ABERDEENSHIRE groundsman Kenny McCurdie fears he will have to order extra stumps when new Australian fast-bowling recruit Daya Singh really hits his straps at Mannofield.
His comments came after teenage Sydneysider Singh produced a remarkable display of skill and bravery to propel the hosts to an unlikely Scottish Cup triumph over Uddingston.
Singh took six of the Lanarkshire side’s wickets and then battled through the pain barrier after a bout of cramp to carry Shire over the winning line, sharing a half-century tail-end stand with Nairn youngster Adrian Neil.
McCurdie said: “Not only was Daya extremely nippy, he was phenomenally accurate. Four of his victims were clean-bowled and the other two were lbw. He looked quick to start with and I heard the Uddingston guys talking about how he seemed to add 10mph to his pace when the sun came out! The lad is certainly going to make a big impression on the Scottish scene – but from a personal point of view, I am worried about how my stumps will stand up to the battering.
“Either I am going to have to find a way to strengthen them – or make sure I have plenty of extra ones in the shed…”
Match umpire Alex Dowdalls added: “Apparently the boy has been clocked at 88mph back in Australia – and he is the quickest bowler I have seen in this country for a long, long time.”
Skipper Scott Birrell denied Freuchie were a club in crisis after they were hammered by Drumpellier, having turned up at Langloan with only nine men. Birrell explained: “The first phase of Cup games were always going to be a concern for us. We had five guys still involved with football, a couple with hockey and wicketkeeper Michael Jackson called off because his wife had a baby. We expect most of these players to be back in time for the start of the league programme next week.”
Drumpellier skittled the depleted Fifers for just 31 and then, after managing to revive their stubbornly reluctant roller, cruised to the target in the ninth over without their openers being parted.
Batting first, Freuchie had fallen to a devastating bowling display by new overseas amateur Jarrod Armitage (three for 11) and Mohammed Ramzan, who took four for six.
Former Scotland World Cup paceman John Blain snapped up five Carlton wickets at Grange Loan – but his efforts for West of Scotland were not enough to stop the Edinburgh side easing their way to victory.
Carlton made 230, with four men, including Blain’s ex- Scotland mate Fraser Watts, passing the 30 mark. Cheeky Gosain was the pick of the home attack, taking three scalps as West were all out for 122.
Dumfries’s disappointing start to the season continued as they slumped to a three-wicket loss to Heriot’s at Goldenacre.
Cameron Farrell was the destroyer-in-chief with a return of five for 42 as Dumfries hit 161, but Steve Knox (49) and Adam Lockhart-Krause (30) starred in Heriot’s solid winning reply.
Another ex-Scotland all-rounder, Cedric English, struck 92 to inspire SMRH to success over East Kilbride at Torrance House.
Clydesdale edged out West Lothian at Titwood, while Rushtie Jappie’s unbeaten 124 for Stenhousemuir proved too much for Glenrothes.