Montrose finally get game played - and win

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Strathmore XI 94-6 (20 overs), Montrose 95-3 (17 overs)

With the poor early season weather accounting for no results in their first three league fixtures Montrose turned their attention to 20/20 action with an away cup fixture against Strathmore XI in Forfar.

With the toss won Montrose captain Chris Petrie elected to bowl first, confident that his batting line up could chase down any total posted by the home side. The new tangerine was given to Barrie Gourlay but opening from the Loch end the Brechin Vics starlet struggled to find his line bowling a few wide deliveries.

Sanjay Gummadi opened up from the Barnhill end and was immediately into his stride with an accurate over conceding only 1 run and picking up the first wicket with the assistance of a catch from captain Chris Petrie. The next batsman in didn’t last long with Barrie Gourlay hitting the stumps to leave the home side 2 down with only 8 runs on the board.

A mixture of bowling and fielding then followed as the hosts fought their way back into the game as a Strathie passed the half way stage without further loss and 55 runs accumulated. Naveen Thammaiah and Darren Gourlay replaced the opening bowlers but made little impression and it wasn’t until the skipper Petrie brought himself on that Montrose made the important breakthrough to remove Andy Sturrock after he holed out to the safe hands of Greg Soutar who was on stakeout duty at short fine leg.

With the score on 70 after 14 overs the home side tried to accelerate through the last 6 overs but wickets started to fall. James Mennie again showed himself to be one of the best fielders in the side when he ran out Craig MacDonald with a direct throw. Darren Gourlay claimed his first wicket of the season when a successful LBW appeal was upheld then Chris Petrie claimed his second wicket bowling McKay to help restrict the Strathmore total to 94 for 6 after their 20 overs.

With the light fading Montrose were keen to changeover quickly. The experienced pairing of Devnani and Christie strode to the middle to set about the run chase. The pair got off to a solid start posting 20 from the first 4 overs. The openers then plundered 9 runs from the 5th over and when Strathie stalwart Alan McKay was introduced into the attack he was hit for 10 runs in his first over to put Montrose well ahead of the required run rate.

The fifty partnership was brought up in the 8th over at a rate of 6.25 runs per over. The pair continued to put the Forfar team under pressure but when spinner McDonald was introduced into the attack Christie tried to pull a short one which didn’t get up much on the slow Lochside track and was bowled for a very useful 26.

With a platform of 64 runs on the board and 9 overs left the scene was set for Barrie Gourlay to finish the game off quickly but he also fell for the McDonald low bounce delivery and was back in the hutch for 2. Skipper Chris Petrie joined vice-captain Devnani and they eased the total up to 74 before Devnani was caught out for 23. Sanjay Gummadi was next man in and with 6 overs left and 21 runs needed the skipper and Sanjay progressed without alarm scoring 12 and 10 not out respectively. Chris finished the game with a cheeky reverse sweep to see the Montrose team home with 17 balls remaining and 7 wickets.

The win sees Montrose progress through to the quarter final stage where a win would see then take part in their first Finals Day in Perth.

Montrose man of the match was Chris Petrie for his 2 wickets, catch and 12 not out to see the team home.