Nairn win a dismal match on a damp and dull day
Nairn’s cricketers made another trip to Forres at the weekend for Sunday’s Reserve league match between their respective 2nd teams. Both teams included a number of junior players.
The game started brightly enough. In patchy sunshine Alex Green and Joe Elvines opened the batting for Nairn. Unfortunately young Joe did not last long, bowled out after facing just four balls. With Shane Hayward as his partner, Green reached his limit (as an LPL player) in about a dozen overs, hitting a six over the boundary to retire on 25.
There was a brief interruption for a rain shower, after which Jordan Snitch was out caught for 5, while Hayward went on to clock up 46. Then Martin Bronkhorst and Brian Stewart faced a changing selection of Forres bowlers and the run-rate slowed. After Stewart was bowled for 7, Ben Booker-Milburn scored a quick 22, then Bronkhorst (62 not out) and Jason Brandsma (13 not out) stayed in and scored steadily. At the end of the 40-over innings Nairn had registered a total of 213, including 25 ‘extras’ from the less-experienced home team’s younger bowlers.
As the afternoon progressed the skies turned grey and rainclouds started moving in. Forres began their batting very cautiously, and Beechy was the first Forres batsman to go, for 0, in the sixth over, and after the first of several interruptions for rain. Scott, the other opener was run out for 4 not long after.
The next pair, McGhee and young Max Carty, showed contrasting styles. McGhee’s tactic was to despatch any loose bowling on the leg side to the boundary, while Carty played immaculate defensive shots. With the light rain persisting, and the playing surface becoming increasingly wet, Nairn chose to put on their slower bowlers: Brandsma (0 for 20 in 3 overs), Snitch (0 for 22 in 4), and Magnus Neill (0 for 3 with 3 maidens in 6 overs).
But the game was becoming very sporadic, with recurrent rain showers forcing the players to take shelter at regular intervals. At one point it looked as if the match might have to be abandoned. For a while the sun reappeared, and then with the innings at about the 20-over halfway point the rain began again and it became obvious that there was little chance of continuing. So with the Forres total at 55 for the loss of 2 wickets in 22 overs, the game was brought to a premature end.
If the game had gone the full distance Forres were very unlikely to have reached the 214 required to win. The complex formula of the rain-calculator (using the run-rate, the number of wickets lost, and the number of overs bowled) delivered the verdict of a win for Nairn by 37 runs. But it felt a rather hollow victory. In the event both sides were defeated by the dismal and increasingly wet weather.
Nairn’s Reserve team are due to play Fochabers next Sunday, 25 August, and will be hoping for a bit more sunshine.