CSL Eastern round up - week 3
From Cricket Media, Photos: Ian Potts
Ryan Hepburn last night relived the “dream delivery” that brought Scotland big-hitter Michael Leask down to earth with an almighty thump.
Less that 24 hours earlier, Leask had whacked the England attack all over Mannofield and threatened to propel the Saltires to a shock ODI win at Mannofield.
But along the road at Peoples Park, he was left to contemplate the vagaries of cricket as he trudged back to the Stoneywood-Dyce dressing room with a duck to his name, having had his stumps shattered by his first ball from Hepburn.
The dismissal was one of the prime features of another great team-display by Falkland, who sit proudly at the pinnacle of the Easten Premiership with three wins out of three.
Hepburn said: “Michael must have been brimming with confidence following his remarkable exploits against England and I think the last thing he expected was a delivery like that .
“It was definitely the best one of my career, though I have to admit conditions suited my style of seam bowling.
“He played a textbook forward defensive stroke, but the ball jagged away and clipped the top of his off-peg.
“It was the kind of delivery you dream about and I think I could only describe the look on Michael’s face as one of disbelief!”
Hepburn went on to complete a five-wicket haul, matching the efforts of Safyaan Sharif, as Stoneywood slithered to 35 all out in pursuit of 181.
He added: “Our top order batsmen deserve great credit because on a track and outfield like that 180 was worth 230.
“But the great thing is that we won again, and I don’t imagine any of us would have expected us to have a 100 per cent record after three matches in our first season at this level.”
Meanwhile relieved Arbroath skipper Marc Petrie hailed the application and grit of all-rounder Calvin Burnett in the wake of the salvage job that got their title defence back on tracks.
Petrie’s side had been in bother after a shaky batting display in awkward conditions at a damp Lochlands. ButBurnett dug deep to haul them out of the mire and inspire them to victory over Carlton.
The captain had demanded a much tidier fielding performance after their defeat at Falkland - and the response was instant and positive.
Petrie declared: “It was a very gritty display - the type we needed in these circumstances.
“Yes, it was another below-par batting effort, but at no stage did we feel our confidence ebbing away.
“We knew only too well how difficult it was, not only to score runs on that surface, but just to stay at the crease.
“We also have belief in our bowling attack - and thankfully there was a massive improvement in the general fielding and the impact of our back-up bowlers.”
Petrie added: “The bulk of the credit should go to Calvin because if he hadn’t been able to grind out his half century, we wouldn’t have posted anything like the total we reached and it would have been a totally different game.
“The win was what mattered most - and if we can keep on earning positive results while not playing at our best, we’ll be fine.”
Carlron just could not cope with the fast bowling trio of Max Parker, Brendon Ford and Calvin Burnett, all of whom claimed three wickets as they tumbled to 82 all out in 36.3 overs.
It spoke volumes of their batting effort that the top scorer was Extras with 21.
Earlier, the home side had made a solid start, putting on 21 before wickets began to tumble in alarming fashion. Unsurprisingly, it was seamer Gordon Drummond who sparked the collapse, accounting for both openers before bringing off a spectacular slip catch off the bowling of Tom Feshwater to reduce the hosts to 25 for three
Even worse was to come for Arbroath as Fraser Burnett was clean bowled by Omar Ahmad's first delivery. And when the fifth scalp was seized by Ruari Macpherson with the tally on 33, it seemed unlikely that the contest would even last until the tea interval.
But Petrie and Calvin Burnett halted the rot with a battling stand of 59.
Burnett's effort proved decisive, the Scotland all-rounder facing just 60 balls for his 50 and striking three fours and three sixes.The remaining three Premier matches were rained off.