SCOTLAND A cap Chayank Gosain returns to the Carlton line-up this afternoon as they look to complete an unbeaten June in the CSL Eastern Premier Division when they travel to Aberdeenshire.
Carlton’s league campaign got off to a slow start but, since seeing their match with Watsonians was rained off with victory within their grasp three weeks ago, they have been on good form.
A fortnight ago, they saw off Heriot’s and then defeated the same side in the Murgitroyd Masterton Trophy semi-finals before last week’s convincing home win over Autoecosse Forfarshire.
That has left them with four wins from eight completed league matches and they are now sitting in fourth place in the table.
Having missed last week’s match 18-year-old Gosain, the Highlanders’ spinner, was back in the Carlton squad that was set to head off this morning to Mannofield. He replaced Irish cap Rory McCann.
Earlier in the season against Aberdeenshire, in an opening-day loss at Grange Loan, Gosain opened the bowling, although it is likely that Ali Evans and overseas amateur Tom Freshwater will continue to fulfil that role this week. Captain Gordon Drummond is still injured with Preston Mommsen continuing as able deputy.
Omar Ahmad will have been bouncing at training this week having taken seven wickets last time out and it will be interesting to see how he gets on up in the Granite City.
Aberdeenshire, sitting in second, come into this one in good form having seen off Mazars Grange and Falkland in recent weeks.
Last week, in the comfortable away win at Scroggie Park, the wickets were shared around for Aberdeenshire. The only man from that attack missing this afternoon is Hamish Niven, who took two wickets, with Rahul Chandu coming back in. Seamer Tony McKenna is still missing through injury.
Leaders Arbroath, who have won their last three completed league matches, have Greig Peal and Gavin Swan back in their XI as they travel to Portgower Place to play Mazars Grange.
The duo come in for Craig Cameron and Ross McLean, while the home side also make two changes after a loss at SMRH seven days ago. With Simon Smith and Zander Muir unavailable, they are replaced by teenage wicketkeeper Matthew Angelini and Henry Edwards.
The match-up brings back memories of the Scottish Cup semi-final between the same two sides last August.
Grange, who eventually went on to win the trophy, were struggling chasing Arbroath’s 199-8 until Stuart Davidson, now the club’s second XI captain, came in at number nine and hit a blistering 44 not out as the hosts won by one wicket.
If today’s match is half as exciting then spectators could be in for a treat in Stockbridge.
SMRH are still bottom of the table, but have won their last two league matches and will be excited ahead of the visit of Falkland to Inverleith.
Last week, Greg Bissett hit 45, but he is missing this week. However, Kyle McCallum, who scored 57 two weeks ago, is back in the side.
Falkland travel to the capital on the back of the aforementioned loss to Aberdeenshire and will be looking to arrest a blip of two league losses on the spin.
Forfarshire, despite the defeat by Carlton, are still third in the table and they have made a few changes ahead of the visit of Heriot’s.
With Craig Wallace still sidelined, Matthew Parker is skipper again and the likes of Tim Hancock, Graeme Quinn and Callum Garden come into the XI. Heriot’s have former skipper Steve Knox back in the team for the trip to Forthill with batsman David Ross also included.
Both captains will be key men for their teams at Peoples Park as Stoneywood-Dyce take on Watsonians.
Michael Leask and Ewan Chalmers have both been in great form with bat and ball recently.
Stoneywood-Dyce’s Leask’s latest great innings came during midweek as he hit 173 not out to help Scotland “A” secure a draw down in Yorkshire.
Chalmers hit 81 last week against Heriot’s for Watsonians, while Elton Willemse is back for the hosts and Alec Sim is in for the visitors.