Championship: Ryan Nurse lightens gloom with Caribbean-style batting display

RYAN Nurse, Penicuik's West Indian professional, may not have encountered back home the conditions that he faced during his side's clash with Stenhousemuir at Kirkhill on Saturday.

Barbados is not known for the slate grey skies or the constant drizzle which provided the backdrop to this match - the only Championship fixture to beat the elements.

Yet Nurse played with characteristic Caribbean flair in top-scoring with 79 as Penicuik carved out a morale-boosting 18-run Duckworth/Lewis win and ended Stenhousemuir's mini two-game revival.

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John Downie, the Penicuik president, did reveal though that the conditions may not be entirely alien to their West Indian recruit.

"Ryan has spent several summers playing in local leagues in Cheshire and Lancashire," said Downie.

"If he has been in Manchester he will know what rain is all about though it's maybe not as cold down there as we have been having this season.

"But he got his head down and played a really important innings that put us on course for a big total."

Nurse's knock included four sixes and a sprinkling of boundaries as he and Greig Ruthven put on 123 for the second wicket.

A further substantial stand of 83 between Eric Potts, the former Scotland youth player, and South African amateur Alwyn Carstens (50), hoisted Penicuik's tally to impressive figures of 254-7.

Stenhousemuir's reply suffered an early interruption for rain and on the resumption they were set a revised target of 181 - a further 118 from just 11 overs. Tight bowling from the home bowlers meant the task was too great for the visitors, who closed on 162-7 with Sanjay Rakshit top-scoring with 47 and South African Rushdi Jappie unbeaten on 24.

The victory was only Penicuik's second success of the campaign, and Downie added: "It has been a tough start for the lads but this win will give them a big lift."

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Poloc's encounter with Renfrew at Shawholm was the only other game to survive the elements long enough to actually start but torrential rain in the late afternoon ensured that it failed to finish, Poloc having reached 114-4 from 28 overs.