Grange capitalise on Arbroath’s washout

John Blain claimed three cheap wickets. Picture: Neil Hanna
John Blain claimed three cheap wickets. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Grange stepped-up their challenge for the Eastern Premier title with a crushing win over SMRH yesterday while leaders Arbroath were frustrated by rain.

With threatening clouds on the horizon, Grange wasted little time in seeing off the challenge of their rivals at Portgower Place.

Ex-Scotland bowler John Blain, pictured, claimed three cheap wickets as SMRH quickly regretted their decision to bat. His victims included South African Shaylen Pillay who hit a century last week but made just two before edging behind to be caught by Harris Carnegie.

The same combination accounted for Elliot Ruthven and Steven Parker and, with James Tapper and Andrew Brock also striking and a needless run out further hampering the visitors, SMRH were in disarray on 34-6.

Greg Ruthven and Andrew Tetley dug in to reach double figures but Avinash Yadav accounted for the pair of them before James Dickinson also grabbed a brace to clean up the tail as the Inverleith side slid to 71 all out.

Grange lost Scott Blain early in the run-chase but Jonathan Brock (20no) and former Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen (38no) guided Grange to a nine-wicket win.

On the other side of the capital Arbroath’s eagerly anticipated clash with Watsonians at Myreside was cancelled after 19 deliveries.

Heriot’s made just 114-9 in a 25-over clash with Carlton at Goldenacre but it proved enough to secure a 23-run win, meaning both Heriot’s and Grange have closed the gap a little on Arbroath.

Falkland celebrated their first win of the season at Aberdeenshire’s expense, Harsha Cooray scoring 74no for the Fifers in a four-wicket success, but Forfarshire’s meeting with Glenrothes was abandoned.

Western Premier leaders Prestwick remain on course for the title after a century from Sachin Chauhary helped them to a precious derby win over Ayr at Cambusdoon.

Prestwick made the worst possible start, losing both openers with just three runs on the board, but Chaudhary refused to panic and his superb effort allowed the visitors to reach an improbable 227.

Despite losing the free-scoring Neil Smith and Michael Papps early, Ayr were still in contention when skipper Andi McElnea compiled a fine 69. But when he was run out, the home side slumped to 184 all out.

Ferguslie enjoyed a 35-run win over neighbours Kelburne. Michael English and Dave Stafford scored half-centuries in a total of 188 before Greg Cameron claimed three wickets to send the visitors on their way to defeat.

Elsewhere, Dumfries recorded a six-wicket win at Greenock to ease their relegation fears and leave the hosts facing an anxious last three weeks to the campaign.

Clydesdale brushed aside a shaky start at Poloc to post an impressive 256-8, Basit Ali’s brilliant 103no seeing them recover from 119-7.

Mo Awais then claimed five wickets as the outgoing champions prevailed by 103 runs.