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Forres St Lawrence Cricket Club win thriller against Nairn as 17-year-old batsman Magnus McGhee plays starring role

By Ali Morrison

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SPECTATORS were treated to more than 500 runs and a gripping finish at the Nairn Links on Saturday, with Forres just edging out the home side, despite missing some key players due to illness, writes Carolyn Farr.

After winning the toss, skipper Pal Dhami chose to bat first and open the innings alongside 17-year-old Magnus McGhee.

Magnus McGhee (17) walks off the field with captain Pal Dhami after a fine batting display.
Magnus McGhee (17) walks off the field with captain Pal Dhami after a fine batting display.

Strong winds made it hard work for the bowlers and so did the batsmen as they took advantage of a sharp outfield making the ball run.

Pal Dhami was soon into his normal groove and he was ably backed up by McGhee, who looked comfortable in defence and positive in his play. It was a great opportunity for a young batsman to learn how to build an innings from a quality batsman with all of the concentration necessary.

Forres offered few chances as they went on to score 265 but the startling thing was there were no wickets lost. A couple of lofted balls went down after swirling in the strong wind, but they were mainly towards the end of a well-paced innings.

Dhami finished on 156 not out with McGhee on 80. A real milestone for his development.

Nairn replied in positive fashion with big guns Woodward and Wolton up front. The outfield had become lightening fast as it dried out and anything past the inner field was certain to go for a boundary.

Forres struggled with this for a while but had more bowling bite. Wolton fell victim to lazy running for 11 as an excellent direct throw from Will Murdoch at mid-wicket crashed through the stumps.

Nairn were up with the required run rate but then they lost Woodward who gave Goldring a catch at mid on in Merricks’ last over, out for 47.

Cuffley and Whitehorn shared a 70-run partnership and were looking set until Russell Ellwood got a sharp one through which Cuffley edged through to McGhee behind the sticks.

Whitehorn was taking his chances, hitting everything behind leg and 80 runs were added in his partnership with Annis which only ended when Al Farr pouched a lofted ball off the bowling of Goldring to end Annis' afternoon.

Now the pressure was on Whitehorn – but it was on Forres too with 214 already on the board and Nairn up with the run rate. Forres needed to remove Whitehorn.

Then some good fielding helped out. Firstly McLean returned the ball to run out Day and then, in the final over, a fast return from Dhami along with cool work behind the stumps from McGhee saw Whitehorn run out for 116, leaving Nairn on 259 for 6, only seven runs short.

Forres' winning team after the match.
Forres' winning team after the match.

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