Rain and Stewarts Melville the only winners in Scotland


So adverse was the weather across Scotland on Saturday’s opening day of competition that only one of the ten scheduled matches in the Eastern and Western Premier Leagues could be completed.

Stewarts Melville were the fortunate side, stealing a march on their rivals with a thrilling four-wicket victory over Watsonians in a rain-reduced game at Myreside.

Batting first, Watsonians reached 152 for five off 27 overs thanks to an unbeaten 62, at almost a run a ball, from Andrew Brock after Joe Newman had reduced the home side to 54 for three by grabbing three quick wickets, one of them the dangerous Ollie Hairs for a golden duck.

A DLS adjustment meant Stewarts Melville needed 148 to win, and although Josh Stinson’s three for 16 in six overs gave the home side hope initially, Ben Wilkinson hammered a match-winning 87 not out, made from 63 deliveries with eight fours and five sixes, and in a final flurry of boundaries the visitors reached their target.

The most frustrated side in the East was probably Forfarshire, who dismissed Stoneywood Dyce for 156 at People’s Park, Lewis James taking four for 22, and who had reached 100 for two in reply, Craig Wallace making a 38-ball 56, when the rain brought an end to proceedings.

In a game cut to 38 overs Carlton made 192 for five against promoted side Falkland at Scroggie Park, Ali Shah (75 not out) and Neville Madziva (35 not out) sharing an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 91, and the Fifers were on 70 for two in 9.3 overs when the match was abandoned.

Elsewhere, Mark Watt claimed five for 26 as Heriots dismissed Arbroath United for 143 at Lochlands, while at Portgower Place Grange posted 167 for four against RH Corstorphine, Dylan Budge making 77 not out and sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 91 with Thomas Foulds (43).

The news was no better in the West, although Premier League returnees Ayr had time to run up a massive 349 for four against Dumfries at Nunholm, with Michael English smashing a 133-ball 180 and putting on 112 for the first wicket with Lloyd Jefferson (56).

Further north, the games didn’t get nearly as far: Ferguslie’s encounter with Stirling County at Meikleriggs was called off without a ball being bowled, while only nine overs were possible at Hamilton Crescent, where Clydesdale reache 40 for one against West of Scotland.

There was an over fewer at Whitehaugh, where Kelburne’s return to the top flight was interrupted with Langside on 61 for two, Rouman Butt having hit a rapid 38 not out which included seven boundaries, and at the Bothwell Castle Policies Uddingston made 92 for two in 20 overs against Prestwick.

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