John Paul stars as Highland Cricket Club trounce Elgin
John Paul led a mammoth effort from Highland Cricket Club as they raced to a 302-run victory over Elgin last weekend.
The Fraser Park club have regularly depended on their bowling strength to win matches over the last couple of years, with the likes of Kacy Clement shining with the ball in hand.
But last weekend the total Highland’s batsmen scored would have been more than enough to win most matches.
They were in intimidating form from the off, putting together a string of productive partnerships at the top of the order to ease to 195-3.
Then skipper Paul took over as the main man, helped along by Clement, on his way to 89.
Two other batsmen passed their own half centuries, while two more were dismissed in the 40s.
Nathan Eldridge would take three wickets for the hosts, but by the time Highland’s 45 overs were up, they had long passed 300 and were going at nearly eight an over.
Looking at the scoreboard and seeing a final total of 349-6 would have been demoralising enough for Elgin as they were preparing to attempt a seemingly impossible run chase.
They needed to get off to a flying start and repeat Highland’s partnership building.
If there was anything going in Elgin’s favour, it was that star bowler Clement was in the unusual position of wearing the wicket keeping gloves behind the stumps, rather that pelting down deliveries trying to hit them – but that made no different to the end result.
Opening batsman Marcus Huby was the first to lose his wicket, and when partner Rick Wimble joined him back in the changing room it became a procession for Highland.
Six different bowlers took wickets, but it was Paul again who topped the standings with 3-8 as Elgin were bowled out for 47, giving Highland the one-sided victory.
Nairn County were the day’s only other winners as they saw off Forres St Lawrance by 47 runs.
Northern Counties and Ross County were each awarded the full 20 points when opponents Fort William and Buckie respectively forfeited.
This Saturday Highland are set to play host to Ross County at Fraser Park, while across the city Northern Counties welcome Huntly to Northern Meeting Park. Fort William travel to Nairn’s Links, while Forres St Lawrence play Elgin.