Cricket: Gardiner puts down roots at the crease

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CARLTON last night claimed a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable five-wicket win over West of Scotland at Hamilton Crescent.

The pair went into the encounter as joint leaders of Group H but an understrength West side made just 126 all out. West at least gave their visitors a fright, reducing them to 26-2. Dave McNulty had Carlton’s promising young batsman Kyle McPherson caught behind for ten and player-coach John Blain then dismissed Saltires captain Preston Mommsen with his second delivery thanks to a sharp return catch.

However, Hamish Gardiner and Kyle Stirling dug in to add 67 and put Carlton firmly on course.

Stirling and Ali Shah both fell to Blain as Carlton wobbled and a run-out cost Jamie Kerr his wicket but Gardiner remained the immoveable object, the Australian batsman finishing unbeaten on 54 while Gordon Drummond joined him to finish the match with a couple of boundaries.

Elsewhere, Clydesdale enjoyed a six-wicket win over SMRH to top Group A.

Zeeshan Bashir claimed three wickets to help restrict the Edinburgh club to just 122, before Safyaan Sharif’s half century led Dale to a six-wicket success.

Clydesdale’s win rendered East Kilbride’s huge 196-run victory over West Lothian academic.

Grange’s six-wicket win booked them a quarter-final berth at the expense of Renfrew, whose Pakistani pro Ahmed Said finished unbeaten on 96 before home batsman George Munsey hit 97.

In the only other group still to be decided, holders Heriot’s, missing several key players, crashed out at Dumfries. The Goldenacre side’s demise paved the way for Ferguslie to progress thanks to their win at Falkland.