Grange win by 100 in Slog Fest

Photo – Ollie Hairs (Grange) takes on Hayden Sweet.

Grange 262 for two (22 overs); Stewart’s Melville CC   162 for two (22 overs).   Grange won by 100 runs.  Ball sponsor – Ross Logan.

After heavy overnight rain Saturday’s league match was reduced to 22 overs a side starting at 4.35pm just 15 minutes before the cut-off by which time the ground was bathed in warm sunshine.

Steven Parker won the toss and elected to bowl, Grange opening with Scotland squad player Ollie Hairs only recently returned after several years down South and former Scotland bat Ryan Flannigan.   The first three overs produced 16 runs without loss before Hairs who favours “slog sweeps” both sides of the wicket “teed off” with 2, 4, 6, 4 off the final four balls of Hayden Sweet’s second over.  He continued in that vein for the rest of innings eventually scoring 179 not out off 81 balls with 17 fours and 12 sixes with only Shaylen Pillay and Andrew Wallace conceding less than two runs a ball from their bowling.   The highly thought of under 19 Scotland cap Tom MacKintosh batting at no 3 scored a fine 48 in more classical style with 5 fours and one six.   It didn’t go unnoticed that a very catchable chance was put down early in Hairs’ innings.

The Stew Mel response facing an impossible task was what in normal circumstances was to go along at very good rate of  seven plus runs an over with Shaylen Pillay opening with Kyle McCallum reaching 53 not out while Kyle made 36 (3 fours and 2 sixes) off just 24 balls.   Ben Wilkinson at no 3 made 16 off 17 balls and Hayden Sweet 40 not out off 28 balls.   So Grange duly collected the win points in their pursuit of league leaders Forfarshire while we are still seeking the further league win that will probably ensure league safety for another season.

Before the match a minutes silence was observed by the players and umpires following news of the untimely death of Watsonian’s groundsman and former Warwickshire and Scotland player Willie Morton which caused the withdrawal from our side of his Myreside colleague Kris Steel.

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Last over loss in T20 Semi Final

Photo above – Mohammed Saad (RHC)

Thursday 18th July

Stewart’s Melville CC 89 for 9 (17 overs); RH Corstorphine 92 for 9 (16.4 overs). Lost by 1 wicket.

The club’s bid to reach  the final of the T20 Masterton Trophy ended in last over disappointment as RHC scraped home with two balls remaining thanks to a disciplined innings of 61 not out by the Pakistani A team professional Mohammed Saad as all their other batsmen succumbed to Stew Mel’s slow bowling duo of Greg Ruthven (4 for 12) and Hayden Sweet (2 for 18) as well as some smart fielding which brought two run outs.  None of the other RHC bats scored more than five.

A twenty minute deluge of rain shortly before the planned start of 6.15pm resulted in a delayed start with the game being reduced to 17 overs a side with two bowlers being allowed four overs and others being restricted to a maximum of three.  RHC won the toss and put us into bat on the proverbial ‘tricky wicket’ which in the event favoured bowlers who took the pace off the ball.   Shaylen Pillay and Kyle McCallum opened the innings and got us off to a start of 37 runs in five overs which gave us some kind of advantage throughout most of the game.   Shaylen with a six off the second ball of the match and two fours batted with aggressive intent before being bowled last ball of the fifth over by the pacey Caleb Whitefoord who had caused us problems in the earlier league match at Barnton.   Ultimately our score of 89 was probably less than hoped for with four of our bats reaching double figures but with only two boundaries between them and all told five being bowled.  Jacob Wood bowling ‘spears’ with 4 for 14 off four overs was particularly effective and Majid Haq bowling last picked up two wickets in the last over.

With the exception of Mohammed Saad RHC’s batsmen found batting equally difficult toiling against the bowling of Shaylen in his opening two overs, Hayden Sweet and Greg Ruthven particularly while Saad rarely missed the opportunity of picking up a single as well as striking two sixes and six fours and batting with an eye on the required number.  For all that Stew Mel were ahead on DLS until the last over but the designers of that system couldn’t build in the opposition’s best bat being at the wicket for the whole innings.

Ultimately there was disappointment as Saad achieved the seven runs required to win off the last over but all in all there will be satisfaction from the whole series which saw us achieve wins against Watsonians, Grange, Accies, Edinburgh and Carlton.

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Masterton Trophy – 1st XI into semi-finals with win over Carlton

Carlton 138 for nine (20 overs); Stewart’s Melville 139 for 4 (19.4 overs)

The 1st XI produced one of their best batting performances of the season last night to secure a six wicket win against Carlton with three balls remaining of their 20 overs.

Having won the toss captain Steven Parker elected to bowl first and the tactic seemed to have worked when seven Carlton wickets were taken for inside 14 overs for 81 runs conceded. One of Carlton recognised strengths is their ability to bat deep so it was frustrating but no surprise that Peter Neame and ‘Cheeky’ Gosain added 52 runs for the eighth wicket and achieved a final score of 138 which seems about par for the side batting first in the competition. Slow bowlers Greg Ruthven with 3 for 20 and Hayden Sweet with 2 for 23 were our leading bowlers as so often in this competition.

Carlton have two of the quickest club bowlers in the Scottish game in professional Corne Dry and Scottish internationalist Ali Evans yet often choose not to bowl them together mixing up their bowlers throughout. Michael Miller went early to a superb catch on the boundary by former Scotland rugby full-back Hugo Southwell (picked the wrong fielder there) and Shaylen Pillay after an early flurry of runs fell to Ali Evans first ball of the innings in the fifth over having replaced Dry at the pavilion end. Thereafter Kris Steel and Ben Wilkinson consolidated things so that after 10 overs we were 49 for 2. From that point onwards both players raised the tempo scoring freely against all bowlers in a partnership of 80 runs when Dry back for his third over bowled Kris Steel with score on 98. Hayden Sweet joined Ben Wilkinson at the crease and together they carried on with the run before Ben was run out attempting a third run at 119 in the eighteenth over. Hayden Sweet continued in aggressive style and the scores were tied second ball of the last over with a massive six with the winning run being scored two balls later.

A huge win for the club which brings a semi-final on Thursday evening against Corstorphine at Barnton.

Scoreline: Carlton 138 for 9 (P Neame 45, C Dry 20; G Ruthven 3 for 20, H Sweet 2 for 23.) SMCC 139 for 4 (B Wilkinson 46, K Steel 30, H Sweet 26 no, S Pillay 15; S Gupta 1 for 16 (2 overs), C Dry 1 for 23 (4 overs), A Evans 1 for 19 (4 overs).)

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