Scorching conditions as Inverurie and Mannofield clash at Kellands

Andrew Stalker hits a four for Inverurie Don Valley at a scorching hot Kellands Park
Andrew Stalker hits a four for Inverurie Don Valley at a scorching hot Kellands Park

This was the hottest day for cricket so far and on winning the toss Inverurie had little hesitation in consigning Mannofield to a long session, baking in the sun.

Hadden and Stalker opened up and they had few alarms in a 97 run opening partnership which exposed Mannofield as being short of bowling options. Stalker fell when the time for acceleration came, and there was a little stutter when McLeod was a deserved wicket for legspinner Aaron Grayson.

This only unleashed Norval, however, and he was at his imperious best as he smashed 73 not out in 16 overs with seven fours and three sixes. His clean hitting made batting look easy as the wilting Mannofield attack was despatched to all parts.

Hadden meanwhile continued his relentless run of form and 97 not out means he has now scored a staggering 240 runs since he was last dismissed. A century would have been richly deserved but with four needed off the last ball Mannofield withdrew all their fielders to the boundary and Hadden could only find a man on the line.

With 237 on the board Inverurie could keep attacking fielders in position throughout and they were given early encouragement when Thorpe had Elliott caught in the covers and Murrison smartly stumped Sudhaka off the bowling of Jessamin. A partnership between Grayson and Oliver threatened to get dangerous but when both fell with the total on 97 Inverurie went even more on the attack as they cycled through nine bowlers in an attempt to make further inroads.

Zaman played brightly but no real risks were being taken and it looked like the game was going to fizzle out when two quick strikes by Norval brought it back to late life.

That was the end of the wicket taking, however, and Van Oorshot and Elliott were able to see their team to the draw with nine fielders clustered round the bat.

Inverurie: 237-2 (46 overs): G Hadden 97 not out , A Stalker 41, T Norval 73 not out , W Clayton 1-29

Mannofield: 165-7: Mitra 1-22, A Thorpe 1-22, J Jessamin 2-26, G Hadden1-17, T Norval 2-11