Gary Heatly’s ESCA column

14 May



Gary HeatlyGary Heatly’s column May 13

Over the course of the 2013 season I will be writing a twice monthly column for the Cricket Scotland website on all the goings on in the East Leagues.

With nine divisions there is always plenty going on amongst the clubs and I hope you will find it interesting.


Teenager takes plaudits

When many of us read the scorecards from the first round of East League matches in April we had to look twice at the Carlton II-Watsonians II information. 

That was because Ali Shah had scored an amazing 207 not out in the home side’s innings at Grange Loan in the East One encounter. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly it was the highest total scored by a player at the club for 105 years and those who were there to witness the 18-year-old let fly, particularly in the closing overs, were in for a great. 

Ali said: “It is something I will remember for the rest of my life. I felt in good touch at the start of the innings and I just kept going from there, hitting the bad balls away when I could. 

“To reach 100 was good enough, but then I realised there was still plenty of overs left and their bowlers were tiring so I just keep hitting the bad balls away. 

“The other batsmen who were with me helped me stay calm while towards the end myself and the captain [Grant Newman] talked between each over about where I should target to hit the ball to.” 

Shah had brought up his hundred in style with a six and motored on from there, putting the Watsonian bowlers to the sword.

Fittingly, he then hit the last ball of the 50 overs for 6, completing an innings that will go down in club history. 

They went on to win by 115-runs.

Skipper Newman, who finished on 19 not out and was batting with Shah at the innings close, said:  “Once he got past 100 Ali really went for things and they all seemed to come off. It was great to be at the other end as he passed 200.

“He is just one of a number of talented young players we hope to expose to second XI cricket this summer.”

To top things off for the Shah family, Ali’s older brother Ahmed, 19, made his debut for the club’s first XI on the same day, taking 1-8 opening the bowling in a win at Prestwick in the Scottish Cup.

Seven days later left hander Ali made his first XI debut and scored 43 in a Scottish Cup win over West of Scotland. Quite a week for the boys who grew up playing street cricket in Pakistan!

Dream debut

As debuts go it was not a bad one for Edinburgh University student Calum Burrell.

In week two of the East One action Grange II posted a daunting 360-8 against Dunfermline with Burrell, 106 not out batting number eight, and teenager Duncan Player putting on 168 for the ninth wicket in just over an hour.

They went on to win convincingly. 

Japanese visit

There was disappointment for the cricketers of the ESCA select XI and Japan at Myreside when their match was cut short due to the rain.

The encounter was much anticipated given that the East of Scotland Cricket Association do not often get the chance to put out a team made up of players from various clubs. 

And the Japanese wanted to end their trip to Scotland on a high. 

Following rain shortly after the proposed noon start the match was shortened to 20 overs per side, but it was abandoned completely after the first innings.

By that time the ESCA select were on 138-6 with Murrayfield DAFS’ Mangesh Akerkar top scoring with 45.

Gala pick up silverware 

Gala were the first East League side to pick up silverware this season after they won the President’s Trophy final that was held over from 2012.

Batting first at St Boswells, Edinburgh scored 128 with Atif Hussain top scoring with 27 while Neil Crooks and Kris Mein took four and three wickets respectively for the Borders.

A well-constructed 58 from Gala captain Stevie Halls saw them to the brink of victory before a few wobbles left the result in the balance.

Gala needed 10 runs from two and a bit overs with the last wicket pair at the crease. They managed to hold their nerve though and saw their team home with six balls remaining. 

And finally… 

Congratulations to the Woodcutters who earned their first ever cup victory after bowling Leith FAB II out for 40 in a President's Plate first round tie on May 12.


Do you have a story for Gary? Email him on or follow @G_HMedia on Twitter


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