New North East Cricket Scotland president Brian Lynas has been encouraged by the flying start to the Grades cricket season.
He said: “Just two weeks into the campaign and we already have a clear indication of just how competitive the season is going to be with high scoring, close games in all the three divisions.
“In Grade 1 Akhlaq Bashir has already plundered 228 runs in only two games for Bon Accord, while his teammates Fazal Awan is not far behind with 199 runs including a sumptuous knock of 114 at Inverurie last week.”
But despite Bon Accord’s strong start, there are others in title chase, including unbeaten Gordonians and Crescent who meet tomorrow and Knight Riders, raring to go after the disappointment of crashing out of the Aberdeenshire Cup to Gordonians in the first round last Sunday. They are still unbeaten in the league and will travel to Inverurie with some confidence, especially as the Kellands Park side has yet to win a game.
Despite suffering two home defeats, Inverurie have still scored a total of 486 runs and certainly can’t be written out of the equation.
Champions Aberdeen Grammar have also made a poor start but are not to be dismissed, particularly as their prolific runs scorer Alex Keith will be keen to put behind him a first ball duck last week against 2nd Knight Riders.
Elsewhere in the top league Cults are at home to Mannofield, Grammar are at home to Master Blasters Aberdeen and pacesetters Bon Accord host 2nd Knight Riders at the Links.
In Grade 2, Fraserbugh head the pack, having easily won their opening two games, losing only eight wickets in the process and will fancy their chances at Burnett Park where Banchory have yet to get into their stride.
In Grade 3, 2nd Gordonians have amassed an astonishing 626 runs for the loss of only five wickets but might well be tested by Huntly who last week took care of 2nd Methlick, easing through by seven wickets.
Lynas believes the outlook is promising for north-east cricket across all levels.
He added: “The encouraging aspect is that there are new names coming to the fore to complement the regular headline makers.
“The fact that there are nine clubs who now have junior sections is a tribute to all those who are promoting the game among youngsters, including Cricket Scotland’s development officer Tony McKenna and Tariq Butt who helps him out and of course the participating clubs.”