Highlanders do the double over Reivers

13 May

The Highlanders were again victorious in the all-Scottish battle of the North Sea Pro Series with another convincing victory in the 50 over competition at an overcast Arbroath yesterday (Tuesday).

Having again won the toss the Reivers elected to bat, scoring just 82 runs in the T20 the previous day. With heavy showers forecast in the afternoon many spectators were skeptical at getting in a full game of cricket.

The Highlanders were clearly buzzing after the previous day’s victory, and were keen to keep the momentum going. Scoring was slow for the Reivers with five maidens, and the run-rate staggering at only 3.5 per over. Ally Evans again impressed with the ball, bowling his full ten overs with figures of 1-29.

The surface looked tricky to score on and the Reivers could not form any meaningful partnerships, with wickets falling at regular intervals. Iqbal, batting at four, was the only player to offer any resistance scoring 43. Much like the T20, the Reivers found it hard to hit boundaries early on, with much of the scoring coming in singles.

Omer Hussain and Safyaan Sharif would provide support in the middle order along with Scott Beveridge who at number eight took the bowlers on and managed to elevate the score with a quick-fire 28, which included five boundaries.

Aman Bailwal claimed the wickets of Beveridge and Iain Wardlaw from the last two balls of the innings as the Reivers were bowled out for 173 in 49.2 overs. 

With the skies overcast, coupled with a heavy shower during the interval, it was clear the Highlanders were not going to hang around and wait for Duckworth-Lewis calculations.

When Sharif claimed two early wickets to put both openers back in the shed it might have looked on for a close game, but this brought Michael Leask in at number three.

Currently finding the middle of the bat for fun, again he scored with a strike-rate of over 200, sending the ball to all corners of the ground. He was dropped from a simple catch off the bowling of Beveridge, much to the frustration of the Reivers team, before the bowler eventually got his man a couple of overs later, one run short of his half-century. 

With the score at 103-3 in just the 16th over, the Highlanders looked like they would be finishing the match with overs to spare. Captain and 'keeper Wallace played a sensible innings at number four, and when Leask departed Matthew Parker almost finished the job until he was bowled by Haq for 25. Wallace passed his half-century, and together with Bailwal, finished the game, leading the Highlanders to a four wicket victory in the 33rd over.

Con de Lange was the pick of the Reivers bowlers, but by the time the ball had been given to him it was too late. He returned figures of 2-14 from six overs. As the players shook hands and left the field, the heavens opened, and just for once cricket in Scotland got its timing just right.

This Sunday, the Highlanders will be in Dundee to take on the Northern Hurricanes in the North Sea T20, while the Reivers travel to Rotterdam to take on the Seafareres.

The Reivers will be look forward to the chance of revenge in week five, where both teams will meet at Nunholm, Dumfries on the 2nd and 3rd of June.

You can keep up with all the action on the Cricket Scotland website and on Twitter @NorthSeaPS where you can find more pictures and video highlights. 

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