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First home league defeat

Photo – Shaylen Pillay bowls Kyle Macpherson.

Saturday 6th July

Carlton CC 235 for 9 (50 overs); Stewart’s Melville CC 170 all out (44.1 overs). Lost by 65 runs. Ball sponsor: Ross Wilkinson

The 1st XI suffered their first home league defeat of the season losing to Carlton by 65 runs. In terms of some recent results against Carlton this represented some improvement tinged with some disappointing aspects.

Carlton won the toss and elected to bat on a day when the Saturday weather was the best since our friendly match at Stirling in April. Before the match Stew Mel suffered a blow when in form opening bat Kyle McCallum was forced into a late call off due to a bug and was replaced by Euan Campbell who was due to play in the 2nds.

That Carlton scored 235 was in large measure attributable to some sloppy bowling and fielding – 40 extras being conceded (Carlton’s top scorer !) including 32 wides from 15 balls called by the umpires. On this occasion all the bowlers were guilty to a degree. On the positive side wickets were taken regularly and while four batsmen got into the thirties none went on to a big score. Shaylen Pillay was pick of our bowlers with two for 15 runs off his ten overs bowled straight off. Hayden Sweet took three wickets with his off spin but conceded 61 runs in his ten overs.

The Stew Mel reply matched Carlton’s for 24 overs, 83 for 3 against Carlton’s 78 for 3, Michael Miller (24) and Ben Wilkinson (15) being second and third out to identical shots caught at mid off by Raza bowled by Scotland pace bowler Ali Evans. In the next over Hayden Sweet was run out by the proverbial mile and Patrick Ritchie was out lbw first ball and although decent contributions with the bat came from Shaylen Pillay (21), Steven Parker (30), Greg Ruthven (25) and Andrew Wallace (21) we never threatened Carlton’s total.

In other matches on Saturday there were wins for Stoneywood Dyce over Watsonians and Arbroath over league leaders Forfarshire by 1 run results which demote us to ninth place in the league but still two wins ahead of Aberdeenshire. Next Saturday we have an important match away to Stoneywood Dyce but holidays and family commitments seem likely to reduce availability.

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Fourth Masterton T20 Win

Thursday 4th July

Edinburgh CC 139 for 2 (20 overs); Stewart’s Melville CC 141 for 1 (16 overs). Won by 9 wickets. Ball sponsor – Fred McLeod

Our 1st XI finished the group stages of this year’s Masterton Trophy with an emphatic win over Championship leaders Edinburgh CC at Inverleith.

Edinburgh won the toss and chose to bat first under grey skies and a draughty wind from the West. It was no surprise that they set about matters in their usual aggressive batting style and Shaylen Pillay’s four overs for just seven runs was perhaps lost ion the onslaught suffered by others. All four Edinburgh bats we saw had some success with Qasim Ashraf who remains familiar from our days in the Championship striking an unbeaten 53 in double quick time to give Edinburgh a very respectable total of 139.

Ordinarily 139 might have appeared quite a challenging total but on this occasion both openers Kyle McCallum (62 not out) (pictured above) and Mikey Miller (41) were up to the requirements each playing in the manner their talents are capable of in an opening stand of 77 with Ben Wilkinson continuing in the same vein with 29 not out so that a nine wicket win was wrapped up in 16 overs without even Shaylen Pillay and Hayden Sweet being required.

The win gives us a record of four wins and three defeats and on the verge of qualifying for the play-offs. Whether this is achieved or not depends on whether Corstorphine and Grange rearrange a cancelled fixture from early in the competition and the outcome if a re match goes ahead.

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1st XI beat thunder storm and Aberdeenshire – up to seventh place

Saturday 29th June

Aberdeenshire CC 135 all out (47.4 overs); Stewart’s Melville CC 76 for 3 (20.2 overs). Stew Mel win by 26 runs on DLS calculation. Ball sponsor – Hamish Muirhead.

The 1st XI won Saturday’s important East Premier League match against Aberdeenshire on the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) system for determining results where the weather intervenes. That they did so was down to a window between two thunder and lightning storms which allowed our innings to reach the critical point of twenty completed overs having earlier come off the field after eighteen overs.

Stew Mel won the toss with captain Steven Parker choosing to bowl first in hot sunshine but with the weatherman predicting possible change later in the day.

In the event while the weather seemed the critical element the success was based on a sound bowling performance with only ‘Shires professional Sinesipho Nqweni of the East Province team in South Africa and Ian Kirk who came together at 15 for 3 producing much of a batting threat. Indeed Nqweni gave something of a master class in batting being last out on 59 as ‘Shire succumbed to 135 all out in 47.4 overs. Eight Stew Mel bowlers were utilised all bowling with economy. Greg Ruthven’s ten overs cost only 16 runs and included Kirk’s wicket. Hayden Sweet introduced as our sixth bowler captured four of the last five Aberdeenshire wickets for 22 runs. Notably, Ben Wilkinson (eight overs for 20 runs) and Greg Ruthven didn’t concede a wide between them.

136 should have been a gettable score in 50 overs even on a slow pitch but given the importance of a win to both sides there was a certain nervousness among supporters but possibly as much attention was being paid to the darkening skies as the Stew Mel batsmen set about the task with Duckworth Lewis very much in mind. ‘Shires overseas amateur, Callum Mackaness pretty much destroyed our batting in last year’s Mannofield match with quickish left arm bowling but came into this match carrying an injury and bowling off a much shorter run up with less pace. He still captured the wickets of Mikey Miller (14) and Ben Wilkinson (1) both lbw but with Kris Steel grinding away at the other end 25 had been scored when Shaylen Pillay came in at number 4. Between them Kris and Shaylen put us comfortably ahead of the DLS requirement but with thunder and lighting seemingly coming closer the concern was that we wouldn’t reach the critical point of 20 overs and so it proved when the umpires took the players off at the end of the 18th over with the score 73 for 2 well ahead of Duckworth Lewis.

After approximately half an hour’s break and with the skies apparently clearing and the light much improved the game resumed so that the essential two overs were bowled to take the game into result territory. No sooner was that attained than Kris Steel lost his wicket to Kirk, bowled for 34 with the score 76 for 3 – but still well ahead on DLS. At this point the thunder and darkness returned followed by a monumental thunderstorm of some duration so that the umpires decision to terminate play became inevitable as the ground disappeared under large pools of water. The win we wanted so much was achieved and on the cricket played well deserved – notwithstanding there was an element of good fortune involved the celebrations started. With three league wins (100% at Inverleith) we have climbed to seventh place in the league – next Saturday it’s Carlton at home again (12 noon start).