A superb century from Chris Greaves propelled Forfarshire to a four-wicket victory over Uddingston in a hard-fought Cricket Scotland Grand Final at The Grange.
For the sixth time in seven years it was the Eastern Premier champions who prevailed over their Western counterparts but the Broughty Ferry team were pushed all the way after Scotland’s Calum MacLeod, making his first appearance of the season for Uddingston, had also reached three figures to ensure their rivals were set a target of 260.
The Bothwell team’s hopes were raised further when Niall Alexander struck twice to reduce Shire to 7 for 2.
However, Michael Leask responded by helping himself to 18 off Abdul Sabri’s third over to launch a blistering counter-attack during which Leask and Greaves added 79 runs in 12 overs. Hard-hitting Leask raced to 44.
However, the introduction of the wily Amir Gul brought his downfall as the Western Premier’s leading wicket-taker got his man trapped in front. And when Gul had Callum Garden caught by Alexander in his next over, the momentum switched.
Forfarshire, though, reacted to their latest mini-crisis in fine style as skipper Umair Mohammed joined Greaves to steady the ship with a stand of 45. Mohammed eventually fell to MacLeod but there was no stopping Greaves whose wonderfully controlled innings, along with a splendid contribution from Scott Cameron, carried Shire towards their target.
Greaves stroked 115 with 13 boundaries before being bowled by Anwar Hafeez with his team just 18 runs short of their target. Cameron finished unbeaten on 47 as Forfarshire sealed their win with eight balls to spare.
Earlier Uddingston, having won the toss, suffered an early setback when Mo Awais departed for a duck, caught by Greaves off Cameron.
The Scotland paceman struck again, clean bowling Hafeez for 22 to reduce the Bothwell team to 33-2.
However, the arrival of MacLeod eased the early pressure. He added 39 with Hari Singh (24) and 29 with Gul (15) and duly reached his half-century from 76 balls before eyeing the possibility of three figures.
He had excellent support from Gavin Main who stroked a run-a-ball 45 with three boundaries in a sixth wicket stand that yielded 103.
Main eventually became the second victim of Brock Ditchmen, trapped lbw, but MacLeod went on to reach his century, finishing on 109no to help Uddy post 259-6.
◆ Strathmore Union champions Meigle will play in the Eastern Premier for the first time next season after beating Edinburgh CC in a promotion play-off.