Sorry Saltires wilt in the Essex sunshine

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The Saltires suffered in the sunshine at Chelmsford yesterday as Pete Steindl’s side conceded their highest-ever 40-over total with the Essex Eagles rattling-up a mammoth 368-7 en route to an easy 125-run win.

Hamish Rutherford, the former Ayr and Stenhousmeuir batsman, marked his county debut with a century but was outscored by Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate in the county’s most productive fourth wicket stand in all limited overs cricket. Yet, the Saltires could not have asked for a better start when Calum MacLeod made the breakthrough in the first over, trapping Tom Westley lbw before a run had been scored.

The former Warwickshire all-rounder also found the edge of Mark Pettini’s bat with no luck and went within an inch of having Rutherford caught during a lively opening spell.

He was well backed by 
Gordon Goudie who also saw Pettini edge a delivery wide of the keeper.

Pettini’s luck ran out when Calvin Burnett had him caught by Gordon Drummond with his first delivery and Owais Shah then holed out for a duck to Ewan Chalmers.

At 49-3 the Saltires had their rivals in trouble, and it could have been even better had 
Matthew Cross held onto a regulation keeper’s catch after 
Rutherford edged Burnett.

It proved a costly miss as the former Ayr and Stenhousemuir batsman went on to punish the Saltires, moving smoothly to a 48-ball half-century, with seven boundaries and two maximums, before moving into over-drive.

Burnett was walloped over long-off while Moneeb Iqbal’s first two deliveries disappeared into the crowd. Rutherford enjoyed another let-off in the ninties when he was dropped by Michael Leask but he merited his century which duly arrived from just 80 deliveries.

The Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate at the other end hit three sixes in a run-a-ball half-century before he too reached his century.

Rutherford eventually holed-out for 110 as Drummond claimed a second success but the damage had been done, the partnership making 230 with Ten Doeschate scoring 180 before being bowled by Leask.

With the Eagles out of sight, and it was little surprise the Scots were unable to get close.

Mommsen made 42 and Chalmers managed 34 while Cross demonstrated his promise as a batsman with his maiden halfcentury for the Saltires, finishing unbeaten on 54. Burnett also chipped-in with 31no as the visitors closed on 243-8 – a decent total on any other day.

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