With conditions favouring his side’s bowling attack and the visiting batsmen failing to adjust to the conditions, Buchan sensed early on that victory was there for the taking. Daya Singh’s four wickets and another half-century from Harsha Cooray were the headline performances.
Buchan said: “It was a great win and a great team effort. There had been heavy overnight dew and conditions were really overcast so I was happy to bowl first. It proved a big advantage because the ball was swinging and seaming.”
Shire had picked up three early wickets, including that of the in-form Scotland prospect George Munsey, run out by Graeme Tomlinson’s direct hit in the first over. Singh grabbed his first wicket to remove Saltires star Ryan Flannnigan caught behind by Kenny Reid before the keeper took another catch as Buchan found the edge of Zander Muir’s bat. There was a mini-recovery between visiting skipper Neil McCallum and Josh Edwards but McCallum, having reached 19, was snapped up by Cooray off Adrian Neil’s bowling while teenager Rory Martin bagged the important middle order scalps of Gordon Goudie and Ian Worth. Singh wrapped up the innings, Edwards going for a top score of 31 before Simon Smith and Raj Routray were also unable to handle the Australian’s express pace and Grange were dismissed for just 96 with more than ten overs of their allocation remaining.
The Dons lost Calum Howard and Reid early but Cooray took the attack to the visiting bowlers with eight boundaries and a six in an unbeaten 55 from just 42 deliveries. The Sri Lankan had solid support from Tomlinson who finished on 24not out.
There was a shock for leaders Arbroath when champions Watsonian avenged their opening day defeat at Lochlands. Chasing the home side’s 213-9, debutant Brendan O’Connell top-scored with 61 in a four-wicket success.
Arbroath’s defeat paved the way for Carlton to go top but not before they survived a huge scare at SMRH. The basement boys were dismissed for just 120 but Craig Mackellar sparked a superb fightback with five wickets before Carlton got over the line with their last pair at the crease.
Cammy Farrell, the Heriot’s player-coach, scored an unbeaten century to help his team win by 13 runs at Stoneywood-Dyce.