CSL Week 1 Round Up
From Cricket Media
Fraser Burnett believes Arbroath’s victory over champions Watsonians proves they can make a major impact in the season ahead.
Burnett, who has handed the captaincy to Marc Petrie, played a valuable batting role as the Lochlands men completed a battling three-wicket win in testing conditions at Myreside.
The former skipper dug in for his 21 runs, a tally bettered only by Arbroath’s overseas amateur Hamish Bartlett who top-scored with 37.
In the context of a low-scoring match – Arbroath were chasing just 106 – these contributions were of match-winning proportions especially since Dewald Nel and Paddy Sadler had put the visitors on the back foot by sharing six early wickets.
However, it was Arbroath’s bowlers who made the decisive contribution on the day and none more so than the evergreen Benny McGill.
Having “retired” on more than one occasion, it is said around Lochlands that the experienced seam bowler has made more comebacks than Sinatra and McGill certainly hit the high notes as Arbroath, having invited their hosts to bat, took an early grip on proceedings.
There had been much anticipation about the debut of Alvin Pollard, the cousin of West Indies all-rounder Kieron.
Pollard, a UK resident based with the Royal Marines in Arbroath, played his part with three important wickets including the big one of former Scotland skipper Craig Wright who top-scored with 27.
However, he was upstaged by McGill who used all his experience and guile to get the most out of a helpful Myreside pitch as his haul of 4-19 demonstrated.
“Benny keeps saying he is retiring,” said Burnett, “but we know he just can’t get enough of the game.
“Conditions were perfect for him today and he just put the ball on the spot and nagged away at their batsmen.
“Alvin also moved the ball about a bit and is clearly going to be a useful addition to our squad.”
McGill also had a role to play with the bat, providing a calm unbeaten 14 when the heat was on towards the end.
Burnett added: “It’s great to have someone of Benny’s experience in the side and he made sure we got the job done.
“We maybe did things the hard way but I think today’s result shows we mean business.
“We have a good balance about the side and I think we are an improved team compared with last year.”
On a disappointing day for capital sides, Grange and Heriot’s also came second best as Aberdeenshire and Stoneywood-Dyce headed home to the Granite City with full points.
In a match reduced to 32 overs Grange could muster a modest 142-6, Henry Edwards playing the lead role with 37 from 40 balls while Josh Edwards contributed 31.
Aberdeenshire, who had five different wicket-takers, were in trouble when they slumped to 60-4.
However, Sri Lankan professional Harsha Cooray made an unbeaten 70 with five boundaries and two sixes while player-coach Neil MacRae weighed-in with 33no at the required run-a-ball rate.
Saltires prospect Michael Leask was Stoneywood-Dyce’s hero with a hard-hitting unbeaten 68 as the Aberdonians cruised to their target at Goldenacre.
Elton Willemse lent valuable support with 37, the Highlanders’ all-rounder having earlier claimed 4-35 to dismiss Heriot’s for 175, despite a half-cnetury from David Ross.
Carlton were left to fly the flag for the capital sides with victory over city rivals SMRH.
The league’s newcomers, inspired by former Carlton hero Cedric English, dug in to reach a creditable 159-7, player-coach English top-scoring with 32.
However, Chayank Gosain’s four wickets always gave Carlton the upper hand and they were able to ease to victory thanks to a half-century from youngster Kyle Macpherson and a 68-ball 66no from skipper Preston Mommsen who hit nine attractive boundaries.
The entire card in the west was washed-out.