CSL Eastern Premier Week 1
Modest Forfarshire captain Craig Wallace shrugged off his remarkable display of big-hitting to label his side’s opening day Eastern Premiership triumph over Heriot’s “almost the perfect performance.”
The out-of-favour Scotland wicketkeeper thumped a spectacular unbeaten 162 to inspire the Broughty Ferry boys to a clinical success at Goldenacre.
But afterwards he preferred to talk up his whole team, rather than his personal exploits.
Wallace said: “As a group of players we played almost the perfect game - and that is a nice feeling.
“A lot of work has gone into the club over the past three years or so and that endeavour is definitely paying off.
“The whole squad have been hugely excited about this season and they want to perform with a sense of enjoyment.
“Having seen what we can do so early in the campaign, the aim now is to match that display - or even better it every week, and just generally keep on improving.”
Shire made 293 for eight, an impressive tally on an April pitch and outfield.
Wallace did the damage off only 142 balls, his last 62 coming from just 18 blows.
The thrilling innings - his 12th ton in all forms of cricket for the club - featured six sixes and 12 fours.
Wallace was provided with stout support by Matty Parker and new recruit Michael Leask and the target was always likely to be comfortably outwith the scope of a home side.
Heriot’s set off on their reply in purposeful style, however wickets tumbled at regular intervals.
Liam Sweeney was the pick of the attack, breaking through four times at the cost of 27 to send the locals sliding to 162 all out.
Veteran opener Steve Knox (80 not out) was the only Heriot’s batsman to offer solid resistance.
The astonishing batting form of Hamish Gardiner continued at Lochlands, where Carlton surged to a clear-cut victory over Arbroath.
Gardiner had whacked a century in each innings to carry Scotland’s second string Xl to a win against their Durham counterparts in midweek.
And he carried on where he had left off, albeit he missed out on three figures by only two runs.
Arbroath had boldly opted to bat after winning the toss. They recovered from an early dose of the jitters to make 214 for nine.
Skipper Marc Petrie led the revival with 64, with excellent back-up from young Harris Carnegie (41).
With Gardiner and Scotland captain Preston Mommsen in such rich form, such a total wasn’t likely to pose a significant problem for the capital outfit and they cruised home by seven wickets.
Champions Aberdeenshire safely negotiated a tricky hurdle in Falkland, thanks to the efforts of Adrian Neill and Callum Martin at Scroggie Park.
Martin’s whirlwind 81 not out from 41 balls guided the Dons to 254 for eight. Neill then claimed a six wicket haul to clinically complete the 140-run success.
Chris Greaves produced a remarkable all-round performance to spur Glenrothes to a Championship demolition job on Penicuik at Kirkhill.
First, he bagged five cheap scalps as the home team were pegged to 160 for nine, Kris Steel hitting 81.
He then strolled to 100 not out in the uninterrupted chase, which was completed in the 27th over.
And for Greaves and his Fifers, it was a case of sweet revenge at the first time of asking.
He explained: “It was defeat to Penicuik at the end of last season that cost us promotion.
“This result showed we have put aside that disappointment and we are all very focussed on this campaign.
“On a personal level, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the summer, and I have to pay tribute to my batting partner Ben Wilkinson, who struck an excellent half century.
“As a squad, we feel in a positive frame of mind and we are determined to keep up the momentum,”
Robbie Birrell also made 100 not out as Freuchie outpowered Holy Cross by 49 runs at Muir Road.