Cricket: Carlton back to winning ways as Dons crash

CARLTON showed the resilience of champions to kickstart their Eastern Premier Division campaign with victory over Aberdeenshire at Grange Loan.

Having lost their opening two fixtures, last season’s SNCL winners looked up against it when they were dismissed for just 138.

However, they fought back superbly to send ‘Shire tumbling to their third defeat in a row by the improbably large margin of 74 runs.

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In an astonishing collapse the visitors lost their last six wickets for just 13 runs, slumping to 64 all out.

John Hutton and Omar Ahmad were Carlton’s bowling heroes, both of them taking two wickets in two balls to spark disarray in the Dons ranks. Ahmad went on to finish with figures of 5-13 as the rout was completed.

Earlier, Umair Mohammed had top-scored for the home side with 33 while skipper Fraser Watts contributed 22. However, Chris West appeared to have put the Dons in charge with three key wickets.

Instead, the Mannofield side, having won their opening two matches, now find themselves plunging towards the wrong end of the table while Carlton may have overcome their early wobbles.

Elsewhere, Stuart Chalmers led from the front as Watsonians maintained their 100% record with an emphatic victory over dark horses Stoneywood-Dyce at Peoples Park.

The Aberdonians have already claimed the scalps of Carlton and Arbroath but they came a distant second to the Myreside men.

Skipper Chalmers scored 88 of his side’s 214-6 while namesake Ewan made 64 and Craig Wright 40. Chalmers then claimed three wickets, a feat match by Mike Legget as Stoneywood were bundled out for just 94.

David Ross and Qasim Ashraf both scored a half-centuries as Heriot’s made 228-8 against Forfarshire at Forthill. The home side were on course for victory when they raced to 75-0 in eleven overs but the Heriot’s bowlers stuck to their task and eventually dismissed their rivals for 193 as the Goldenacre side claimed their second win in row.

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Grange made it a clean sweep for capital clubs against sides from the north-east with victory at Arbroath.

First Division leaders SMRH do not play until this afternoon and third placed Falkland took the chance to close the gap with a comprehensive eight-wicket win at Edinburgh Accies.

Neil Lockyer’s 3-11 helped dismiss the hosts for just 84 before Neil Gray led the run-chase with 32 as victory was complete in the 23rd over.

Uddingston breathed new life into the Western Premier Division by sending Dumfries to their first defeat of the season at Nunholm.

A week after being dismissed for 89 during a trouncing at the hands of Clydesdale, Uddingston bounced back impressively to post 189-8 in a match reduced to 40 overs a side.

Sri Lankan professional Ras Priyadarshana hit a composed 80 while Chris McCutcheon claimed three wickets for the hosts. Visiting captain Calum MacLeod starred with the ball, claiming 4-33 as Dumfries fell 25 runs short of their revised Duckworth/Lewis target.

Meanwhile, West of Scotland and Greenock battled for supremacy through 31 hard-fought overs at Hamilton Crescent before rain forced a lengthy delay.

Having opted to bat first, Greenock were indebted to Sailesh Prabhu’s 47 for taking them to 89-4. However, West’s player-coach John Blain gave his side the edge with a superb eight-over spell during which he bowled three maidens and claimed 3-8.

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On the resumption Greenock skipper Ryan Begley hoisted his side’s tally to 135-8 with an unbeaten 41.

However, after being set a revised target of 163 for victory, West cruised home thanks to 66 from teenager Andrew Umeed and Greg Watson’s 55 runs.