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Highland steam past Forres St Lawrence as they continue Nosca title charge

By Andrew Henderson

Highland Cricket Club secured their first win at Forres St Lawrence’s Grant Park for eight years as captain John Paul saw them over the line to an eight-wicket win.

Forres have been one of the premier forces in the North of Scotland Cricket Association in recent years, winning three league titles, two Senior Cups and five Twenty/20 Cups since 2011.

But they have struggled this year, lounging in seventh in the league table.

So if ever the opportunity was there for Highland to finally get a win in Forres, this was it, and they duly delivered.

Euan Smith helped Highland over the line against Forres with a knock of 46 not out. Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.044421
Euan Smith helped Highland over the line against Forres with a knock of 46 not out. Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.044421

Highland won the toss and chose to bowl first in murky conditions, only for Forres to kick off with a scoring rate of six per over.

But Harry Singh claimed the wicket of Forres’ key man, Pal Dhami, for 31.

Rob Nixon then led the Highland bowling attack to keep the run rate in check, and Kacy Clement would come back into the fold to good effect.

In his second spell, he took three wickets to help limit Forres to 120-5 from their 40 overs.

However, Highland’s response could not have gotten off to a much worse start.

Nixon was caught out for a duck, and he was soon followed back into the pavilion by Regan Francis with the team score on just seven.

Opening batsman Euan Smith and Paul decided to be pragmatic, and defend their wicket to prevent an even worse collapse.

Eventually they began to build a partnership and settle in to their innings.

After 20 overs, Highland were 43-2, but then both batsmen decided to bat more aggressively and victory was soon within sight.

Paul (64 not out) passed his half century on the way to an eight wicket win, where his unbeaten 114-run partnership with Smith (46 not out) proved decisive.

Northern Counties also picked up an eight wicket victory at home against Elgin. Daniel Johns and Lewis Pacey picked up two wickets apiece to limit the visitors to the Northern Meeting Park to 101, before Jamie Rodger hit 56 for Counties on their way to all 20 points.

Fort William scratched against Buckie, while Ross County’s scheduled trip to Huntly was cancelled due to rain.

This week Ross County travel to Buckie, Nairn County make the short trip to Forres, Northern Counties go to Fort William and Highland host Elgin.

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