Farrell, Goudie power Highlanders to Pro 50 win
Highlanders 300 all out (Farrell 82, Goudie 68, Kashif 3-28) beat the Hurricanes (R Zulfiqar 37, Leask 5-34) by 129 runs at Forthill. [Scorecard]
Pictures by Donald MacLeod
After an early collapse the Highlanders recovered from the early set-back to eventually post 300 against the Northern Hurricanes at Forthill on Monday.
It was a fine display which saw the home team bat right down the order and claim another victory in Forthill thanks for Cameron Farrell and Gordon Goudie with the bat, as Michael Leask cleaned up with five wickets.
Reeling at 19/3, the Highlanders fought back to steady the flow of wickets, before a 7th wicket partnership of 129 runs put the game almost out of sight of the visitors. When the Hurricanes lost two wickets without scoring in their first over, the set target of 301 looked unlikely.
Having lost the toss the Highlanders were asked to bat with some cloudy skies and overnight drizzle, and the decision was compounded with three of the top order dismissed with less than 20 runs on the board. Gardiner and Wallace set about the rebuilding process but they could not provide any resistance as the score fell to 60/5 with not batsmen in the top five scoring over 18.
Matthew Parker in at number six set about a patient innings, and joined by Farrell took the score past 100 before he was trapped lbw by Kashif for 36. When Goudie joined for the 7th wicket, he quickly caught up with Farrell and the two started pushing singles into 2's and hitting boundaries from every over. Goudie was the only Highlander to clear the rope, hitting three maximums scoring over a strike-rate of 150 before he was eventually bowled.
With Farrell in and set, he would have probably been disappointed not to push on for his century in the final five overs. After he was caught at point, his innings of 82, coming from exactly 100 balls, came to an end. Ally Evans finished with a sprightly 25 runs at number nine before Kashif finished things an over early with two wickets from his final two balls.
Even with a huge total posted, nobody was claiming victory just yet as the Hurricanes showed their big hitting potential in the T20 the previous day. However, when Ally Evans struck Wasim lbw from the first ball of the innings the momentum was again with the hosts.
The star from the T20 Ben Cooper was to be run out without facing a ball, after a mix-up with number three Bashir, he was sent slowly walking back to the pavilion and the Hurricanes were two wickets down without scoring.
The middle order set about rebuilding, much like the Highlanders had to do in their innings, as Bashir tried to make amends with Bukhari. A couple of 50 partnerships brought the score to 100-3 before Ahmed gloved one in the air from Leask for an easy catch to Gosain. From then on the total was never attainable with Bukhari top scoring on 33.
While strong in the field, the Highlanders will be concerned about the 21 wides bowled, as the Hurricanes batsmen blocked and swiped their way to 171 all out in the 44th over. Leask showed his credentials as a genuine all-rounder as he picked up five wickets, while Evans and Goudie also bowled quick and were hard to get away for the Dutch batsmen.
The final margin of victory was 129 runs, and the teams will meet again in the return leg of the North Sea Pro Series in Kampong later this week.