In the latest of this season’s Thursday features, Gary Heatly catches up with Indika Yahathugoda…
It is that time of the season where more and more silverware is starting to get handed out and last Sunday Mannofield were in fine form to win the Bon Accord Cup.
In the T20 final played at Mannofield, Fraserburgh posted 112-7 batting first, Liam Bowie batting well for 45 for the ‘visitors’ while Sampath Rajapaksha was on fire for Mannofield, who are the second XI of Aberdeenshire CC, taking 5-19.
Range Bandara also chipped in with 1-19 and then in reply Mannofield skipper Indika Yahathugoda led the way with a brilliant 67 not out and he was excellently supported by young Joseph Horne with 43 not out.
That meant that Mannofield reached their victory target in the 13th over and won by nine wickets.
To get to the final they had defeated Aberdeen Grammar’s second XI and Portcullis along the way, Yahathugoda’s son Ken hitting 52 not out in the latter match.
The Mannofield team is also currently top of the North East Scotland Grade Two division with six wins from six completed matches to date, the most recent coming away at Fraserburgh last Saturday meaning that the Kessock Park men will be sick of the sight of them by now.
Yahathugoda said: “It has been a good season so far and after the pandemic meant there was little cricket last year everyone, young and old, has been keen to get out there this summer and play matches.
“As Mannofield our aim is to bring young players on, help them to learn more about playing senior cricket and then hopefully see them going on to play for the Aberdeenshire first XI.
“Many of the players who were involved when Aberdeenshire won the Eastern Premier Division in 2014 have now retired or moved on, so as the first XI look to get back to that level in the coming years, the focus has to be on youth and bringing our own players through.
“We are lucky that, thanks to the hard work of the volunteers in the junior section and the young players themselves, we have some great teenagers coming through and I think the ones that have been playing for Mannofield this summer have really enjoyed the experience.
“A number of them have also earned regional and Scotland age-grade caps and some have already been promoted to the first XI to play matches in the Strathmore & Perthshire N-E Championship.
“As long as the younger ones are enjoying their cricket and learning each week then us more experienced players are doing our bit and there is a good feeling around the whole club just now and it is fun to be a part of.”
This coming Saturday, Mannofield are due to be on league duty at home against the 2nd Knight Riders.
The Mannofield team that won the Bon Accord Cup last Sunday are pictured