Cricket: Stander returns to bolster Stoneywood

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Experienced all-rounder Jan Stander returns to the Stoneywood-Dyce line-up for the north-east derby this afternoon against Aberdeenshire in the CSL Eastern Premier Division.

The 31-year-old South African-born Scotland cap has a young family now and was unavailable for last week’s opening day win at Heriot’s, but his presence in the home XI will give everyone at Peoples Park a boost.

Matches between these two clubs are always much anticipated. And with both having won three Scottish Cup ties and then their opening league matches seven days ago, the teams go into this one high on confidence and with match winners in form on both sides.

Coetzer, whose younger brother Kyle captained Scotland against Pakistan yesterday, said: “The guys are all really looking forward to this one. Games against Aberdeenshire are always good and we know all of their guys and socialise with them, so we are just hoping the weather stays fair so we can get out there. “Having Jan back is good for us, while I am looking for our younger batsmen to step up to the mark this season. Our batting line-up looks reasonably strong with myself now down at number eight.”

One young batsman who is expected to be amongst the top run-scorers in the division this term is Michael Leask. He made 68 not out to guide his side to victory at Goldenacre last week – “showing a new maturity”, according to his skipper – and then made his debut for the Saltires the following day. Stander in for Martin Reid is the only Stoneywood-Dyce change.

Aberdeenshire themselves were impressive in the Capital last week in defeating Grange and skipper Tyler Buchan said: “Perhaps, with home advantage, Stoneywood-Dyce are slight favourites in this one, but it should be a good game.” Aberdeenshire are unchanged.

Arbroath host Heriot’s looking to build on last week’s solid win at Watsonians. The hosts make just one change, with Craig Ramsay returning in place of Mark Fleming.

Heriot’s are missing Sean Weeraratna and David Ross, with teenager Duncan Anderson, who played well for the club’s second XI and George Heriot’s School last weekend, amongst those coming in.

Carlton have Scotland A batsman Hamish Gardiner back to face Grange after injury kept him out of the win over SMRH. Grange are boosted by the return to fitness of Scotland duo Gordon Goudie and wicketkeeper Simon Smith, with the former set to make his debut and bolster the bowling attack. SMRH and Watsonians meet at Inverleith, with both looking for first wins.