Academicals had a fantastic 2017 – the 1st XI achieved promotion to the Championship, including 11 wins in a row and the 2nd XI gained promotion for the second consecutive year. The incredible feat of 11 wins in a row involved some intense moments, the most remarkable against Watsonians, when Academicals were 97 for 7 chasing 215. A century partnership between Asad Amir and Adnan Ali, batting 7 and 9, took Academicals to 205 for 9. Lawrence Mann kept his cool, hitting a cover drive for four, to win in the final over.

There were also some decisive wins, notably away to Kirk Brae where Academicals put 309 on the scoreboard, scoring 90 runs in the last 5 overs! Omais Altaf had a superb knock of 115, while Mohamed Gani scored 60 and claimed a five-wicket haul to give Academicals a comfortable win by 141 runs. Club Captain Andrew Cosh (EA 94-03) 111 and Tamal Banerjee 82 made a 193-run partnership against Royal High Corstorphine at New Field. Academicals defended 249, with a winning margin of 129.

Three of the top ten batsmen in the Division 1 rankings were Academicals. Andrew Cosh topped the list, 552 runs with an average of 36.80. Omais Altaf ranked third, 346 runs with an average of 34.60, and Tamal Banerjee scored 273 runs with an average of 30.33. Asad Amir, also listed highly, 256 runs with an average of 32.

Academicals had a formidable bowling attack led by Asad Amir who took 19 wickets, including a diamond duck on the first delivery of the season. Adnan Ali, 17 wickets, bowled very economically at 2.85, with a bowling average of 13. Mohamed Gani and Lawrence Mann took 16 and 14 wickets respectively. Syed Kabir took a five-wicket haul for 18 runs in his first match against Edinburgh South. Andrew Cosh held 22 catches behind the stumps – the most in Division 1.

Congratulations to Academicals 2nd XI, captained by Ankit Sehgal, who achieved promotion to Division 3. Star performer Syed Kabir scored 317 runs with an average of 45.29, and took 19 wickets before moving up to the 1st XI. Tamal Banerjee hit 120 against Edinburgh South 2nd XI. Ravi Kansara also scored 317 runs with an average of 26.41, and took a five-wicket haul for 10 runs against Broomhall.

David Black, who first joined in 1975, chose to hang up his wicket-keeping gloves at the end of the season, after assisting Academicals 2nd XI to another promotion. An accomplished keeper with legendary athleticism, having cycled across France, and a cast-iron defence that steadied Academicals batting order on many occasions. David has been a treasured and loyal member, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Special thanks to Club President Charles Robertson for all his efforts. Thanks also to the school for its continued support and use of the excellent cricket facilities at New Field.



Andrew Cosh