Cricket Media - Week 16 review
Cricket Media review the sixteenth weekend of fixtures in the Eastern and Western Premier Divisions.
Carlton moved within one victory of clinching the Eastern Premier title thanks to an impressive 64-run success over Arbroath at Grange Loan yesterday.
In a convincing all-round display the home side recovered from a shaky start with the bat to post 259-7 before dismissing the Lochlands men for 195.
Carlton were struggling on 48-3 after the Arun Pillai, Kyle Macpherson and Stevie Gilmour all departed cheaply.
However, a superb double century stand between former Scotland opener Fraser Watts and former rugby cap Hugo Southwell turned the match in the leaders’ favour.
Both men were quick to punish any loose bowling as they gradually seized the initiative.
The pair looked set to reach deserved centuries only to fall agonisingly short.
Southwell, who had been the main aggressor, had reached 98 when he lofted a catch into the deep.
And Watts was four runs short of his first ton of the campaign when he too picked out a fielder.
Arbroath started their reply steadily but Chayank Gosain joined the attack to claim three crucial wickets.
Carlton ruthlessly pressed home their advantage though the victory charge was stalled by a hard-hitting 81 from Elton Willemse.
Watsonians remain in pursuit of their city rivals after surely ending Grange’s reign as champions with a three-wicket win at Myreside.
Andy McKay, the former New Zealand Test seamer, added another four wickets to his impressive tally for the season as Grange, having elected to bat, struggled to 159-9.
The home reply was not all plain sailing especially after John Blain’s three wickets in quick succession.
However, Ewan Chalmers played a captain’s knock with a composed 66 to put his side on course for the points.
Somerset star Michael Leask, back north for Scotland’s WCL double header against UAE, proved too good for his old Stoneywood-Dyce mates as Forfarshire raced to a ten-wicket triumph at Forthill.
After the Aberdonians had been skittled for 97, Leask bludgeoned 70no to put the issue beyond doubt.
Heriot’s dismissed Glenrothes for just 55 at Gilvenbank before cruising to a nine-wicket win while Harsha Cooray’s unbeaten half-century helped Aberdeenshire win at Falkland.
Meanwhile Clydesdale must wait at least another week for Western Premier glory after again being frustrated by rain.
The Titwood side need just one more victory to complete a successful title defence and were red-hot favourites at relegated Stenhousemuir.
However, the match was abandoned without a ball bowled and Dale skipper Majid Haq, whose team have completed just two of their last six fixtures, admitted: “The rain seems to have followed us around in the second half of the season.
“It’s very frustrating and leaves us needing to win one of our two remaining fixtures to be sure of the title.
“The consolation is that we have the chance to win it at home next week when we play Prestwick.”
East Kilbride are the only side who can catch Clydesdale after a hard-fought five-wicket win at third top Ferguslie.
In a low-scoring encounter only Ross Lyons mastered the conditions with a hard-hitting 69 while almost every other batsman struggled.
Lyons stroked seven boundaries and plundered four maximums and had good support from Petrus Coetzee (28), the pair sharing a 92-run partnership following the loss of four early wickets.
Earlier good new-ball bowling from Umair Khan and Coetzee put Ferguslie on the back foot, Taimoor Ahmed (34) and Gregor Preston-Jones (25) making the only significant contributions in a total of 135-9 while Moneeb Iqbal claimed 3-18.
Elsewhere Adil Raza claimed six wickets as Prestwick collapsed from 130-4 to 134 all out at Uddingston for whom Niall MacLeod’s 45 sealed a three-wicket victory.
Drumpellier’s clash with Dumfries and Ayr’s meeting with Kelburne were abandoned.