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Cricket: Lennard Bester inspires Stoneywood-Dyce to victory; Aberdeenshire make it two wins out of two

Stoneywood Dyce batter Lennard Bester
Lennard Bester hit a blistering 127 for Stoneywood-Dyce.

Stoneywood-Dyce picked up their first win of the Eastern Premier League season with a 167-run victory against Falkland at People’s Park.

The marked improvement in the weather on the second weekend of the season led to some better performances in all north-east games, including the Easter Premier with Stoneywood-Dyce recovered from being three wickets down for only 10 and then five down for 50 to post an impressive 280.

Visitors Falkland were never up to the challenge, fading to 114 all out in 33 overs, handing the home side a handsome win.

The home innings was saved from disaster by a partnership of 199 between middle order batsmen Lennard Bester and wicketkeeper batsman Andrew McLaren.

Bester was the dominant partner, hitting a blistering 127, including 12 fours and six sixes in 93 minutes before retiring hurt with a strained side. McLaren hit a more sedate 64 but was a key figure in keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

Earlier in the Stoneywood- Dyce innings, the home side had appeared to be heading for defeat after openers George Ninan and Jan Stander, and Garreth Woolmarans had accumulated only seven runs among them.

Ewan Davidson temporarily arrested the slide with 16 but could not stem the fall of wickets, saved only by Bester and McLaren’s heroics, taking the Aberdeen side to 280.

Falkland’s Greg Chalmers, returned the impressive figures of four for 37.

Stoneywood Dyce captain Jamie King.
Stoneywood Dyce captain Jamie King.

Faced by such a total, the league’s new boys were never up to the chase, pinned down by the accuracy of Jamie King and Jon Grant and then the devastating spin of Ninan who ended up with four for 20, while Grant was equally productive with his three for 23.

Captain King said: “We will now go into our away game next week against Arbroath.

“The partnership between Garreth and Andrew was awesome with Andrew playing a vital support role.

“His contribution cannot be underestimated. Staying out there was vital. Our self belief will continue to grow.”

In Huntly in the derby clash with Aberdeenshire in the North East Championship, the Mannofield side looked to be cruising to a big total with openers Aayush Dasmahapatra and Kenny Reid taking their score to 72 without loss, only to lose their way after the dismissal of the two, collapsing to 123 all out. Reid top-scored on 44.

A succession of bad shots accounted for too many Shire batsmen, including a mistimed hook to mid wicket from captain Reid. Two needless runouts did not help the cause.

In the event it mattered little as the Castle Park side contrived to perform equally badly with the bat, collapsing to 76 all out faced by a determined, hard working Shire side who have now won their opening two games, leaving them in pole position.

Luke Bain starred with the ball for the visitors taking three for three, but given good support by his enthusiastic fielders. Donald Morrison top-scored for the home side with 14.

Jack Mitchell, the home captain, was bitterly unhappy about his side’s capitulation.

“We just threw our wickets away. We must improve for our visit to Strathmore,” he said.

Reid was not surprisingly more upbeat. He said: “We were determined and organised in the field after setting Huntly such a low total. We are top of the league but will face a test of our position next week when we entertain Gordonians.”

In the other local derby in the same league at Countesswells, 2nd Stoneywood-Dyce were no match for Gordonians who after posting 223 for seven of which an imperious 80 was scored by opener Abrar Ahmed, dismissed the visitors for 145.

Stoneywood-Dyce captain Michael Louw was the pick of his bowlers, claiming three for 18, while Leighton Collins was top Dyce scorer with 29.

In the Grades, Bon Accord carried on the good work of last week, racing to a five wicket win at Inverurie, chasing down the 225 set by the home team in only 27.2 overs.

Fazal Awan (114) and Akhlaq Bashir (85) led the Aberdeen side’s charge.

An understrength Aberdeen Grammar were handed an eight wicket thrashing by Knight Riders at Groats Road where the home side bowled out the champions for 80.

But the shock troops of the season may yet be Crescent who beat Master Blasters Aberdeen by four wickets after restricting them to 189 for six.

In another high-scoring encounter Gordonians edged through by four wickets after Mannofield has racked up 238 for nine.

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