CSL Round Up - Week 2
From Cricket Media
Century star Safyaan Shariff has tipped top flight newcomers Falkland to be in the mix for honours when the Eastern Premiership pecking order is decided in August.
The Scotland all-rounder warmed up for Friday’s ODI against England in perfect fashion, producing his best ever innings to propel the villagers to a shock triumph over champions Arbroath.
For Shariff, who also underlined his bowling talents, it was additionally the ideal way to mark his return to Fife following a spell in the west with Clydesdale.
The former Largo and Dunfermline teenager ace looked back on his unbeaten 132 at Scroggie Park and said: “I think it was the best knock of my career when you put it in context.
“We had lost some early wickets and so we had to lay fresh foundations.
“I am delighted to be back in my home county - and it feels good to be representing a local club again.”
Despite his amazing performance Shariff stressed Falklnd will not be a one-man act during the campaign.
He added: “Falkland are a very talented team - and if we keep doing what we are doing at the moment then I am absolutely sure we can finish high in the table.”
After two fixtures, Shariff and Co sit proudly at the pinnacle of the league, just ahead on nett run rate of Heriot’s, the only other side with a 100 per cent record.
Three quick strikes by Matthew Hurst had put Falkland in bother at 12 for three - but Shariff not only arrested the rout, he dominated the Arbroath attack to the extent that the next highest scorer was Conor Ryan with 28.
His effort guided them to a total of 218 for eight, which was to prove too lofty a target for the Lochlands bunch.
They also suffered early trauma with the loss in quick succession of Ross McLean and Hamish Bartlett,
On 143 for five, Arbroath must have still fancied their chances, however the lbw verdict against Calvin Burnett sparked the telling collapse and they were shot out for 179.
Shariff, Brock Ditchmen and Alan Hamilton each bagged three wickets.
There was also a fine showing from Forfarshire, who were inspired by a half century from Craig Wallace as they outgunned Watsonians at Broughty Ferry.
Dewald Nel (72) was the mainstay of the Watsons innings with a maiden half-ton, while Liam Gough took four for 24
For Shire, Matty Parker with 49 and Umair Mohammed (36no) offered stout support to Wallace in the face of fine bowling by Ewan Chalmers, who snapped up five for 34 in vain.
Like Falkland, Heriot’s have quickly emerged as dark horses for honours and they underlined their potential by edging out Aberdeenshire at Mannofield.
A target of 175 should have been within the grasp of the Granite City outfit, however they were unable to mount partnerships of sufficient bulk when it mattered and fell short by four.
Overseas amateur Hayes van der Berg was the pick of the host attack, earning four for 33 from his eight overs - and the picture looked bright as they stood on 81 for one following the early dismissal of Calum Howard.
Van der Berg’s departure at the hand of Mark Watt signalled a steady fall of wickets, with Harsha Cooray and Chris Venske perishing soon afterwards.
That left them on a jittery 107 for four, a position from which they couldn’t fully recover.
Grange survived a series of scares to kick-start their campaign with a gritty victory over Stoneywood-Dyce.
It was clear from the start that runs would be at a premium in the moist early-season conditions at Raeburn Place.
And even when the Aberdonians were skittled for just 82, it was never going to be a cakewalk for the hosts.
They eventually crawled over the finishing line with only three wickets in hand, however in the circumstances they will be heartened with any kind of win following their opening day defeat by champions Arbroath.
Skipper Andrew Brock and Scotland age-group star Chris Sole inflicted the bulk of the damage on the visiting line-up.
Each bagged a four-scalp haul, with the ever dependable Raj Routray also making his mark by striking twice.
At 46 for six in their pursuit, Grange appeared to be on thin ice - but Simon “Smudger” Smith and Sole maintained their composure to get the tricky job done.
Carlton had to dig deep to halt the charge of capital rivals SMRH at Grange Loan.
It was a scrappy match, featuring a spate of spilled catches and fluctuating fortunes.
Carlton had recovered from a shaky start to reach 209 for nine - thanks mainly to the application and awareness of Preston Mommsen and Alex Rajendran.
Mommsen steadied the ship with 50 after they had been toiling on 23 for two - then Rajendran was frustratingly run out when just five short of his half century.
Veteran left-arm seamer Craig Mackellar was the visiting bowler who posed the early problems, snapping up both openers in quick succession.
Craig Bissett was also in fine nick to finish with three for 42.
The SMRH chase wobbled in the sixth over as Martin Speirs was trapped lbw to Cheeky Gossain with the tally on 10.
And teenage spinner Gossain kept up the good work to help rip apart the SMRH middle order.
The Inverleith outfit needed 13 off the last over, but the home nerves held firm as former Scotland captain Gordon Drummond ran in.
It was an over that was to feature one frantic delivery, from which a catch was dropped, a single was scored before a run out was effected as the batsmen tried to scamper for a second run.
Then came a dot ball, with Drummond grabbing the decisive wicket with the next.
GLENROTHES made a belated but bright start to their Eastern Championship drive with an emphatic home-turf success against West Lothian.
Chris Greaves and former Saltires skipper Ryan Watson each struck half-centuries to inspire the Fifers to 191.
It was then Kenny Crichton’s turn to grab the limelight with a cheap four-wicket haul, which sent the Linlithgow troops slithering to 73 all out.
To complete a great day for teams from the Kingdom, Freuchie made it two wins on the trot as they demolished Carlton’s second stringers at Muir Road.
Vamsi Krishna led the assault it 59 and he was strongly supported by veteran all-rounder Scott Gourlay (44).
The capital men were never in the hunt and they were shot out for only 74.
Former Scotland coach Pete Steindl snapped up a frugal three-wicket bag to help Corstorphine snuff out the challenge of Grange Twos.
But Steindl was outshone by Mackenzie Barclay, whose five scalps were secured at a cost of just four runs.
Grange succumbed for 63 in futile pursuit of the home side’s 132 for nine.
Elsewhere, Holy Cross emerged top dogs in the capital derby with Edinburgh South at Arboretum Road.
Raja Javed was the man who mattered most, hitting 82 not out after taking three for 14.
And MDAFS were too strong on their own patch for Penicuik, easing to glory by 31 runs.