Trophy joy for Forres St Lawrence Cricket Club after victory over Northern Counties to lift the Knockout Cup at Strathpeffer
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There was delight for Forres St Lawrence as they lifted the Knock Out Cup at Strathpeffer on Saturday, beating Northern Counties by five wickets in the final of the 30-over format of the game.
Forres chose to bowl first under heavy skies and were soon in the hunt for wickets, removing the openers Thomas and Green cheaply. Thomas was caught off Fraser Merricks in the first over whilst Green was trapped leg before two overs later.
Geoff Parker and youngster Shanon Thorp set up the bulk of the Counties innings but finding the boundary was not an easy task. Parker played a careful and well-timed innings with Thorp batting sensibly but with 66 on the board in over 15 a lapse of concentration saw Thorp swipe at a delivery from Asim Ali which flew high off the edge before settling in the bowler's hands.
The Forres bowlers kept to tight lines, making it difficult for the batters to score freely, the fielding was good too and on 70 this was demonstrated with a cracking direct hit at the stumps from mid off by Gus Farr to remove Dugdale as he sauntered for what should have been an easy run.
Russell Ellwood snaffled the wickets of Johnson and Eshwara who was well caught at gully by Al Farr, Ali had Ford caught behind and Bashir removed Latimer and Pacey cheaply. The final wicket was Parker who lofted the ball to give Aziz a caught and bowled, 64 runs for Parker as the top scorer for his club. Counties were all out in the 28th over for 116, a below-par score but Forres still had to bat.
The Forres reply was delayed slightly by a heavy shower but then the sun came out and the game was finished in muggy conditions.
Forres lost Dhami early on, LBW for 4, then after a few good boundaries Al Farr was bowled by Eshwara for 13.
Tahir and Bashir guided Forres through a difficult spell as the Counties bowlers pressed for wickets.
The runs were not flowing but they played with confidence, chipping away at the total so that by the 15th over there was 71 on the board.
Just after this Tahir was caught off the spinner for 18, followed by Bashir for 31. Sajid and Aziz steered Forres towards the finishing line from 83 for 4 and when Aziz was caught behind on 113 for 5 it was left to Fraser Merricks to edge the ball behind the wicket for four to clinch the trophy for Forres.
Sajid was unbeaten on 30 with Parker taking the man of the match trophy. Satisfaction for the Forres Saints who worked hard in the field to set up the win.
This Saturday Forres return to Strathpeffer where they play Ross County in the league.