UMAIR Mohammed led the tributes to Matty Parker after he produced a “special” innings to inspire Forfarshire to Eastern Premiership success against Scottish champions Arbroath.
Shire had given fair warning of their intent and potential when they triumphed in the pre-season friendly between the sides.
A handful of weeks later they repeated the feat when it really mattered, with Parker emerging as the star turn against his old club at Forthill.
Mohammed revealed that Parker’s knock of 127 was scored in the face of banter from the Arbroath fielders, which ultimately proved futile.
He stated: “It is safe to say that it was one of the best batting performances I have seen from a Forfarshire player.
“Matty oozed pure class. It was a special knock.
“The fact that he was getting all sorts of chat throughout the innings made it even more special.
“It is always a hard game against the Arbroath boys, but they do play it the right way – which means tough on the pitch and sociable off the pitch.
“However, the more they chatted, the more determined Matty became and he gave us a great platform and made sure we had a defendable total.
“Then, as usual, our bowlers came up with a solid display.”
Aman Bailwal provided ideal back-up to Parker with a half century as the hosts reached 232 all out.
Hamish Bartlett was the only Arbroath batsman to rise to the challenge with 74 and they ended on 189 for nine, Balwal and Liam Gough each taking three wickets.
The shortest match was at Raeburn Place, where Grange surged to one of their most convincing capital derby triumphs over Carlton for many years.
There was no way back for the visitors after they were skittled for 77, thanks to a six-scalp haul claimed by George Munsey and Andrew Brock, who said: “That was a very good win.
“We came up with a serious bowling effort and then completed an efficient and quick chase.”
Grange took just 14.4 overs to break the tape.
The strongest all-round showing of the day came from Ewan Chalmers, whose exploits were too much for Falkland to handle at Myreside.
He struck a fine 95 in Watsonians’ tally of 197 – then he took four wickets for 34 as the Fifers were shot out for 140.
Stoneywood-Dyce kick-started their campaign with a surprise six-run win against Heriot’s at Peoples Park, thanks to Michael Leask’s impression on a low-scoring contest.
He hit 34 in SD’s 131 before taking three crucial wickets.
Chris Venske’s unbeaten 103 propelled Aberdeenshire to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over SMRH at Mannofield – the home troops cruising to the 177 target in only 34 overs.