Another weekend and another notable contribution to the Eastern Cricket Premiership from Cameron Farrell, a 25-year-old Australian who is fast becoming one of the key performers on the Capital scene.
Farrell’s Heriot’s may have gone down by six wickets to a thoroughly efficient Carlton at Grange Loan on Saturday, but for the second successive week he was the top batsman afield in adding a defiant 56 to the competition’s highest score this season – 136 not out – against Barclays Grange the previous weekend.
Of that mighty innings, the modest Farrell had remarked that it would have been better to have made “20 or 30 and won” and his body language betrayed similar feelings as the dust settled on a one-sided encounter which ended just before 5pm, Carlton achieving a 140-run target in the 29th over.
“If we’d put 200 or even 180 on the board we would have made a decent fist of it,” said Farrell. “Defending 140 you have to try to take a wicket every ball and Carlton were just too good for us on the day.
“They definitely bowled very well, but we didn’t bat well enough in top seven.
“Eventually Keith Morton and I put on 69 for the sixth wicket, but the partnership needed to come earlier. Waiting on the bad ball was what we needed to do, but Carlton either restrict you or put you away.
“I don’t usually get runs against Carlton, so it was good to get some in a tight situation where they tied us down.”
That was a reference to the fact that Farrell is now in his fourth season at Heriot’s – apart from one year at Dunfermline – and thoroughly settled as he looks to complete a degree in Town Planning at Heriot-Watt University.
Since he is here for the long haul, that means Scottish cricket can continue to benefit from an outstanding pedigree that saw him hit a double hundred as a junior in his native Townsville, Queensland, on the way to gaining a cricket scholarship at Brisbane Grammar School.
From there he joined the Valleys club, which has produced the likes of Allan Border, Stuart Law and Matthew Hayden, while his first-grade debut was in a match against baggy green wearers past and present in Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Hauritz, as well as Brendan Nash, who went on to play for the West Indies.
“Stuart Law was also around and I was lucky to catch these guys at the end of their careers or before they went off. It was a great education just being around them.”
Farrell, who describes the possibility of qualifying for Scotland on residency as “interesting but not something I’ve thought too much about while studying”, is now passing on experience to a young Heriot’s team, while Carlton are proving equally proficient at fast tracking youngsters.
Acting captain Fraser Watts, who top scored with 45 before holing on at long on, said: “Our youth set up is established and players are starting to come through. Lads like Cheeky Gosain, Kyle McPherson, Haris Aslam and Kyle Stirling are being picked because they are playing well. Seventy-five per cent of our youngsters are home grown.”
Spinner Fraser Allardyce should also be added to the list, as he marked his league debut with figures of 3-31.
Watts remarked; “Fraser Allardyce should be in with a shout for Scotland under-19s. He has come on so much and besides being a really good bowler is our best fielder by a country mile.”
It was, however, two wily old heads who did for Farrell, stumped by the redoubtable Jamie Kerr standing up to ex-Scotland captain Gordon Drummond’s pace bowling and the mixture of youth and experience made for an entertaining cricketing cocktail, enhanced also by Stirling’s no nonsense approach his 24 in helping close out the win coming off 26 balls.
The win leaves Carlton third behind leaders Arbroath and Barclays Grange, whom they entertain on Friday in a twenty:20 match to mark their 150th anniversary.