions, swinging and dipping the ball in, and bowled Mohammed and Mudie in successive overs, VDR then struck twice, Findlay holding a well judged catch in the deep, and then bowling Sid.
Bode, meanwhile, was trying to marshall the strike from the tail enders, but was losing wickets at the other end. He rode his luck, when dropped in the deep, but King got his revenge by bowling him round the back of his legs.
VDR wrapped up the tail, the target for Thistle 103. J. Van Der Ruit 3 for 28, N. King 6 for 42. All in 27 overs.
Thistle’s start with the bat was a dream. Keith finding the boundary with ease, with a flurry of fours and J Van Der Ruit doing likewise, but with a smattering of demoralising sixes.St Ronald chopped and changed their bowlers, but without success until Keith was bowled for 24. Thistle 66 for 1.
JVDR rattled the score on , with David Crozier, until the former was removed with a fine caught behind for 43. Craig Mason then played a key innings, with great discipline, prodding the score toward the finish line. Crozier was run out after a suspect second run attempt, King found the boundary to edge the score towards the target, and was then bowled. 101 for 4. C Van Der Ruit had a brief cameo without troubling the scorers, leaving Owen Plummer to partner Mason to crown a good day and see the total passed for victory. Mason not out on 16.
It was a comfortable victory for Thistle, who have a tough start to the season this campaign. The attitude was spot on, tactics and communication clear. The fielding was top notch, as was the opening batting stand. Thistle are away to Cults next week, and will be looking to improve further.
Thistle are always looking for new players, for both first and second teams. Nets are at Minerallwell Thursday evenings.
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