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Run out prepares Northern Counties for new cricket season

By Andrew Henderson

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Highland claimed the first set of bragging rights by defeating Northern Counties in 2021’s first derby.

Northern Counties v Highland cricket friendly at the Northern Meeting Park...Picture: James Mackenzie..
Northern Counties v Highland cricket friendly at the Northern Meeting Park...Picture: James Mackenzie..

It was also the first match ever played on Counties’ new artificial wicket at the Northern Meeting Park, serving as a pre-cursor to the new Nosca season which begins this weekend.

Counties batted first on the track, and despite some early disappointments in the innings Johannes Van Ee looked to get things back on track with 37.

John Impey was Counties’ next best performer with the bat, scoring 27, but long partnerships were hard to come by as Highland bowled them out for 106 – an eminently gettable total in the 35 overs.

Giridhar Ravi led the way for the visitors, scoring 39 not out, and getting backed up by Jonathan Crabtree’s 26 meant Highland cantered to a five-wicket win with 13.4 overs to spare.

For Counties’ stand-in captain Will Ford, it was a good run out on a new surface – and not really about the end result.

“It was about getting out on the track, using it as a bit of a practice match and using it to get some experience and get some lads a bit of cricket,” he insisted.

“The problem was we didn’t bat our overs, and we didn’t do what we needed to do properly.

“It’s nobody’s fault but our own really, we had a lot of experience and enough players out there to be able to finish the job, but we just didn’t do what we needed to do.

“You can learn something from it, we had too many good performances but not a good team performance.

“It was a disappointing result, but we learned a lot from it and it’s a good run in to Buckie this weekend.”

Counties are on the road for their first competitive game of the season, away at Buckie in the Senior Cup, and Ford is looking forward to getting a proper season under way.

“Buckie is one of the most enjoyable teams to go and play against,” the Counties’ wicket keeper said.

“We’re excited to get back to cricket, and the weather looks like it’s going in the right direction.

“It’ll be a 30-over match, so a bit shorter than usual, and we’ve got a really competitive team.”

Nairn County are also on the road for their opening round Senior Cup tie, travelling to Elgin City.

Highland, meanwhile, will kick off their Reserve League campaign at Fraser Park on Sunday against Nairn, and Counties’ second 11 go to Forres in the same competition.

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