Scotland: Oli Hairs carried his club form into the Scottish Pro Series at Titwood on Sunday, and in the process carried the Eastern Knights into the final on 2 July.
Having hit an extraordinary 91-ball 191 for Watsonians on Saturday, Hairs needed only 44 deliveries for his 102 against the Western Warriors, belting nine fours and as many sixes, and sharing an opening stand of 119 with Josh Wood (38).
Even more remarkably, those 119 runs came from the ten powerplay overs, the last four of which yielded 76, 70 of them in boundaries, as Hairs and Wood utterly demolished the bowling of Mohammad Ghaffar, Hamza Tahir and Akram Shakoor.
After such a sensational start it was perhaps not surprising that the rest of the Knights’ innings was something of an anticlimax, with Richie Berrington and Ross Lyons combining to remove Dylan Budge, Tom Sole and Peter Ross in the space of 16 deliveries, and although Mark Watt contributed a useful 30 the side was all out for 242 in 44.3 overs.
Bradley Currie grabbed the vital wicket of Matthew Cross when the Warriors replied, and the Westerners soon found themselves on 63 for six, Currie taking three for 16 in a ten-over spell and Elliot Ruthven claiming three for 21 at that stage.
But Brandon McMullen and Lyons brought their side back into the game with a seventh-wicket stand of 122, made in just under 20 overs, before Mark Watt turned things back the Knights’ way by removing McMullen for 81.
Lyons followed 24 runs later, and Watt wrapped things up with the final two wickets as the Warriors were dismissed for 213, to end with three for 35. Ruthven who had come in for some punishment from McMullen and Lyons, finished with three for 63.
At Lochlands the Caledonian Highlanders proved too strong for the Performance Academy XI, despite a fine fighting century from Chris McBride.
The Highlanders compiled 297 before they were all out off the final delivery of their 50 overs, thanks to half-centuries from opener Harris Carnegie and allrounder Safyaan Sharif and valuable contributions from Durness Mackay-Champion (36) and Chris Greaves (47), rounded off by a brisk 36 not out from Ryan Brown.
Jasper Davidson took four for 79 for the Performance Academy, but their star of the day was McBride, who came to the crease at 9 for one, saw his side subside further to 24 for four, and was eventually eighth out with the total on 229, having scored a 117-ball 120 which included 11 fours.
He shared half-century partnerships with Tom Simpson (30) and Liam Naylor (24), but once he had gone the end came quickly, Sharif returning to take the last two wickets and finish with four for 35.
A table of the Pro Series can be found here.
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