CSL Round Up - Week 3

27 May

From Cricket Media

Edinburgh may enjoy a numerical dominance of the Eastern Premier Division, having five of its eight sides, but it is north-east clubs who have the bulk of the points in the early stages of the campaign.

Indeed Aberdeenshire and Arbroath are the only unbeaten sides after two rounds of matches, the pair securing impressive victories over Carlton and Stoneywood-Dyce on Saturday.

‘Shire’s success was particularly noteworthy coming against one of the sides strongly fancied to lift the title.

Carlton may yet do so but, in the end, they were fairly comprehensively outplayed by a Mannofield side who have their own aspirations of championship glory.

To most observers there was little to suggest that their 159-8 would prove sufficient especially when Carlton eased to 60-1 in reply.

However, Tyler Buchan, an increasingly shrewd captain, always trusted his men to take advantage of a deteriorating pitch and that is how it unfolded.

Harsha Cooray, the Sri Lankan professional, made one crucial breakthrough to remove Hamish Gardiner, courtesy of Kenny Reid’s stumping.

Gardiner’s 34 was as good as it got for the visitors before youngster Ryan West marked his debut by bowling former Scotland captain Gordon Drummond and Daya Singh, the fast bowling recruit from Australia, ripped through the visitors’ tail to claim four wickets.

Earlier Graeme Tomlinson had played the innings of the day with a painstaking 123-ball 52no which included only two boundaries.

It was, though, exactly what his team needed as Buchan acknowledged.

“Today was a real test of patience on a tough and slow wicket,” he said.

“I thought Graeme Tomlinson showed some real grit and mental strength to bat virtually the whole innings and help us post a total. 

“I knew going into the game that the second innings would get slower and lower and I thought Harsha and Neil combined well to really turn the screw on Carlton. 

“Daya Singh is a real handful, and once we had an opening he finished the job for us cleaning up the tail. 

“I’m also thrilled for Ryan West who only bowled two overs, but got a decisive breakthrough bowling Gordon Drummond when he was just getting set with Preston Mommsen.”

Marc Petrie was an equally upbeat captain after Arbroath’s 73-run win over Stoneywood-Dyce.

Hamish Bartlett and Calvin Burnett scored half-centuries in a total of 300-6 before Michael Leask’s 91 proved in vain for the Aberdonians, Ross McLean claiming 3-5 including that of Leask.

Petrie said: “There is a huge feel-good atmosphere here at the moment at every level of cricket and when you see how easily our seconds also beat Stoneywood, it indicates a healthy strength in depth.

“There are a few guys in that team who are definitely knocking on the first team door and I would have no hesitation in promoting them if vacancies were to appear.

“Our own win was a tribute to our discipline and remaining loyal to our game-plan.

“Even when Stoneywood-Dyce were looking threatening, we stuck to our guns and waited for them to make mistakes.

“And despite the fact that we made 300, there was no risk-taking. It was a case of waiting for the right balls to hit.”

There were plenty of the right balls to hit for Steve Knox and Adam Lockhart-Krause as Heriot’s posted the day’s biggest total, 328-2 against SMRH at Goldenacre.

 Player-coach Knox led the way with a brilliant 133 before SMRH settled for respectability on 224-9.

George Munsey, a player attracting the attention of the national selectors, scored his second century of the season as Grange registered their first win at the expense of champions Watsonian.

Munsey carried his bat for 110 while skipper Neil McCallum made 73 as Grange, chasing 232, recovered from 35-2 to win without further loss. 

Ewan Chalmers had earlier top-scored for the Myreside men with 93 before becoming one of Chris Sole’s three victims.

Uddingston, inspired by a wonderful century from Calum MacLeod, cruised to victory over West of Scotland as the Western Premier Division got up and running at the third attempt on Saturday.

MacLeod, who hit 125 in the Bothwell Castle sunshine, was the star turn but there were enough support acts to suggest that a successful season looms for the Lanarkshire club. 

True, West were nowhere near full strength, their attack deprived of at least three key performers, but the wily Mark Gilchrist had reduced Uddingston to 24-2 by the time MacLeod walked out to join Amir Gul. 

Having effected repairs, the two gradually opened out and had added almost 200 runs before Gul departed for a well-compiled 72.

MacLeod, though, continued his onslaught with a flurry of big shots – eighteen fours in all - and had just struck his first maximum when he perished on the boundary attempting a repeat. 

His efforts were enough to ensure that Uddingston made a winning start to their campaign especially when Scott McKenzie’s three-wicket burst reduced the visitors to 50-3.

West could only reach 177-6 from their fifty overs.

It was a performance which left Bryan Clarke, MacLeod’s successor as Uddingston captain, brimming with pride and enthusiasm.

“It was the way Calum scored his runs that was really impressive,” observed Clarke. 

“He was very reserved before really kicking on as well all know he can. I wouldn’t under-estimate Amir’s role either.  I’d be surprised if there is a better amateur batsman than him playing just now.

“We were also very disciplined the in the field with the bowlers sticking to their plans.

“It’s a great start for us and we have healthy competition for places this season.”

On any normal Saturday, MacLeod would have been celebrating the highest individual total of the day but instead that accolade went to Chris Bellwood as Dumfries launched their title defence with an impressive 42-run win over Renfrew.

Former Greenock batsman Bellwood stroked an imperious 141 and Andy Dawson 68 as the Nunholm men rattled-up 271-4.

There was some defiance from the league newcomers with Abdul Shakoor hitting a half-century but Dumfries, for whom Alan Davidson took three wickets, were always in control.

Clydesdale, fancied by many to take the title from Dumfries, made a winning start at the expense of Ayr.

 Youngster Sheryar Awan was the pick of the Dale bowling attack with 4-24 though several of the Ayr batsmen contributed to their own downfall in a disappointing total of 127. 

Shoaib Khan, Clydesdale’s player-coach, scored an unbeaten half-century to secure a five-wicket success.

Drumpellier continued their promising start to the season with a hard-fought 13-run win at Stirling.

Forfarshire again stressed their intent to bounce back to the Eastern Zone top flight without delay as they demolished Falkland at Broughty Ferry.

Scott Galloway thumped 84 and Matty Parker made 37 to carry them to 218 - which proved far too many for the Fifers.

Aman Bailwal was the destroyer-in-chief with a haul of five for 39.

Former Shire hero Ryan Watson helped to inspire Glenrothes to their first ever win on the national stage at the expense of Corstorphine.

Watson struck 40 on his home track before the Edinburgh side were shot out for 167 in reply to 198.

It was, however, a dismal day for Dundee HSFP and Freuchie, against whom the odds were stacked before they even turned up at Boghall to face West Lothian.

Veteran ex-Scotland ace David Cowan explained: "No fewer than seven of the squad were away on an end of season football tour to Newcastle, which had been arranged last year.

"We are also frustrated at the immigration red-tape that is delaying the arrival of our pro Junaid Mahsood."

Gregor Thomson and George Heath shared a cheap seven-wicket haul to send the visitors hurtling to a miserable 50 all out.

And to prove there were no demons in the track, the hosts rattled up the required runs in double-quick time without the openers being parted. 

It was a similar story at Penicuik, where Dundee were demolished for 68 as the locals secured an eight wicket win. 

In the Western section, Kelburne produced a remarkable comeback to stun Greenock in the Renfrewshire derby at Whitehaugh.

The Paisley men looked down and out when they stood on 41 for eight, but they refused to buckle and after setting a target of 114, they routed them for 64.

Rushdi Jappie whacked 133 not out to inspire Stenhousemuir to their 149 run success over Weirs, while East Kilbride and Ferguslie swept aside Poloc and Prestwick respectively.

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