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League review - week 2

League review - week 2

Robert Baltzer5 May - 16:32
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3s start the season strong and new joiners make immediate impact

The air was heavy with mizzle in Edinburgh for the fixtures played close to home, at Myreside (1s), Craiglockhart (4s) and Meggetland (3s). Only the 2s travelled further afield, to an equally damp Prestonpans. Nevertheless, (nearly) full matches and lots of overs were played, with only the 1s eventually succumbing to poor light, frustrating the Grange bowlers who couldn't quite bowl us out in the 38 overs they managed.

This week was the first of a delayed EPL season but week two for the ESCA leagues. Last week saw a good-spirited friendly at Grange Loan as a pre-season warm-up for the 1s but the gloves came off, metaphorically, at Myreside as Grange dominated a young and unfamiliar-looking Watsonian team, re-shaped over the winter by departures and impacted by temporary absences. Captain Gareth Weatherall led the way with the ball, taking 3 wickets for 62 off his 10 overs. Tom Pratt was hit on the ankle after his bowling release in his fourth over and took no further part in the game, though happily he was moving a little more freely by the end of the day. Only new man Rukhmangad Holey, among our bowlers, added to the wicket tally, taking the coveted scalp of Angus Brown, Grange opener, with his very first ball of competitive cricket for Watsonian! His figures of 1 for 45 off 9 were the most economical on our side. Nevertheless, Grange posted a very impressive 381/5 off their 50 overs with Finlay McCreath top-scoring with 139*, supported by Angus Brown's 75, Jamie Crawley's 55 and 40+ scores from two Davidsons - Ben (40) and former Watsonian Jasper (42 - boo!) This total was not expected to be endangered but the early going from Matt Brian and Ruk was good. Matt suffered a groin strain in the first innings which worsened as he batted, causing him to retire hurt, before later rallying and finishing with an excellent run-a-ball 71 with the help of runner Rob Loomes. Ruk made an impressively assured 45 on debut and promising age-group internationalist Tom Wylie added 19. Our total of 176/8 after 38 was some way short of the DLS requirement when bad light stopped play.

The 2s were disappointed to lose their first game of the season at home to Carlton 2 and hoped to bounce back quickly at Tranent & Preston Village. Sadly, this was not to be. The home side won the toss and chose to bat. The wet conditions on an artificial wicket made life difficult for bowlers and fielders alike but each of our bowlers took at least one wicket (captain Rory High 3, Ollie Robertson 2) with T&PV finishing 208ao. The chase started slowly in drying conditions but accelerated somewhat with a good 50 partnership between Rory and Dan Kirk, followed by an excellent 49 on return from former captain Alan Sievewright, making shots to all corners. Sadly, the required rate and a couple of good wickets (of Dan and Will Ellison) pressured our tail, seeing us fall 55 short. Credit to Lokesh Natarajan for Tranent who took 4 for 24 off his 7 overs.

The 3s, by contrast, have made an excellent start under new captain Jonathan Potton. They won a nail-biting first match at home against MDAFS 3 last week featuring a 5-fer for Ben Hogg. This week they travelled the very short distance to Meggetland to face Carlton 4s. Batting first, we put on a solid 180/7 helped by Daniel Bryen (36), Louis Ferguson (41) and especially Ross Millar’s explosive 50* to finish. The credit for restricting Carlton in the chase was shared but much must go to our three new joiners – Aryaman Apte took 1/36 off 7, Vikash Gautam an excellent 3/8 off 6.3 and Anjum Ahitan 2/33 off 8. Louis and Jonny chipped in with two apiece causing Carlton to fall 20 runs short.

The 4s have also made a positive start, beating Marchmont 4s away in week 1, chasing 148 comfortably with batting contributions from across the team (and a very effective bowling cameo from Rob Newton who took 3/2 off 2.1 to clean up the tail). This week we hosted MDAFS 5 on the Craiglockhart arti (not grass, due to inclement conditions) and the shoe was somewhat on the other foot. We posted a very good 196/5 with contributions from across the team again. MDAFS’ opener Nikhil Reddy Reddem made 55 and his teammates kept up a steady pace of scoring to reach our total in the 39th over. Our young bowlers Ethan, Ludvig and Siddharth were economical and very promising.

The selectors had a very challenging week and would very much appreciate players’ co-operation in signaling availability early and avoiding call-offs, if at all possible. Considering the many hours put into forming and re-forming teams this week, it was galling to have Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie away at Ayr called off first thing due to wet conditions on the west coast. The fixture will instead be played on Sunday 19th May.

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