Week 1 Eastern Premiership Wrap
Calvin Burnett insisted Arbroath will continue to aim to earn success through their sheer enjoyment of cricket as they launched the defence of their Eastern Premiership crown on a high note.
The Lochlands men staved off the challenge of Grange on home-turf - thanks in no small part to a fine bowling performance by Burnett himself.
But the Scotland star also took time out to criticise the new regulations governing wide deliveries, branding them “a bit of a shambles.”
The “profile wides” guidelines allow umpires to give leeway to bowlers when batsmen move from their normal stance immediately before attempting a stroke to a wayward ball.
Burnett declared: “On the evidence of what happened on Saturday, the rule did not work at all because each umpire interpreted it differently.
“It was a bit of a shambles for both teams and if you get a variety of opinions, you are bound to get far too much inconsistency.
“The change is designed to give the bowler a cushion when the batter is shuffling across the stumps, but against Grange it meant that many deliveries drifting down the leg-side were not called wide, as they would have been previously.
“I am not blaming the umpires themselves, but there has obviously been a lack of communication somewhere along the line.”
Arbroath’s total of 168 had put them in a vulnerable position, however seamer Burnett’s cheap four-wicket haul halted the Grange pursuit in its tracks and they fell 15 short of the target.
Earlier, his big brother Fraser had anchored the hosts’ innings with a watchful 36, well supported by Hamish Bartlett (32).
Calvin added: “We would have been more comfortable if we had reached 190 or so, however it was a tough deck to bat on, which made 168 at least competitive.
“It was very tense at the end, so I suppose it was a typical Arbroath-style win.
“Our intention is simply to keep enjoying our cricket and if we are doing that then the results will come
“We are just a bunch of guys who love playing together.”
Other notable opening-day bowling displays included a five-scalp package for Forfarshire’s Aman Bailwal against Heriot’s at Goldenacre.
But his effort proved not enough to prevent the home brigade becoming the only Edinburgh side to come out on top.
The Broughty Ferry boys held the whip hand when they sent Heriot’s hurtling to 88 all out.
But the vagaries of the surface were even more evident as the newly-promoted visitors slumped to 18 for five, a precarious position from which they couldn’t recover and they capitulated for 60.
Heriot’s had new recruit from South Africa, Ulrich Jooste, to thank for their stunning revival.
He marked his competitive debut by taking five for 16 and will clearly be a threat on any wicket this season.
It was a different story for the other elevated club, Falkland, for whom Conor Ryan hit a dogged half century to guide them to a five-wicket victory at Scroggie Park.
The batting plaudits of the weekend went to Aberdeenshire’s Chris Venske, whose unbeaten 137 against Carlton not only underlined his talents, but also those of the Grange Loan ground staff for preparing such a track so early in the year.
Venske was given stout support by fellow South African Hayes van den Berg (45) as Shire cruised to a daunting 264 for three.
The visitors then bagged three quick top order wickets to arrest the Carlton pursuit, which hit he buffers after half-centurions Kyle Macpherson and Gordon Drummond were run-out victims.
Michael Leask smashed 94 to inspire Stoneywood-Dyce to a well-deserved 48-run success at the hands of Watsonians at Myreside.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Scotland