Eastern Premier draw a first for Glenrothes veteran

Mark Watt, of Heriot's, faces a delivery from Andrew Brock, of Grange, at Goldenacre, where the home side were decisively outgunned. Picture Ian Georgeson
Mark Watt, of Heriot's, faces a delivery from Andrew Brock, of Grange, at Goldenacre, where the home side were decisively outgunned. Picture Ian Georgeson
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World Cup veteran Alec Davies has lost count of the number of matches in which he has appeared.

But when the 54-year-old wicketkeeper received a surprise call-up for Glenrothes against his former club 
Carlton, he didn’t imagine for a minute that he would experience his first ever tie.

Davies said: “What was on my mind was how exciting it was to be back at Grange Loan ­– especially because they have the best teas on the circuit!

“It turned out to be one of the most dramatic and thrilling games of my career.

“Apart from the fluctuating fortunes of each side, it was lovely to hear the crowd getting involved – in a nice way.

“The game has changed and now everyone is expected to put bat on ball from the outset, not take time to adjust to the surface and conditions.

“I have seen instances with the last ball where fielders panic and throw the ball as hard as they can at stumps.

“But on this occasion it was collected calmly by Chris Mohale and swiftly flicked up to Safyaan Sharif.”

Responding to Glens’ tally of 159, Carlton appeared to have timed their chase perfectly.

But it all boiled down to the final delivery – and Calum Everett was short of his ground as captain Sharif gleefully flicked off the bails.

Davies’ old Scotland and Carlton mate Fraser Watts insisted his team had made a hash of it.

He said: “Yes, it was exciting – but we were disappointed. We should have won it.

“It was a tricky wicket and we bowled well to restrict Glenrothes. Our fielding was poor, which ended up costing us.

“We were going well with the bat but credit to Glens, who brought it back well and bowled tightly at the death.”

Mike Carson smashed his second ton in succession to inspire Watsonians to glory against SMRH at Myreside.

And a six-wicket haul by another Scotland old boy, Neil McCallum, paved the way for Grange to outgun Heriot’s at Goldenacre.

Umair Mohammed insisted revenge could not have been sweeter for Forfarshire after their victory over Aberdeenshire at Mannofield.

The Broughty Ferry boys had been haunted by their home defeat on opening day. But they wiped that experience from their memory banks in decisive style.

Skipper Mohammed said: “It was a good feeling to go up there and get the result we wanted.

“Their captain Chris Venske and their pro batted very well, so I was extremely proud of the manner in which my team fought back in the field to restrict their flow of runs.

“Then with the bat, we were clinical, though we perhaps lost more wickets than we would have liked to.

“There is tremendous spirit in the squad at the moment.”

The hosts’ knock featured a superb stand of 143 between Chris Ngoepe (94) and Venske (71), who became one of Mohammed’s two victims at a crucial stage.

Responding to 234 for 
seven, Matty Parker and Craig 
Wallace mounted an opening partnership of 47, which proved to be the ideal platform. And Forfs got across the line with more than six overs to spare.

Venske admitted that his outfit were second best in every facet of the game.

He said: “It was very disappointing. We were below par in all three basic cricket disciplines. We should have scored more runs, bowled more effectively and fielded better.

“Even if we had been more efficient in two of these departments, it could have been all very different.”

Arbroath remain at the head of the title race in the wake of their convincing 128-run victory over basement boys Falkland at Scroggie Park.

Hayden Laing led the way by hitting 67 as the visitors surged to 302 all out, with stand-in skipper Ross McLean’s 48 also important.

In adversity, 19-year-old Calum Watson bowled excellently for the home troops, picking up five wickets.

At 127 for two, Falkland were in the hunt, but the challenge crumbled when Harsha Cooray went for 56.