2018 was a brilliant summer for Academicals and Scottish cricket. It was one of the hottest summers on record, and marked the greatest moment in Scottish cricket’s history when Scotland defeated England, the world’s No1 ODI team.

Academicals solidified their position in the Baillie Gifford Championship with a crucial win against Freuchie in the final match of the season. A club and Championship record opening partnership of 258 between former school 1st XI captain Max Banks (EA 2002-07) 142, and Accies skipper Andrew Cosh (EA 1994-03) 119, took the team to a match-winning 297 for 2 in 50 overs.

Captain Andrew Cosh won the Championship batting award (504 runs, average 31.5), as the leading Scottish qualified player, becoming the first batsman to win the Division 1 and Championship awards in successive years. Max Banks was the 8th highest in the Championship, scoring 371 with an average of 33.7, and top score of 142. A fantastic effort from Max considering he travelled around Vietnam for part of the season. Omais Altaf also featured highly, scoring 248 runs with an average of 22.5, and top score of 90. Omais excelled in the Murgitroyd Masterton T20 Trophy, scoring 202 runs in the cup with an average of 40.2, and top score of 61 against Grange.

Fast bowler Asad Amir led Academicals bowling attack, and was the 5th highest wicket-taker in the Championship with 27 wickets. Asad also made valuable contributions with the bat, scoring 205 runs. Adnan Ali frequently made the important breakthrough, taking 23 wickets with best figures of 4-37. Lawrence Mann opened the bowling with great consistency, taking 20 wickets and best figures of 4-23. Also among the top wicket-takers, Tamal Banerjee took 19 wickets, best of 4-21, and Umair Saeed took 16 wickets, best of 3-9.

Academicals welcomed several talented players this season, alongside Max Banks. James Thornton scored a match-winning 50 to defeat Gala, and Peter Bendixen made a classy 100-run partnership, on debut, with Omais Altaf to beat Musselburgh. All of whom had exceptional performances in the field. The pick of the fielders, Anil Francis, took 10 catches. Andrew Cosh held 23 catches behind the stumps, the most in the Championship.

A huge congratulations to Academicals 2nd XI who achieved promotion for the third consecutive year to reach Division 2 next season. The standout performer Yogesh Khanchi was the 2nd highest run scorer in Division 3, scoring 638 runs with an average of 63.8, and top score of 104. Faraz Hussain prevailed with the ball, taking 22 wickets, and was the 4th highest wicket-taker in Division 3. Well done to Academicals 2nd XI captain Ankit Sehgal for accomplishing the incredible feat of a hat-trick of promotions.

Special thanks to President Charles Robertson (EA 1972-85) for all his efforts, which are reflected in the club’s success over the last few years, and Secretary Troy MacLachlan. Thanks to Cricket Master Ryan Sales for his admirable organisation of school cricket, and the traditional fixture between Academicals and the school XI, which is always played in good spirits. Thanks also to the school for their continued support, and the Newfield groundsmen for producing one of the finest cricket pitches in Scotland.

Andrew Cosh