Caledonian Highlanders v Eastern Knights
Eastern Knights yesterday launched the defence of their Regional Pro50 title with an emphatic win over Caley Highlanders at Forthill.
Caley skipper Kyle Coetzer elected to bat first but the move soon backfired as a succession of batsmen were sent on their way by a slick Knights bowling attack.
Chris Venske was first to go when he edged a catch to Peter Ross off the bowling of Ali Evans before Coetzer’s partnership with Craig Wallace offered hope of a recovery.
The Scotland skipper was in typically belligerent mood, hitting a series of crunching strokes to reach 32 with one maximum and four boundaries.
However, he was deceived by the spin of Mark Watt, offering the bowler a return catch to spark a Caley collapse.
Michael Leask and Safyaan Sharif both departed for ducks to the in-form Gordon Goudie, who followed his five-wicket haul for Grange on the same ground twenty-four hours earlier, by claiming 3-13.
He was upstaged, though, by Watt who returned to the attack to pick up two late wickets including Umair Mohammed who had offered the only meaningful lower order resistance with 29.
Watt finished with 3-13 as Caley were all out for a disappointing 141 with fifteen of their overs un-used.
The Knights didn’t have the run-chase all their own way as Sharif and Brock Ditchmen each claimed two wickets.
However, Mike Carson’s 44, including six boundaries, kept the champions on course before he was brilliantly run out by Scott Cameron, leaving the in-form Dylan Budge to guide the capital troops home with a composed 31no.
Speaking after the game Kyle Coetzer “We cannot afford to lose wickets in clusters like we did today as we then leave ourselves with a battle to try to win the game but it was good to see the fight shown from our lower order.” He added, “our batting is an area we will work to improve on before we compete against the Western Warriors side later this month. Every team in the competition has their strengths and can put out a strong team performance so it will be another exciting game for us.”
Eastern Knights v Western Warriors
Riyaad Henry emerged as the hero as the Western Warriors shook off the jitters to beat the Eastern Knights in a thrilling Tilney Pro50 Series encounter.
The hosts had appeared to hold the upper hand at Raeburn Place, but a superb knock of 95 by the son of Scotland legend Omar Henry turned the ride in decisive fashion.
Knights went into battle in confident mood in the wake of their success against the Highlanders at Forthill.
And they seemed to be on course to snatch another scalp when they rattled up 255 all out – then captured a spate of key upper order wickets.
But Henry blunted their attack in solid style before chipping a return catch to Mark Watt five short of his century.
In a nerve-tingling finale, Adil Raza then holed out to George Munsey at deep midwicket off James Dickinson for a breezy 24 to make it 237 for eight.
And the stage was left clear for Ayrshire pair Scott McElnea (13 not out) and Mitchell Rao (8 not out) to finish the job with eight balls to spare.
Earlier, Mike Mike Carson of Watsonians, struck a fine 73 to provide the backbone of the home innings.
Ross Lyons was the pick of the Warriors bowlers with a three-for.
The pursuit started in shaky fashion with Michael English being trapped by Watt for a duck.
Callum MacLeod departed in similar style to Elliot Ruthven and when Matty Cross was dismissed by Ali Evans the Warriors were in trouble at 37 for three.
Henry and Berrington steadied the ship with a half-century stand, only for the latter to fall to Dickinson for 35.
It was the turn of Lyons gave stout support to Henry, the duo figuring in another crucial fifty partnership.
Lyons was lbw to Knights skipper Andrew Brock – but Henry’s effort proved vital.
He faced 94 deliveries, hitting three sixes and eight fours.