Championship: Dumfries bowlers run riot as SMRH collapse on sticky wicket

DUMFRIES brought SMRH crashing back to earth with a clinical display at Nunholm on Saturday. The Inverleith side had hogged the headlines in the build-up to this game with the recent arrival of their talented Kiwi professional George Worker and the capture of two other overseas players.

Bryn Lockie has also been recruited by SMRH, though the former Scotland opener was perhaps fortunate to have missed a match which turned into a rout with the visitors bundled out for a paltry 41 - the club's lowest total since the amalgamation of Stewart's Melville and Royal High.

Stuart Corbett-Byers, the Dumfries captain, while delighted with the victory, was more relieved that Dumfries had finally managed to complete only their second game of the campaign. He was also a little frustrated that his batsmen are still short of match practice.

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"We are not complaining about such a comprehensive win against one of the fancied sides, but our batsmen need time in the middle and that was never going to happen after bowling them out for 41," said Corbett-Byers.

"I was lucky enough to win the toss and normally at Nunholm you'd have no hesitation in batting, but the wicket was a bit sticky and I decided to put them in. Our opening bowlers simply put the ball on a good line and length and we held our catches well."

Indeed, the visiting batsmen had no answer to Allan Maskrey and Robert McBride who claimed four wickets apiece. McBride, brother of Scotland U19 batsman Tom, claimed the key scalp of Worker in bizarre circumstances when the New Zealander lost balance and trod on his wicket. Dumfries lost just one wicket in pursuit of their target, that of Tom McBride, while Drew Dawson led the chase with 26no.

Corbett-Byers added: "We just need a run of games now to find some consistent form, but we are rusty. Our overseas amateur Chad Breetzke arrived from South Africa three weeks ago and still hasn't had a bat! SMRH were naturally deflated after such a heavy defeat but I'm convinced they will bounce back from this and have a good season."

Elsewhere, Steve McLister continued his fine form as Kelburne swept to victory over Penicuik at the Whitehaugh Oval. McLister has caught the eye of the national selectors during the opening weeks of a campaign which have seen him pile on the runs. The 21-year-old compiled his biggest score of the season, a well composed 87, as the Paisley side compiled 211-6 with professional David Harper also reaching a half-century. In reply, Penicuik fell 76 runs short of their Duckworth-Lewis revised target, Scott Hamilton claiming four wickets.

East Kilbride, the SNCL newcomers, continue to justify their place among the elite, Falkland their latest victims at Scroggie Park where Shiraz Khalid top-scored for the visitors in a hard-earned three-wicket win.

Iain Philip, the record-breaking former Scotland opening batsman, came out of retirement at the age of 52 and promptly top-scored with 32 as Stenhousemuir carved out their first win of the season at the expense of Edinburgh Accies.Corstorphine moved into the top half of the table and left Freuchie languishing near the foot with a 31-run win at Public Park. But Renfrew's clash with West Lothian at King George V Playing Fields was abandoned after just a few overs, while the match between Ferguslie and Weirs did not even start at Meikleriggs.