Inverurie went into this weekend double header against Cults at somewhat of a low ebb it would be fair to say, comfortably detached at the bottom of the league and with a first win of the season still hard to spot.
Only ten players were available for Saturday and we won’t dwell on events at Kellands Park such was the cataclysmic nature of the Inverurie performance. Stalker carried his bat for 18 but the next highest score was three as Inverurie were skittled for 34 with Chris Forbes doing most of the damage with 5-7. Cults needed all of 4.4 overs to knock off the runs.
Sunday was a new day, however, and the addition of Hadden, Strachan, Williams and Murrison to the team gave hope of a better performance and with Hadden having a career all-round game Inverurie turned the tables in startling fashion.
Cults elected to bat first and nine wides in the first four overs revealed an umpire applying a strict interpretation of the laws. Once the bowlers settled Mitra struck two vital blows to dismiss danger men Haider and Saraswat skying to Norval and Strachan. A period of consolidation would have been in order for Cults but it was the spinners who took command. The wily Jessamin bowled his 10 unchanged and did for Govinda and Khan lbw but it was the introduction of Hadden that caused consternation in the Cults ranks with spitting turn and bounce. Bode was taken in the covers by Webber and then first ball Mark Munro squirted it to Jessamin at short leg. His brother Richard came in to face the hat-trick ball and chipped it straight back into the celebrating Haddens hands.
With only three wickets left Azazi applied the long handle to valuable effect and a couple of fielding errors threatened to undo some of the good work but when Azizi played over the top of a full ball from Hadden the innings rapidly subsided to 108 all out with 15 overs unused.
At last Inverurie could smell a victory but it was never going to be easy and the early loss of Norval and MacLeod had a few nerves jangling. A painstaking 56 run partnership between Hadden and Williams put Inverurie back in a strong position but with 33 still needed off eight, Williams was bowled by Meghani. Saraswat, Bode and Meghani bowled 30 of the overs for a miserly total of 58 runs but crucially Cults didn’t have a fourth bowler and it didn’t help when Azazi had to come off after bowling a third beamer. This brought Khan into the firing line and he actually bowled well but there was no way Hadden was going to allow his parade to be rained on and he opened up with five late boundaries to leave three needed of seven balls. A cut to deep backward point saw the batsmen scampering and as the the tying run was completed a wild throw at the stumps went for four overthrows and Inverurie were home.
Inverurie 34: A Stalker 18 not out , C Forbes 5-7, V Bode 2-11
Cults 36-0: R Haider 26 not out, V Bode 8 not out
Cults 108: A Azazi 43, V Bode 20, G Hadden 5-23, M Mitra 2-34, J Jessamin 2-40, C Williams 1-8
Inverurie 112-5: G Hadden 57 not out, C Williams 18, R Meghani 2-14