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Cricket: Lennard Bester in top shape for big season with Stoneywood Dyce

Stoneywood Dyce batter Lennard Bester
Stoneywood Dyce batter Lennard Bester

Stoneywood Dyce centurion Lennard Bester feels in the best shape of his cricket career as he looks to build on a promising start to the season.

Bester cracked 127 off 93 balls in the club’s emphatic win over Falkland last weekend, which he hopes is the first of many big contributions.

An off-season which has seen him up his fitness levels seems to be paying dividends. Bester hit half-centuries in both of Stoneywood Dyce’s pre-season fixtures.

They head to Arbroath this weekend looking to make it back-to-back wins at the start of the Eastern Premier Division season.

“I moved here in 2015 and didn’t play much cricket due to work commitments,” said Bester. “This is the first year I’ve been able to fully commit to cricket, at the tender age of 35, and it’s going better than I thought.

“I’m in the best shape I have been in, even when I was younger. I’m not someone who wants to go out and hit thousands of balls – I prefer spending time in the middle and that’s where I thrive.

“We’ve got some really good top-order batsmen and my role might change completely from week-to-week. My preference is to be in the middle-order and see the team home but if you’re called upon early, you have to step up.”

With fellow South African Jan Stander celebrating an anniversary season at Stoneywood Dyce alongside his second cousin Du-Preez, there is also a family connection at the People’s Park club for Bester.

“My brother Hein was an overseas amateur here 20 years ago and played for the second team,” he added. “He told me plenty about the pitch at People’s Park.

“In South Africa we’re used to having bouncy tracks and everything flying past your ears but I’d never experienced anything like this. It’s not the easiest place to bat but if you can score here, you can score anywhere.

“It was always going to be Stoneywood Dyce I played for. I was used to a decent level of cricket back home, so it’s been great coming here.”

City derby in North-East Championship

Meanwhile, in the North-East Championship Aberdeenshire host Gordonians in a city derby at Mannofield.

Shire are aiming to continue their perfect start to the campaign having won their first two games.

Gordonians won last weekend against Stoneywood Dyce 2nds, while their first fixture against Huntly was abandoned.

Shire captain Kenny Reid said: “Gordonians are a good side and they finished above us last season, we can’t take anything for granted.

“We’ve won two games and we’re clear in what we want to do this season, but we have to take it game by game.

“If we perform to the standards we know we can then I think we’ll be good enough to get results against most of teams in the league.”

Aberdeenshire will also be in Scottish Cup second round action on Sunday when Drumpellier visit Mannofield.

Elsewhere in the North-East Championship Huntly seek their first victory of the summer when they face Strathmore at Lochside Park, Forfar.

Stoneywood Dyce 2nds welcome Kinloch to People’s Park as they also aim for their first win of the season.

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