BIG-hitting Michael Leask gave another demonstration of his all-round talents as Stoneywood-Dyce sprang a surprise in the Granite City derby yesterday.
In the only Eastern Premier clash to beat the weather, Leask was instrumental in his side’s seven-wicket win over league leaders Aberdeenshire at Mannofield.
His four wickets first helped dismiss the Dons for a disappointing 156 before a typically robust half-century put the issue beyond doubt.
Leask was ultimately out-scored by Schalk Conradie but the Scotland and Highlanders star was the main difference between the sides, the 23-year-old hitting a superb 55 from only thirty-three balls and when he departed just four more runs were needed for victory.
Fittingly the winning hit came from opener Conradie whose no-risk policy had been clear from the start and which reaped dividends in an unbeaten 65 from 124 deliveries.
Earlier, Shire’s Kenny Reid was bowled by Leask in the second over, and though Chris Venske opened his shoulders to get the board ticking, having reached 24, he became Leask’s second victim, the bowler taking a safe return catch.
A succession of batsmen failed to play the substantial knock that was needed, only the youngster Hayes van der Berg staying at the crease long enough to make a meaningful contribution.
He stroked seven boundaries and cleared the rope on one occasion in reaching 55 from eighty-five deliveries only to become Alistair Gill’s third victim.
Gill finished with figures of 3-22 but was trumped by Leask who, having taken the first two wickets, returned to remove the last two Dons batsmen to claim 4-30.
Meanwhile it was a tale of unremitting rain – and frustration – elsewhere in the east and on the other side of the country where the elements wiped out the Western Union CS Premier card.
The torment was perhaps greatest for Carlton who were poised for a morale-boosting win against Watsonians at Myreside, dismissing them for just 98, with Ali Evans, claiming 6-19. Fraser Watts’ hard-hitting 37no then carried Carlton to 53-1 from eight overs.
Had a further two overs been bowled, the D/L calculations would have kicked in and Carlton would have recorded a win and leapfrogged their hosts to pull away from the danger zone.
In the west, Drumpellier had reduced Uddingston to 54-4 before rain called a halt after 22 overs.