RYAN Hepburn savoured the “dream delivery” that brought Scotland big-hitter Michael Leask down to earth with an almighty thump yesterday.
Less than 24 hours earlier, Leask had whacked the England attack all over Mannofield and threatened to propel the Saltires to a shock ODI win. But along the road at Peoples Park, he was left to contemplate the vagaries of cricket as he trudged back to the Stoneywood-Dyce dressing room with a duck to his name, having had his stumps shattered by his first ball from Hepburn.
The dismissal was one of the prime features of another excellent team display by Falkland, who sit proudly at the pinnacle of the Eastern Premiership with three wins out of three.
Hepburn said: “Michael must have been brimming with confidence following his remarkable exploits against England, and I think the last thing he expected was a delivery like that. It was definitely the best one of my career. He played a textbook forward defensive stroke, but the ball jagged away and clipped the top of his off-peg. It was the kind of delivery you dream about.”
Hepburn went on to complete a five-wicket haul, matching the efforts of Safyaan Sharif, as Stoneywood slithered to 35 all out in pursuit of 181.
Meanwhile relieved Arbroath skipper Marc Petrie hailed the application and grit of all-rounder Calvin Burnett in the wake of the salvage job that got their title defence back on track. Petrie’s side had been in bother after a shaky batting display in damp conditions at Lochlands. But Burnett dug deep to haul them out of the mire and inspire them to victory over Carlton. The captain had demanded a much tidier fielding performance after their defeat at Falkland – and the response was instant and positive.
Petrie said: “It was a very gritty display, the type we needed in these circumstances. It was another below-par batting effort, but at no stage did we feel our confidence ebbing away.”
Carlton couldn’t cope with the fast bowling trio of Max Parker, Brendon Ford and Calvin Burnett, all of whom claimed three wickets as they tumbled to 82 all out in 36.3 overs.
It spoke volumes of their batting effort that the top scorer was Extras with 21.
Earlier, the home side had made a solid start, putting on 21 before wickets began to tumble in alarming fashion. Seamer Gordon Drummond sparked the collapse, accounting for both openers before bringing off a spectacular slip catch off the bowling of Tom Feshwater to reduce the hosts to 25 for three
Even worse was to come for Arbroath as Fraser Burnett was clean bowled by Omar Ahmad’s first delivery. And when the fifth scalp was seized by Ruari Macpherson with the tally on 33, it seemed unlikely that the contest would last until the tea interval. But Petrie and Calvin Burnett halted the rot with a battling stand of 59. Burnett’s effort proved decisive, the Scotland all-rounder facing just 60 balls for his 50.
The remaining three Premier matches were rained off.
FORFARSHIRE were last night celebrating a revenge win as they sent Heriot’s tumbling out of the Scottish Cup.
On the opening day of the league season the Broughty Ferry side collapsed to 60 all out but on this occasion they produced a much more resolute display with the bat at the same Goldenacre venue.
Skipper Craig Wallace led the way with 63, ably supported by Umair Mohammed who made 39 in a total of 198.
Aaron Lilly, ’Shire’s Australian professional, rocked Heriot’s with two early wickets and the Edinburgh side never fully recovered, eventually stuttering to 140 all out.
Glenrothes are a side with a point to prove after controversial reconstruction robbed them of their CS League status.
However, the Fifers failed in their quest to progress to the second round despite dismissing Stirling for just 108 at Riverside Park where Robbie Wright claimed five of the visitors’ wickets.
Glenrothes found batting even harder going and the clatter of early wickets put paid to their chances.
Meanwhile, Eastern Premier leaders Falkland had too much firepower for Stenhousemuir at the Tryst, the Fifers dismissing their hosts for 78 before easing through by eight wickets.
There was double delight for Falkland who had two teams in action yesterday, the other one securing a 72-run Village up win over Crathie in the grounds of Balmoral Castle. However, there was disappointment for Fife neighbours Freuchie who were outgunned by Clydesdale, losing at home by 141 runs.
Elsewhere, Saltires star Moneeb Iqbal spun East Kilbride to a convincing victory against Prestwick.
Iqbal claimed four wickets as the Torrance House troops made light work of the Ayrshiremen at The Henry Thow Oval.
The hosts could muster just 108 all out with none of their batsmen offering substantial contributions.
Harmanjit Singh then led the run chase with 47 as East Kilbride cruised to their target though Prestwick stuck to their task to claim five wickets.
That was the only game in the west to finish but Poloc had reached 61-1 at Dumfries before a violent hailstorm brought an early end to proceedings.
The cancelled games will take place next Sunday.