Jul 5 2012 by Katy Gordon, Blairgowrie Adv
Kinloch 272 for five (25 pts)
Coupar Angus 185 for five (9 pts)
COUPAR Angus captain Bobby Edington had a strong line up for Saturday’s league game against Kinloch, with only Kenny MacNaughton unavailable for selection. Kinloch defeated Coupar by 100 runs when the sides met in St Andrews at the start of May and there was a determination to do better for the return game.
Larghan Park was deemed playable, despite a full week of wet weather and a heavy downpour an hour before the scheduled start.
The outfield dries out quickly, but the concern was for the bowlers on the artificial batting strip and play continued for half an hour or so at which point the heavens opened.
At this stage Kinloch who batted first were 49 without loss, although several spilled catches were to haunt the home side.
Few thought play would be possible thereafter and as the players chatted in the changing rooms, the rain clouds more or less disappeared, permitting play for the remainder of the day.
With the strip saturated Bobby Edington shuffled his pack and gave the ball to Warren Sutherland, when Roland Thorn was in difficulty with his run up.
As was the case before the stop in play, the Coupar bowlers were bowling with determination and to an extent accuracy, however the aggressive Kinloch top order took many chances and rode their luck on many instances.
Several drops in the slip cordon, mid wicket, and cover areas proved costly as the opener Syriak and the No. 3 Ramprasad went on to score centuries, much to the frustration of the Coupar bowling attack, while the Coupar skipper was seething behind the stumps.
This is becoming a bit of a recurring theme this season for Bobby Edington’s side: fielding first and having to chase big totals, but on this occasion the visitors won the toss and elected to bat first.
Roland Thorn came back on to finish his spell and fellow opener Michael Ancell bowled economically without getting a wicket, no thanks to some shoddy fielding.
Gordon Croll was given the ball towards the end of the Kinloch innings and clean bowled three batsmen, not relying on his team-mates to hold catches.
On the other hand Alan Neave, who had been left to the end as well, was assisted with a catch to give him the prize scalp of opener Syriak.
Mike Nelson and Alan Neave were given the responsibility of opening the batting after the tea and in laying a platform for the innings to ensure there would be no early collapse.
The pair looked secure, however the run rate was never above two per over, although with ample firepower to follow this was not a major concern in the early stages.
Mike Nelson remained at the crease until the 13th over at which point he popped the ball in the air towards Ramprasad at mid off and this sparked a mini collapse, with Roland Thorn, Gordon Croll, and Warren Sutherland making the dreaded walk back to the pavilion.
In fairness, Warren lost sight of a full toss, with poor light and the ball moving towards him in line with trees and scrub at the Forfar Road end.
The sight screen is long gone and on such occasions would be most useful, as would a chainsaw and loppers.
Bobby Edington has saved his best for his new found wicket-keeping duties this season, but with others unable to support Alan Neave, the skipper was in determined mood and wasted no time in thumping an aggressive 50 with a series of lofty blows and punishing any loose deliveries.
Bobby was looking to clatter a Gupta delivery, however his mis-timed woosh saw his stumps tumble, bringing Scott McKay to the middle.
Scott has been suffering in the field of late along with others, but his batting form returned on Saturday to complement the patience and technical ability of Alan Neave.
Although Coupar were again well short of the ask, the achievement of Alan Neave, aged 15, provided the real talking point of the Coupar day.
Arguably Coupar’s youngest ever opener, Alan batted throughout, despatched his first big six in to the trees and scored his maiden half-century, which bodes well for Bobby Edington’s side.
The other talking point related to whether the game should have started and once started should it have resumed following the heavy rain.
The game on Saturday was one of only a handful to be completed in Scotland.
The key factor to consider under such circumstances is always player safety. The Coupar bowlers were struggling to bowl on the wet mat, with two players pulling hamstrings on the wet outfield, therefore should play have proceeded?
The answer is probably that too many games are already lost to the weather and Coupar are always keen to play.
Whether other sides in a similar predicament would have called the game off is uncertain and had Kinloch been struggling when rain stopped play, one wonders if they would have been so keen to resume.
Kinloch 272 for five (K. Ramprasad 107 not out, B Syriak 102; Gordon Croll three for 34, Alan Neave one for 32, Warren Sutherland one for 58), Coupar Angus 185 for five (Bobby Edington 60, Alan Neave 52 not out, Mike Nelson 20, Scott Mckay 11 not out).
Graham Gibbons will skipper the side in Bobby Edington’s absence for Saturday’s encounter at Larghan against Kinross. Graham will be playing his last game before heading to Singapore and he will lead what will be a weakened side due to the unavailability of several key players.
An evening out at Nortel was organised for the nice man of cricket. Graham has been ever reliable since 2000, taken more than 300 wickets, and scored 1000 runs.
He played against Coupar for Stromness in 1999 and enjoyed it so much that he went on to play with distinction and hopefully taking a few more wickets on Saturday.
The game at Kinross in May was another casualty to the weather, so we shall see whether the weather will improve and permit play at the weekend.
The Occasionals friendly against Arbroath on Sunday has been called off.