Hat trick hero sees Highland to another win
While others faltered around them, Highland Cricket Club’s winning streak in the Nosca Senior League continue with a solid 132-run victory over Huntly.
After last week’s derby heroics from Kacy Clement, this time it was Irtaza Hussain who starred with bat and ball to ensure Highland stayed undefeated.
Opening batsman Euan Smith may have been bowled for a duck early on, but his partner Regan Francis set about taking the game to Huntly at Christie Park.
Highland’s former captain was the top scorer in the innings, having reached 71 before he was eventually caught.
Hussain was the next-highest scorer with the bat, but he was unable to reach his half century as he was bowled out for 31.
Clement was still well in the mix with 29 of his own, helping 10-man Highland to 212 all out at the end of the first innings.
As has so often been the case for Highland over the last couple of years though, they were a fearsome prospect with the ball in hand.
Northern Counties became the first side to pass 100 against Highland this season the week before.
And Huntly would not be able to become the second.
This time it was the spin of Hussain that was the batters’ undoing, as he ripped through Huntly’s middle and lower order, taking a hat trick on his way to figures of 4-16.
The hosts were already well up against it by that point, but Hussain’s spell sealed the deal as the points came back to Inverness.
Highland doubled up on their success with a cup semi-final victory against Northern Counties on Sunday.
The match was originally scheduled for the previous week, but rain put paid to any chance of a result.
Clement scored the winning runs with a six, taking his personal total at Northern Meeting Park to 200 not out over the last two weeks, as Highland claimed the six-wicket win to set up a final clash against Buckie.
Counties struggled to a nine wicket loss in the league against Buckie after being bowled out for just 63, all but ending their faint title hopes.
Instead it seems to be Nairn County and Ross County who are battling for second, with the two sides facing each other last week.
Alex Green and Graham Carney each scored centuries for their sides, but it was Nairn who won the thriller by seven wickets.