A stunning 97-ball innings of 191 from Oli Hairs set Watsonians on course for a 68-run victory over previously-unbeaten Grange in Scotland’s Eastern Premier Division on Saturday, in a match at Myreside reduced to 46 overs by the weather.
Hairs contributed the lion’s share of Watsonians’ 295 for nine while Jack Jarvis, who had come in for some severe punishment from the Scotland international, hit back to take three for 65.
Harris Carnegie led the Grange reply with 48, Jarvis providing support with 33, and then Charlie Peet contributed 56. But the visitors finished well short, all out for 227, with Gareth Weatherall taking three for 45 for the winners.
Grange’s defeat left Forfarshire as the only undefeated side in the competition and back on top of the table, despite having played a game fewer than most of their rivals.
They steamrollered Stewarts Melville at Inverleith, mainly thanks to a fourth-wicket stand of 90 between Michael Leask (79) and Scott Cameron (84), and then another of 79 for the sixth-wicket between Cameron and Jack Hogarth, which took them to 303 all out in 46 overs.
A DLS adjustment set the home side 300 to make in 48 overs, but despite Ben Wilkinson’s 60 they were dismissed for 228 just two balls short of their quota, Fergus Duncan taking four for 41 for Forfarshire.
The Edinburgh rain also brought DLS into play at Goldenacre, where Heriots’ 46-over total of 307 for five was seasonally adjusted to 305. This, too, proved too much for Stoneywood-Dyce, who were dismissed for 156, despite a fighting 48 from David Kidd.
Earlier, Matthew Cross had rivalled his Scotland colleague Hairs’ performance for Watsonians, making an unbeaten 171 for Heriots and, after sharing a third-wicket stand of 90 with Mark Watt (41), utterly dominating an unbroken 164-run partnership with Keith Morton, whose share was 36 not out.
Carlton were untroubled in beating Arbroath United at Lochlands, Rory Allardice claiming four for 37 and Arun Pillai three for 16 as the home side were bowled out for 161.
Carlton needed just 36.5 overs to secure a six-wicket victory, opener Shujaa Khan making 36 and Fraser Burnett an unbeaten 40.
The remaining match, between RH Corstorphine and Meigle at Barnton, fell victim to the weather and was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Stirling County clung on to take a thrilling contest by the narrowest of margins in the Western Premier Division, as home side Ferguslie closed just one run short of their total at Meikleriggs.
County’s total of 223 for five was built on a solid opening stand between skipper Matthew Tweedie (74) and Harry Booker (49), but with Taimoor Ahmad taking three for 49 the middle order was unable fully to capitalise on this excellent start.
Ferguslie’s hopes rested mainly on their captain, Riyaad Henry, but when he fell for 85 the tail was unable to pull off the win, and they finished on an excruciatingly close 222 for nine.
Leaders Clydesdale seemed to be in trouble at the Henry Thow Oval, when Majid Khan (four for 18) and Sachin Chaudhary (three for 24) combined to bowl them out for 141, Richie Berrington top-scoring with 48, but Prestwick’s batters did even worse in reply.
Although Chaudhary completed a notable double with 31 and his side were seemingly well placed at 58 without loss, Calum Drummond and Dan Cairns then ran through the rest of the batting with three for 31 and three for 40 respectively, and with two run-outs to add to their problems Prestwick were all out for 118.
West of Scotland stayed in touch with the leaders with a 106-run victory over Dumfries at Hamilton Crescent, star of the show being skipper James Fennah, who top-scored with 43 in his side’s total of 223 for seven and then took five for 23 as Dumfries were dismissed for 117.
Callum Dutia completed the win by taking the last three wickets to fall at a cost of 20 runs.
To the great relief of their supporters Uddingston claimed their first win of the season with a 69-run defeat of Langside at the Bothwell Castle Policies.
The hero here was Ross Lyons, who rescued the home side from a perilous 76 for five and saw them through to 174 before he was last man out for 37, and then weighed in with three for 34 as Langside collapsed to 105 all out.
Rouman Butt took four for 21 in the Uddingston innings, while Lyons’ efforts were matched by those of his spin partner mir Gul, who claimed four for 15.
Greenock continued their unhappy start to the season at Shawholm, where despite Neil Flack’s 43 Poloc bowled them out for 113.
Kess Sajjad was the all-round star in this one, taking three for 22 for Poloc and then, after Saif Sajjad had set the Shawholm side on course with 32, seeing them to a six-wicket victory with an unbeaten 32 of his own.
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