1st XI lose at Goldenacre

Saturday 3rd August

Stewart’s Melville CC 77 all out (27.4 overs); Heriot’s CC 78 for 5 (26 overs). Lost by 5 wickets. Ball sponsor – Colin Brown

After last week’s weather cancellation the 1st XI resumed their East Premier League campaign against Heriot’s at Goldenacre having won the first match earlier in the season.

Captain Steven Parker won the toss and chose to bat first despite having won the first match batting second. Kyle McCallum (18 runs) and Mike Miller (20 runs) started profitably against the pace bowling of our former player Elliot Ruthven and Joe Kinghorn-Gray, ex RHC putting on 30 runs before Kyle stranded out of his ground was bizarrely run out by Hayes van der Berg after he had failed to take an overhead catch at mid off. Ben Wilkinson followed caught low down in the same position off Kinghorn-Gray with the score on 41. Shaylen who replaced Ben at the crease started confidently the score quickly moving onto 63 before he was caught behind for 15 off the bowling Michael Shean who had replaced Elliot Ruthven. The slow bowling combination of Shean and Scotland and Derbyshire player Mark Watt then appeared unplayable on a helpful wicket as we slumped to 77 all out with five of our bats failing to score.

Photo – Mikey Miller plays forward

Given the success of Heriot’s slow bowlers we opened with Greg Ruthven and Hayden Sweet with Kyle McCallum replacing Sweet after one over. Heriot’s reached 23 without loss and seemed on their way to a comfortable win when the pursuit of runs against a turning ball resulted in a succession of wickets so that the score became 44 for 5 and Stew Mel hopes of achieving something special were raised. Hayes van der Berg (55 balls for 19 runs) and Keith Morton (34 balls for 8 runs) then chose to pick their shots carefully so that after 26 overs Heriot’s achieved the anticipated win leaving Stew Mel to wonder how many more runs might have tested the home side more. Greg Ruthven bowled his 10 overs straight off taking two wickets for just 20 runs with Kyle McCallum one for 17 off seven overs and Sam Tait two for 27 off 8 overs making things difficult for the Heriot’s batsmen.

We have three Saturdays to go in the league season with home games to come against Watsonians, RH Corstorphine and league leaders Forfarshire. Aberdeenshire remain in the relegation spot two wins behind us.

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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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