CSL Review 29 June 2015
Falkland yesterday completed a memorable week with a surprise win over Eastern Premier champions Aberdeenshire at Mannofield.
Just seven days after upsetting leaders Grange the Fifers showed it was no fluke with a battling victory in the Granite City sunshine.
They would surely have expected to be chasing more than 115 when the Dons won the toss and elected to bat first.
However, a brilliant display by Scotland seamer Safyaan Sharif kept Falkland on top throughout the first half of the match.
‘Shire had looked steady when posting 30-1 from the first ten overs but they failed to compile meaningful partnerships as Sharif kept chipping away to claim five key wickets.
Falkland’s reply wasn’t all plain sailing as the Dons fought back to dismiss four batsmen but an unbroken stand of 43, during which Wayne Sullivan stroked a composed 44no, secured a six-wicket triumph.
Aberdeenshire’s fourth defeat of the campaign almost certainly leaves them with too much to do to retain their title especially since Grange recovered from last week’s loss to beat Watsonians.
The leaders had John Blain to thank for preserving their place at the top, as the former Northants, Yorkshire and Scotland star handed the national selectors another nudge with a brilliant display of pace bowling.
Grange were in danger of slipping to a second consecutive defeat after making just 130 at Myreside but Blain ripped through the home batting line-up to claim 8-32 as Sonians were skittled for 74.
Only Aberdeenshire’s Adrian Neil with his record-breaking 10-31 boasts a better return this season.
Arbroath have emerged as Grange’s main rivals after a gutsy win over Carlton at Grange Loan
The visitors first showed their grit with the bat, recovering from 89-7 to post 222-9, skipper Marc Petrie and Bryce Carnegie leading the way with 66 each.
Arbroath’s bowlers then pegged Carlton back from 82-1 to dismiss them for just 123, spinners Ross McLean and Craig Ramsay sharing eight wickets.
Elsewhere, Ryan Watson turned the clock back for the second week running, the Forfarshire and former Saltires skipper again scoring a century, this time as the Forthill side beat Heriot’s by five wickets.
Watson finished unbeaten on exactly 100, at one point putting on 50 in just four overs with Scotland’s Michael Leask who hit a rapid 63.
Former Scotland coach Pete Steindl claimed 4-22 but his effort still wasn’t enough to give Corstorphine their first win, Henk Conradie’s 95 securing a four-wicket win for Stoneywood-Dyce at Inverleith.
In the Western Union’s top match leaders Clydesdale consolidated their position after producing an excellent run-chase to win at Dumfries.
The hosts, needing victory to establish themselves as contenders to repeat their 2012 success, showed plenty of purpose in posting a challenging 239.
It was an innings punctuated by injuries to two Clydesdale fielders, sparking the unusual sight of team manager Colin Mitchell taking to the Nunholm ground as an emergency fielder.
Mitchell could resume his place on the sidelines to watch contentedly as Majid Haq and Richie Berrington both scored half-centuries in a three-wicket success though Dumfries took it to the final over.
Kelburne remain second after beating champions Ayr at Cambusdoon, Zeeshan Bashir claiming three wickets on debut for the Paisley side.
East Kilbride rekindled their title hopes with an emphatic win over Drumpellier at Torrance House.
Beaten a week ago by Kelburne, EK bounced back in style with significant contributions from all their top order batsmen.
Craig Smith led the way with a hard-hitting 64 including ten boundaries and two maximums while Muhammad Ramzan also posted a half-century.
Ross Lyons fell two short of that landmark but entertained spectators with four sixes as the hosts pushed their tally to 244 while Humza Sabri and Roshan Sajjad claimed three scalps each.
Drumps lost wickets at regular intervals as all the home bowlers enjoyed success in a 51-run win despite the innings of the match from Asid Mohammed who stroked a defiant 87 with five sixes.
Jamey Carruthers claimed seven wickets as Ferguslie stayed in contention with a 124-run over West of Scotland at Meikleriggs.
Alan Laycock and Anwar Hafeez had four wickets each as Uddingston dismissed Renfrew for 97 ay King George V Playing Fields but the hosts fought back before going down by three wickets.