Wins for last season’s top sides in Scotland

A stunning hundred from international gloveman Matthew Cross headlines a busy week of Scottish league cricket.

Matt Cross

After last Saturday’s almost-complete wash-out in both the Eastern and Western Premier leagues in Scotland, the season got underway properly with all ten matches completed.

The Western Premier Division schedule pitted the two leading sides from 2021, champions Clydesdale and runners-up Ferguslie, against the promoted clubs Kelburne and Ayr, and fine individual performances with the ball by Danny Cairns for Clydesdale and with the bat by Riyaad Henry for Ferguslie ensured that the top dogs began in winning style.

Cairns claimed six for 19 as Clydesdale shot Kelburne out for 78 at Titwood, only Mohammed Kamran (20) reaching double figures for the visitors, and although Dougie Wylie took three for 17 when Clydesdale replied the champions cruised to victory in just 18 overs.

Ferguslie had lost two wickets without putting a run on the board when Taimoor Ahmed joined Henry in the middle at New Cambusdoon, but the pair proceeded to put on 193 for the third wicket before Ahmed went for 87, Henry going on to make 122 as the Paisley side ran up 289 for eight.

Ayr were on the brink of disaster at 67 for five in reply, but 50 from Neil Logan restored a measure of respectability to their total; with Haroon and Daoud Tahir taking three for 32 and three for 29 respectively, however, they finished on 200 for nine, well short of their target.

The match between Prestwick and West of Scotland at the Henry Thow Oval was a personal triumph for Prestwick’s young South African Donovan Du Randt, who took six for 29 as West were bowled out for 116, and then made an unbeaten 51 to see his side home after they had been reduced to 47 for five in their turn.

The clash between last season’s mid-table sides Stirling County and Uddingston at New Williamfield ended in a 33-run victory for County, whose total of 280 for eight owed much to a third-wicket stand of 112 between Brandon McMullen (83) and Manas Sahare (79); Ross Lyons took three for 35 for Uddingston.

Amaan Ramzan made 89 and Bryan Clarke 44 when Uddingston replied, but with Anthony Dunford taking four for 53 the Lanarkshire side were all out for 247.

Bowlers were in charge at Albert Park, where Langside squeezed home by two wickets against Dumfries.

The visitors managed 155 for eight, and Muhammed Khan’s unbeaten 51 enabled Langside to take the points with an over to spare; apart from Khan’s innings, the highest score on either side was just 27.

In the Eastern Premier League it was a similar story, with comfortable victories for last season’s top two, Heriots and Carlton.

Mathew Cross was again in dominant form for Heriots, hitting a 135-ball 166 for the champions as they reached 311 for seven at Goldenacre against Grange, for whom Dylan Budge claimed four for 32.

Jack Jarvis made 63 when Grange replied, but Gavin Main took three for 26 and Niall Alexander three for 31, and Grange were all out for 160.

Carlton reached 270 against Arbroath United at Grange Loan; in a real team effort  six players reached 30, and the attack then combined to skittle the visitors for 72, Ruaridh McIntyre the most successful of them with three for 11.

Watsonians cruised to an eight-wicket victory over RH Corstorphine at Royal High, bowling their opponents out for 140 before Ollie Hairs smacked an unbeaten, 60-ball 79 which included 13 fours and two sixes.

Forfarshire’s win against Stewarts Melville at Forthill was even more crushing, as Jack Hogarth’s four for 20 helped dismissed the Edinburgh side for 126, Forfarshire reaching their target for the loss of one wicket in just 14.4 overs, with Craig Wallace making 72 from 42 deliveries with twelve fours and three sixes.

At People’s Park Stoneywood-Dyce recovered from a perilous 56 for five against promoted side Falkland, thanks to a remarkable knock of 127 from 93 deliveries by Lennard Bester; after he retired with a side strain Andrew Maclaren continued the good work with 64 not out, and the Aberdonians reached 280 for seven.

Then Nikhil Ninan (four for 20) and Jon Grant (three for 23) ran through the Falkland batting, and the visitors were all out for 114, Steven Meikle top-scoring with 42.

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