ESCA Round-up - July
Gary Heatly gives us his monthly offering on all the goings on in the East Leagues.
Over the course of the 2014 season I will be writing a regular column for the Cricket Scotland website on all the goings on in the Baillie Gifford East Leagues below the Championship.
With nine divisions there is always plenty going on amongst the clubs and I hope you will find it interesting.
Weeks six to 11
In week six Abdul Majeed was the star man as Edinburgh’s good start to the East One season continued with a good win away at Largo.
The visitors to East Drive batted first and posted a huge total of 307-5 from their 50 overs.
Majeed was the mainstay with 139 while opener Kashif Hussain hit 89.
In reply Largo made a good fist of it, but were never up with the run rate and finished on 190-5. Majeed took three wickets to complete his great day and keep Edinburgh unbeaten.
Heriot’s II battled back from only scoring 113 themselves with the bat to defeat Watsonians II at Craiglockhart.
In another low scorer Musselburgh held on to defeat Edinburgh Accies while despite four wickets from Matt Loeffen Marchmont lost out by four wickets at Gala.
St Boswells also beat Dunfermline.
Zeeshan Sharif took five wickets in East Two as Livingston defeated Murrayfield DAFS II.
His wickets helped the West Lothian side bowl out the visitors to Dresselrig out for just 76.
Livingston then reached their victory target in 28 overs with four wickets in hand.
In week seven, with matches in the top East Leagues cut short by rain, it was time for some of the teams in the lower divisions to shine.
Most matches in all nine East Leagues started in bright sunshine, but the torrential rain that hit around 3pm meant that most matches were not completed.
However, in East Five Marchmont II’s bowlers were on fire from ball one at Cavalry Park to defeat Peebles.
The Borderers were bowled out for just 34 in 27.2 overs with Colin Smith the pick of the home bowlers, taking three wickets and conceding just one run.
Sensing that the bad weather was heading their way the Marchmont II batsmen then took just 4.5 overs to reach their victory target for the loss of one wicket, Harith Ramachandra hitting 21 not out.
At Roseburn John Baikie took four wickets as Edinburgh Accies II were bowled out for 39.
The DAFS opening batsmen then reached their target of 40 in just 8.5 overs.
In East Nine, in a match reduced to 20 overs per side, Tranent III beat RHC Corstorphine IV.
Neil Craigmile scored 81 not out and Dave Punton 25 as the East Lothian men posted 140-4 batting first.
Punton then took 3-5 as RHC were restricted to 53-8 to lose by 87-runs.
Week eight was also hit by the weather, only Marchmont and Watsonians II managing to get wins in East One.
In week nine Mohammed Shahbaz took four wickets to help Heriot’s II to a win in East One and keep them in the title race at the halfway point of the season.
At McKane Park the host side Dunfermline batted first and made just 99, Shahbaz the leading bowler for Heriot’s II with his four wickets with Craig Adams taking two scalps and Hassan Durrani also getting a wicket in a good bowling performance.
In the Heriot’s II reply Christopher Acheson and Gurpreet Singh both scored 20 with Adams chipping in with 17 and skipper Rob More 16 not out as they won by five wickets.
Edinburgh are still the team to beat in the division and they really put Gala to the sword.
Batting first the Capital outfit made an amazing 426-4 at Campbell Park before restricting the shell-shocked Borderers to 147-8 to win by 279-runs and remain unbeaten.
At Craiglockhart Watsonians II saw off St Boswells.
In the win Ryan Murray led the way with a half century.
Marchmont defeated Edinburgh Accies by five wickets after bowling them out for 142 at the Polwarth Oval in Prestonpans.
In the final top flight game Musselburgh defeated Largo by 55-runs.
In East Two Alexander Dry took four wickets, but it was not enough to stop SMRH II losing to Clackmannan County.
At The Arns the visitors made 139 batting first before losing out by four wickets.
In week 10 Watsonians II’s revival in East One continued with a win at Gala.
The men from Myreside travelled to the Borders on the back of league wins against Musselburgh and St Boswells and were boosted by the inclusion of Stuart Chalmers who was making his return from injury.
Chalmers took two wickets along with young Jamie Cousin while Neil Yelland took three and Ally Sadler and Ryan Murray took one apiece as Gala were bowled out for 164 at Meigle Park.
Ben Fox made 33 opening the batting for Watsonians II in their reply to give them a good start and then Chalmers made 45 and young Fraser Cousin finished on 17 not out as they won by three wickets in the end.
Leaders Edinburgh secured a tight five run win over Marchmont while Heriot’s II’s title charge took a stumble with a loss to Musselburgh.
In that game at Goldenacre the hosts posted 203-6 batting first, but the ‘Burgh batsmen were on fire to win by seven wickets.
Bottom side Dunfermline caused a bit of a shock by defeating Edinburgh Accies by 68 runs.
In East Two Navid Ashgar led the way with four wickets as Livingston defeated West Lothian II in a cracking contest.
Batting first at Boghall West Lothian made a decent score of 201 all out. In reply Livingston lost a couple of early wickets, but recovered well to win the match by two wickets.
In week 11 in East One Ryan Murray hit 101 not out at Cavalry Park to help Watsonians defeat Marchmont by six wickets while Edinburgh Accies defeated Heriot’s II.
Musselburgh were on the end of a big defeat to St Boswells, Elliot Ruthven the main man for the Borderers.
Ruthven hit 131 and took three wickets while Rory Elms took seven wickets as they won by 227-runs.
SMRH II put in a great performance with bat and ball on Saturday to hoist themselves up the East Two table.
Last week they had beaten Fauldhouse and in this week’s match against Broomhall at Inverleith they batted first and a number of players contributed.
Batting three and four respectively 58 from Ally Armstrong and 35 from Jonny Brock set things up nicely and then, following on from a century the previous week, Rich Hannam hit 52 as they made 248 all out from 45 overs.
With the ball in Broomhall’s reply Sri Ramisetti bowled a cracking opening spell of nine overs for just seven runs. He did not take a wicket, but that pressure allowed the other bowlers to take advantage.
Mark Burgess took 3-8 and Ali Khan 3-14 as Broomhall could only manage 135-9.
In East Three Haddington were on top form at Neilson Park to see off Edinburgh University Staff by seven wickets.
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