Carlton 2nd XI 2010 Fixtures and Results

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Saturday 1st May 1pm East League Division One
W
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Grange 2
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Carlton 2
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159 all out

Steven Elder 4 for 20, Simon Spry 4 for 28

away

163 for 5

Ani Majumdar 72, Craig Marshall 48

2010 started for the 2nd XI at the home of Scottish cricket, as we travelled to newly promoted Grange at Portgower Place on the international wicket. The perfect stage to show how good a team we'd become after 8 wins on the bounce at the end of last season, also a great chance to get one over our big rivals. Only problem - it was absolutely baltic, no spring sunshine here as a filthy northeasterly blew across the pitch and the clouds loomed overhead. Charlie's decision to field first looked a good one with a green pitch, if we didn't all freeze to death before the 50 overs were up. Plenty of jumpers were required, maybe two pairs of trousers too - shame Ani had forgotten to bring any trousers at all and had to borrow some from the opposition. An early contender for muppet of the season...
 
The first hour didn't go well as the Grange openers built a steady 50 partnership while our fielders fought off hypothermia. A double bowling change proved the breakthrough, as Stevie Elder bagged the openers and Ferg Whatley's mysterious leggies accounted for another. Stevie grabbed another and they were suddenly rocking at 88-4 at drinks, with Stevie's bowling stingier than President Carter. Elder bowled straight through his ten overs to finish with 4-20, and unlucky not to grab more. Grange were unable to get much momentum going as they continued to lose regular wickets. Aussie Simon Spry came on for his first spell for Carlton, and took a few overs to warm up due to his lack of a jersey - rookie mistake - but he was quickly in the wickets as the Grange tail tried to hit out.

As the wind blew harder and colder, Marshall and Benny could be seen huddling on the boundary as they began regretting swapping exam revision for sure-fire cases of hypothermia. Boydy behind the stumps was turning into a block of ice, but eventually Simon and Ferg cleaned up the tail to knock Grange over for 159, Simon bagging 4-28 on debut and Ferg landing 2 deserved wickets. No luck for Brad and Rajan despite some tight bowling, as everyone legged it for the warmth of the changing rooms.
 
Over the tea-break the sun came out, giving Benny and Ani great conditions to start the chase. However Benny was caught behind from a snorter in the fourth over, and after Simon was done by an even better ball a few overs later it was looking dodgy at 21-2, with the ball doing all sorts. Ani was dropped behind, but he and Marshall then began to take control as the change bowlers were exposed to our two most attacking batsman. "Student" (not for much longer) Marshall and "cherry tree spotter" Majumdar slashed it to all parts and the quality between the sides was clear to see, they put on 90 in 11 overs to take the game away from Grange. For their teammates kicking back at the pavilion, it was better viewing than the world 20/20 as they tanked it everywhere, but on 48 Craig got a bit overeager and holed out in the deep.

The Irish assasin Ross Burns was next in brimming with confidence after a half century the week before, but soon he was on his way back, replaced by Charlie. After digging in for a few overs and seeing off Grange's best bowler (who finished with 10 overs, 3-11) Ani and the skipper slowly ticked towards the target, with Ani reaching a well deserved fifty. With the finishing line in sight Ani upped the rate, only to get out for 72 with the scores level, disaster for his average but a match-winning innings. Rajan strolled in to hit a boundary to win the game - a great start to the season beating our biggest rivals, and it's 9 league wins in a row stretching back to 20th June last year. With team selection ultra-competitive this year and plenty of guys in great form, it's a good time to be in the Carlton 2nd XI.

Scorecard

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Saturday 8th May 1pm East League Division One
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Carlton 2
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Fauldhouse
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122 all out

Ani Majumdar 39

home 123 for 4

When Fauldhouse come to visit you can usually rely on a number of things. Classic early season Grange Loan deck? Yup. Freezing cold weather? Check. Competitive and feisty opponents? O yes. Home captain loses the toss? But of course. 2nd XI batting collapse? Er, what do you think???
 
The least said about our effort with the bat the better for all concerned. We certainly can't blame it on the umpiring as we were blessed with two neutral officials who by and large did a good job. A few team changes due to exams and injury (self-inflicted of course) meant Charlie promoted himself to open with in-form Ani (left). Cue a one hour bowling machine session for CP to get himself in the zone... only for him to get a blob in the fourth over for his "first ever duck as an opener". Back to number six next week for the skipper.

Si Spry and Ani were soon motoring, Ani flicking the opening bowler over the trees for six, threatening Clarkey's Mini with more dents after he was pranged outside his house by an errant female. He did get her number though - sharp work Tommy. Then disaster: Spry pushed it and ran but Ani didn't. Marshall came in and picked up from last week, but the screw was being turned. Ani was stumped for 39, Boydie missed a straight one, then Rajan and Marsh were bowled by the offspinner. Nick "Boom" Martin and Peachy added some vital runs but they'd been left with too much to do and we were skittled for 122. A couple of unlucky dismissals, but it was down to a pile of rancid shots and some brainless decision-making that we were struggling. It was so poor we could fit in ten overs of the Fauldhouse innings before tea was ready.
 
Wickets were needed fast and with plenty of bowlers to choose from it was important to get the right mix. After a loose start, Spry and Clarke managed to pick up a wicket apiece to give us a sniff. However some excellent batting from Fauldhouse captain Derek Allan took the game away as he proved it wasn't a difficult wicket to bat on, while we aided him with more sloppy bowling. A wicket each for Saif and Peachy put some gloss on the score but in truth we'd been demolished, and so had our nine match unbeaten run. An inquest in the dressing-room followed with some good input from everyone. But it's not worth talking a good game unless we produce it consistently on the pitch. Next up a cup match - then Holy Cross away, a venue we traditionally struggle at. It's time to buck that trend...

Scorecard

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Sunday 9th May 1pm President's Trophy Round One
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Marchmont
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Carlton 2
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  134 for 1 away

132 all out

Fraser Boyd 49

An under strength Twos, skippered by Threes supremo Akeel Aslam, headed to Cavalry Park to take on 2nd division outfit Marchmont in the first round of the President's Trophy.

Batting first, the top order struggled in the face of the impressive bowling of Matt Loeffin and a tricky pitch with slow, springy bounce off a length. With four wickets down in quick time, including those of Ani, Nathan and Oli, it took a gritty partnership of 73 between the skipper and Boydy to bring a hint of respectability to the innings. Akeel eventually succumbed to a hamstring injury, employing Ani as a runner, which led to the sight of Akeel leaning on his bat while two of the quickest players at the club scampered his runs. Eventually, Akeel fell to a plum lbw before Boydy top edged a pull on 49. The innings disentegrated spectacularly thereafter.

In reply, Marchmont raced towards their target as the Carlton bowlers struggled to find a 'Cavalry Park length'; only a fine spell from Cheeky providing a positive in a rather comprehensive defeat.

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Saturday 15th May 1pm East League Division One
W
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Holy Cross
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Carlton 2
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131 all out

Omar Ahmad 3 for 11, T Clarke 3 for 38

away

183 all out

Peter Swan 60, Ani Majumdar 33, Fraser Boyd 31

The trend of regime change kicked off at the start of the week by the Tories & Lib Dems carried through the ranks of the Carlton 2nd XI, with Pietschy taking over as skipper thanks to Charles' duties as Scottish Cup roving reporter, and McKay & friends’ attempt to push the concentration of Australians in Royal Mile pubs beyond their usual saturation levels.

A bit of rain on Friday left us all concerned about the likely state of the Holy Cross wicket, but true to form, the away team’s heavy roller did a decent enough job in compacting the central square mud to a playable level. The day started poorly with Swany & Clarkey opting for their own ‘personal time’ before the game rather than rocking up at the club at the agreed meeting time of 11am. On arrival at Holy Cross, not wanting to change things too much, Pietsch proceeded to lose the toss and we found ourselves put in on a challenging deck.

‘Boom boom’ Whatley departed without any boom, before Ani & Swany got down to work in building us a total. With some glorious shots, Ani progressed quickly to 33 before feathering one to the keeper trying to get on top of Holy Cross’ opening bowler.

Nick Martin came and went fairly quickly as Swany kept the scoreboard ticking over. His uncanny knack of finding the aerial gaps just wide of almost every fielder leading to much frustration for the opposition team. Fraser dug in well, and their partnership took the score past 100, with Swany notching up his 51. One uglyish hoick later and it was all over for him on 60 with Fraser departing for 31 the next over after skying one to the fielder on the long off boundary.

Each of the lower order contributed ‘a few’, but wickets continued to tumble with no-one showing the patience to stick in against some accurate opposition bowling. The one highlight was a monstrous straight six smoked by Omar late in the innings – this was quickly followed by the lowlight a few balls later as Oms was bowled trying to repeat the effort to cow corner, prompting Ferg to remark “You should arrest yourself for that shot - such assault on the game of cricket”. All out for 183 from 41 overs. A reasonable-ish total, but disappointing from where we were and still a concern that 11 blokes can’t find the resilience to bat 50 overs between them.

After the tea break, the new skipper asked his bowlers for one thing - consistency outside off stump. Opening up, Omar showed the kids how it’s done, producing a cracking spell of tight bowling against a gale blowing straight off the Forth – ending with a miserly 3 for 11 off his full 10, including the scalp of the opposition’s danger #3 for a globe. At the other end, Richard Metcalfe followed Rajan and was unlucky to end with only 1 wicket from his 10 – another great spell of consistent bowling. Clarkey took up where Oms left off, and although a lot more generous with the bad balls, collected another three wickets for his efforts in tough conditions. The boys were brilliant in the field, taking all their catches and keeping constant pressure on the batsmen, leaving the home side reeling at 9 for 94. Pietsch & Clarke however weren’t good enough to break a dogged 9th wicket partnership, with another 20 added to the score before a beautifully flighted Swan lollipop ended proceedings at 124.

Overall a great effort from the lads after the disappointment of the previous week. Still room for improvement from everyone when we’re at the crease but the standard for our bowling and fielding has been set.

Scorecard

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Saturday 22nd May 1pm

East League Division One
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Carlton 2
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Edinburgh CC 2
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290 for 3

Ani Majumdar 142*, Ben Duerden 48, Peter Swan 46

home

178 all out

Chayank Gosain 5 for 45, Nathan Pietsch 3 for 21

A scorching hot day at Grange Loan for the 2nd XI (that doesn't get written very often) as we faced newly promoted Edinburgh, a team we'd had some interesting clashes with in the past.

With the skipper recovering from the excesses of Brad's wedding the day before it didn't seem like a day to be running around in the heat, and the state of the pitch backed that up - it looked like an airstrip. Thankfully we won the toss and soon Ani and Ben were walking out as the temperature soared near 30 degrees. Both openers made a solid and watchful start in the first ten overs, but with a fast outfield and no demons in the pitch it was a dream day to bat, and the run rate soon climbed. Ani was the more expansive of the two with some cracking drives, while Benny was accumulating the singles in a way that made Pietschy fawn with delight...
 
Ani reached his fifty and the hundred partnership came up, but Benny missed out on a half century when he feathered one to the keeper, bringing the in-form swashbuckling Swanny to the crease. He started by making the spinner look like Muralitharan as he played and missed for a dozen balls, before finally getting into his stride. Meanwhile Ani was ticking along nicely as the heat wore down the bowlers, and at the second drinks break we were set for a score over three hundred. Swanny was hitting some spectacular shots through the longstop area as we piled on the runs, but then he got hold of one only to hole out in the deep, another one just missing out on a fifty. Oli joined Ani who was stuck in the nervous nineties, and running out of gas after forgetting to eat breakfast. But soon the chance came for him to run a quick single and reach a well-deserved ton, prompting big celebrations from the centurion.

With Ani totally shattered the runs were beginning to dry up but Edinburgh couldn't take wickets, and as the innings closed Oli and then Nick "Drummo"  Martin kept the pressure on. Ani improvised with some Dil-scoops to fine leg, and eventually finished on 142 not out. The maestro has asked this writer to pay tribute to his dad for all the help he's given Ani over the years. (He'd also like to thank his mum too - and his agent, everyone who knows him, and his mobile phone subscription company for allowing him to call all his girlfriends at a cheap rate.) We finished on 290-3, a massive total but reachable if we didn't bowl and field sensibly.

In reply Edinburgh needed to score rapidly without losing wickets, and despite tight opening spells from Rajan, Oli and Pratik they reached fifty without too much trouble. Pietschy however got a breakthrough when he enticed a nick behind, but it was the introduction of the spinners that did the damage after 17 overs. First Swanny tempted the opener to send it miles in the air towards cow on the hill, where Pietschy took a great catch into the sun, then in front of his watching dad Swanitron bowled the new batsman.

So far so good - enter 14 year old Cheeky (below) for his 2nd XI league debut to much expectation. His tempting flighted spinners enticed the Edinburgh no.3 out of his ground and Boydy stumped him down the legside. Edinburgh were rocking, but it was tempting to hit our spinners and the run rate kept steady progress. However Cheeky had the Grange Loan wall well covered, including the hither-to unseen fielding position of deep backward barbecue where "Drummo" Martin was eyeing up the burgers. The temptation to smack Cheeky out of sight meant he ran through the middle order as Edinburgh's batsmen continued to get themselves out, and he tempted Masood Alam to mistime one to Pratik to seal a memorable fivefer.

5-45 off nine overs ... the King (Clarkey, Lyons, Woody, take your pick) is dead, long live the King - er, well almost...

Pietschy came back at the end to bag a couple of wickets for decent fantasy points and we completed an excellent 112 run win, our third of the season. The best performance so far from an all round viewpoint, and the skipper didn't even need to contribute, he may be soon rendered redundant. The next problem? Preventing the new 14 year old spin king from being promoted to the 1st XI...

Scorecard

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Saturday 29th May 1pm East League Division One
W
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Largo
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Carlton 2
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222 all out

Nathan Pietsch 5 for 30

away

282 for 6

Oli Tame 87 not out, Ami Bij 48, Nathan Pietsch 42 not out , Ani Majumdar 38

Largo – a beautiful place for a game of cricket.  Rajan’s inability to read the meeting time correctly saw us leave an hour late, and things looked even worse as our convoy of cricket gear ‘lowered’ cars was drenched by some big old fat rain as we made our way to the bridge.  Sunny skies awaited us in the East Nuek of Fife, and we were put into bat on a deck with a bit of early juice in it.  Ben & Ani got us off to a solid start in some tough conditions with some fine cricket shots.  When Ben was trapped in front on 18 in the 14th over, Oli Tame strode to the wicket and nothing Largo threw at him for the rest of the day ever looked like challenging him.  He batted right through to the 50th over ending on an exquisitely crafted 89 not out, each stroke a lance of elegance well suited to the pictuesque surroundings. 

He was supported well early on by Ani’s 38, including a “one bounce and over the fence” straight four which had the misfortune of finding an Aberdeen Angus land mine in the adjacent field.  After a couple of mid order comings and goings, Amit Bij chimed in with a quick fire 48 from 33 balls between the 30th & 42nd overs, including six 4s and a glorious square cut 6.  Pietschy & Tamo saw things through to the end with a 75 run partnership off the last 8 overs, Pietschy’s 42 from 22 balls doing most of the damage late on. 

Largo started solidly progressing to 60 without loss before Pratik finally got some just reward, claiming both Largo openers and the #4 in a fine 10 over spell of tight bowling with good support from Cheeky & Amit’s spin at the other end and the lads in the field.  The skipper replaced him and struck straight away in a double wicket maiden, before the Largo middle order responded with a 50 run partnership, leaving the game evenly poised at 5-172 in the 38th over.  After an erratic opening spell, Oli Tame came back on, immediately finding his mojo to remove the Largo #5.  With the opposition #7 reaching 50 with a few blistering boundaries in the 43rd over, the Largo boys felt they were a real chance.  Pietschy however had other ideas, claiming 3 wickets in 2 overs with some exemplary full and straight ‘at-the-death’ bowling.  Tame claimed the last man in the 46th over to see us home with 36 runs still left in the bank.  A good team effort with all 11 lads contributing well. 

A pint in Largo harbour and Big Mac with fries on the way home topped off another convincing away win for the Carlton 2nd XI.  Although Fraser’s wet loins on the 1½ hr trip back can’t have been comfortable…..

Scorecard

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Sunday 30th May 1pm

East League Division One
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Carlton 2
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Eastern Regional Academy
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203 all out

Tom Barrett 86, Oli Tame 54

home 204 for 5
The 2nd XI double header weekend saw us at home against the Eastern Regional Academy on Sunday. Despite the inclement weather, we started only 15 minutes late, electing to bat on another great home wicket used by the 1st XI the day before. Things started well as Duerden & Barrett moved the score along to 24 before Ben was trapped in front in a fashion very similar to the day before on 13. Oli Tame continued where he left off against Largo, despatching the spinners to all parts of the ground before a rain break had us back in the shed.

Some well timed advice from the Academy’s coach during the break saw the spinners off after the rain cleared, much to the disappointment of our batsmen. An occurrence all to similar to many a Carlton spectator then played out next, with a fine spell of bowling produced at the top end by a miniature Charles Legget – unfortunately this time we were on the receiving end. Peter’s 8 overs for 17 really put a break on things as our batsmen failed to score more than 2 an over during a period of the game where they really should have been trying to attack more having already played themselves in.

When Oli fell for a well crafted 54, a long procession of 8 batsmen came and went in the last 13 overs of the innings trying to move the score along to an acceptable total.

Tom Barrett (left) was out for 86 in the 49th over, with our last man out with 5 balls to go and the score on 203.

The Academy started solidly before a ‘Tom Clarke-esque’ Oli Tame half tracker was dollied back to him, a piece of cricket that must have made its way onto the Eastern Regional Academy clipboard. A tickle on a Pietschy leg-cutter in the next over and both openers were gone with the score on 25. An ominous looking 3rd wicket partnership developed, progressing the score to60. Ben Stewart and Pratik Bhakta each claimed one and the game was poised at 83 for 4 in the 23rd over. The Academy’s 5 & 6 (Chalmers & Smith) put together an 84 run stand to wrench the game away from us, capitalising impressively on each errant ball bowled and some lacklustre home team fielding. Oli Tame came back on and showed his dogged qualities, determined to have a real crack despite being behind. He picked up a 5th wicket for us with the score on 163, but young Chalmers at the other end was just batting too well, a couple of big boundaries sealing victory in the 43rd over..

Scorecard

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Saturday 5th June 1pm

East League Division One
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Carlton 2
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Boroughmuir
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281 for 9

Fraser Boyd 101, Simon Spry 91 not out

home

63 all out

Mohammed Habib 6 for 30, Steven Elder 3 for 29

Emphatic.  Resounding.  Categorical.  A thumping 218 run victory by the 2nd XI over Boroughmuir. 


As good as the score looks, after winning the toss and electing to bat on another belter of a home pitch, things didn’t get off to the best of starts.  Both openers were dropped early doors before Ani got a leading edge trying to blast one through the leg side on 7.  Oli & Bryn tried to communicate telepathically for their running between the wickets, ineviatably resulting in Oli being run out for 7.  Bryn & Swan helped themselves to a few boundaries before Bryn was caught at slip for 23 and Swan was caught for 17.  When Barrett was also caught at slip we found ourselves precariously perched at 5 for 70 in the 19th over. 


Fraser Boyd & Simon Spry then came together and proceded to produce a brilliant 190 run partnership.  Batting with what must be a broken ring finger (if the level of whinging is anything to go by), Fraser batted superbly, craftily building his score early on before accelerating well in the latter overs.  A booming straight six down to the nets helped him fly through the 90s to reach his first ton for Carlton.  Out for 101 trying to push the run rate in the 47th over, he returned to the pavillion to a resounding and well deserved ovation from the Carlton fans. 


Equally impressive however, was the 91 not out struck by the small, plucky Australian Spry who really took control of the challenging situation that faced him when he strode in at number 7.  Following on from his ton in the 3s the week before, he put bad balls to the fence and with Fraser ran brilliantly between the wickets, leaving the opposition team despondant and in dissarray in the field.  A great knock and a brilliant partnership in a pressure situation helping us to an imposing total of 281. 


After the tea break, Habs & Elder took the new ball.  Elder grassed an easy c&b chance early on, but at the other end Habs was just too quick for the Boroughmuir batsmen.  His toe crunching yorkers claimed 4 of the top 6 batsmen, and with a couple of lower order scalps he ended with figures 6 for 30 from 9 overs.  A great performance from the wild man.  Elder supported him well bowling his usual swingy tempters at the other end, earning himself 3-29 from his 8.  With the black clouds looking to imminently empty their bowels over Grange Loan, Tom ‘Dyson’ Clarke bowled his usual ‘one that doesn’t spin’ to pick up the #11.  An emphatic, resounding and categorical win in the book in the nick of time – 5 to 10 mins more and the rain would have caused the game to end in an un-representative draw.  A great win from all 11 lads, even the ones who didn’t get an opportunity to contribute too much.

Scorecard

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Saturday 12th June 1pm East League Division One
W
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Glenrothes
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Carlton 2
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102 all out

Mohammed Habib 3 for 28, Chayank Gosain 2 for 5, Rajan Bhopal 2 for 23, Steven Elder 2 for 31

away

328 for 6

Rajan Bhopal 72*, Nick Martin 70, Ben Duerden 66, Peter Swan 44

It would take a clinical performance for the second eleven to surpass the crushing defeat they imposed upon Boroughmuir last week at Grange Loan. Fortunately though that was exactly what was delivered in a game they dominated from start to finish.

After arriving at the ground and warming up world cup style (for many this would not be the last high tempo football match of the day), captain Duerden found no substance in the scare stories about the ground told to him by Swan and Elder on the way to the game.

     

The outfield was short and the wicket was hard and flat, so there was no hesitation when the toss was won to have a bat and set a total.

The decision was immediately justified when the openers put on 83 for the first wicket inside ten overs, Duerden (below) and Swan cashing in on wayward bowling. Swanny departed for a brisk 44 to bring Seb Rae to the crease and he and Ben ticked the score along until both succumbed either side of drinks, Ben for 66 and Seb 28.

Youngsters Nick Martin and Rajan Bhopal suddenly found themselves together entrusted with developing what had been a solid start. Neither disappointed, Nick capitalising on anything too straight to compile a destructive 70 and Rajan, playing a composed and perfectly timed innings with shots all around the wicket, finishing unbeaten on 72. The score was helped along with good cameos from Charlie and Habs, who smoked two mighty sixes in the final over to leave Carlton 328-6, a commanding total.

Nevertheless the wicket was still good so it was important that the bowling was tight from the start. Openers Habs and Stevie did not disappoint, complementing each other superbly to rip the heart out of the Glenrothes batting line up. Habs once again proved too hot to handle at this level, picking up 3-28 over his two spells, while Stevie’s comparatively expensive last over marred an otherwise miserly spell, picking up 2-31. To quell any doubts over who was man of the match, Rajan chipped in with 2 wickets, one a sharp catch from Ross Burns at slip and another caught behind by Matt Wells to cap a faultless performance behind the stumps. Sadly this was the last time in the day the captain would be able to utter the words “good keeping” (I knew it was a mistake to watch the England game with so many Scots!).

 In the absence of Tom Clarke, hoovering duties fell to Cheeky who wrapped up the tail, and Carlton ran out victors by well over 200 runs for the second week running. Perfect preparation ready for the visit of highly placed Edinburgh Accies next week.

Scorecard

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Saturday 19th June 1pm

East League Division One
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Carlton 2
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Edinburgh Accies
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256 for 9

Ani Majumdar 48, Fraser Boyd 43, Nathan Pietsch 37

home

206 all out

Tom Clarke 4 for 24, Nathan Pietsch 2 for 33

On arriving at the Loan, Carlton’s 2nd XI were greeted with a superb summer's day and another superb wicket. The lads were clearly excited about taking on Edinburgh Academicals, placed high in the East League Division 1 table – the mood was jovially buoyant and all was happy and gay.

However, returning into the team as captain, Pietschy was clearly experiencing some pre-manstrual tensions. The jocularity expressed in the warm up was interpreted as absent-mindedness and a lack of focus which needed to be addressed prior to a ball being bowled, so the team found itself doing sprints around the centre square to the bemusement of the opposition and dog walkers alike.

Following the fine batting performances of previous weeks, on winning the toss we elected to get straight to the task of chalking up a total more imposing than the injured Bryn Lockie’s career statistics. Things progressed steadily early on despite the loss of Duerden for 10 & Swan for 13 as Ani made use of the lightening quick outfield. He ignored it altogether on 3 occasions, an elegant straight six unseating the solitary fan (Mr S Barrett) in front of the clubhouse in the 8th over. The voices in his head lured him to seek a further maximum for a gloriously brought up 50, but resulted in him departing for an upsetting 48.

A series of polite gentlemanly innings followed from the middle order with Barrett, Martin & Wells each getting good starts and solid 20s, before opting to head back to the shed and leave a few sausage rolls for the chaps lower down the order. Fraser, as always exhibited a tad more hunger than the rest. Showing Ani that men could be men without performance enhancing drugs, he smoked a towering maximum that cleared Ani’s mark, the clubhouse, Moon’s shed and even Kilgraston Road (we think – the ball was never located and may have burned up in the atmosphere according to Fraser). Also like Ani however, his own greedy internal monologue convinced him to attempt the ice cream scoop, a McFlurry that brought about his downfall.

Pietsch carefully steered the innings late on as a few lower order wickets fell quickly, Clarke’s gritty 3* providing better support than the figure would illustrate. The lack of an Edinburgh Accies' blow-out preventer let the explosive (mentally and batting wise) skipper help himself to a series of boundaries late on, boosting the score to an acceptable 256.

Habs opened up with pace and vociferousness, but it was Elder who struck, flummoxing the Accies LH opener with one he diligently watched swing all the way from two feet wide of the stumps onto the top of his off peg. At the other end Habs delighted in peppering the other Accies opener who mistakenly forgot to bring with him either a chest guard or a shot for the short ball (defensive or otherwise). Habs was desperately unlucky not to pick up a wicket in his opening spell – poor efforts from almost everyone else in the field letting him and the team down. Instead it was left to Pietsch to draw the loose shot with his own version of the bouncer - a slow & wide short ball that was dutifully tapped to Habs at point. Unfortunately Habs failed to grasp the irony in the situation, losing it somewhere between third man and fine leg.

A couple of solid opposition partnerships followed taking the score to an evenly poised 107-2 at drinks. Swan kept plugging away without joy at the Arthur's Seat end but the unlikely 6th bowler, Nick Martin tasted bowling glory in the 30th over. With 13 overs to go, Habs came back on and snared the all important wicket of the Accies #3, Raso, on 66; edging behind (below) and turning the game our way.

Clarke was on at the other end to take us tightly through to the death - but 'Dyson' had other ideas. A miraculous caught and bowled effort kicked off a series of 4 wickets for the left-armer. He ripped right through the opposition middle (to lower) order, including a bowled round the legs dismissal that may have even turned a tad. Pietsch followed up a sharp one-stump, direct hit run out with a full and straight one to wrap the game up in the 47th over and deny Clarke another hoovered 5-for.

A very satisfying win against a quality opposition with all 11 fist arrows contributing well. Next week's away clash with top of the table Watsonians awaits.

Scorecard

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Saturday 26th June 1pm East League Division One
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Watsonian 2
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Carlton 2
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  226 for 2 away

197 all out

Nick Martin 55, Nathan Pietsch 50, Ben Duerden 48

It was a shame to be at Craiglockhart for the clash with top of the table Watsonians 2nd XI due to an East League scheduling clash – the much anticipated game deserved better than an uncovered wicket. 


It was Watsonians who won the toss and elected to bat.  Some deftly consistent, accurate bolwing from openers Habib & Elder saw only 22 runs conceded in the first 12 overs.  Habs was especially unlucky to remain wicketless on the juicy wicket, opposition opener Fleming had simply no idea how to cope with his quick, seaming deliveries.  Elder had the opposition captain caught in the 6th over playing a shot he really didn’t want to.  Pietsch took over from Habs and with Elder bowling his 10 for only 20 runs, saw the score at 54 for 1 at drinks.  A solid start for the fist arrows. 


Watsonians came out determined to up the scoring rate, and despite bowling some good balls, a combination on good batting and a few loose deliveries saw the Watsonian run rate steaidly creep upwards.  Swany and then Pietschy each received some treatment from Crosby, the big burly Watsonian #4 towards the end of the innings.  His 61* included some hefty strikes, and was well supported throughout by opener Fleming who, with some much improved batting in the second half of the innings reached 111* at the close.  Our middle and late innings bowling and fielding let us down somewhat, probably allowing the opposition 20-30 more runs than we hoped for at tea.  We weren’t to know how crucial these runs would be – as a team we went into tea confident that despite the challenges presented by the wicket, the 226 was an achievable target. 


Failing to adjust to the conditions, Ani was back in the shed in the 3rd over, going too hard at balls he should be watching early on in his innings.  It was a similar story from Swan who tried to turn one through the leg side on a wicket where straight-bat shots were the order of the day.  Duerden & Barret showed the grit required in the conditions to progress the score to 64-2 in the 20th over.  Ben played some exquisite shots through both the off and leg side in his innings of 48 before he was unlucky to be out to one that hit his thighpad and forearm before spinning back onto leg stump. 


A middle order collapse then followed around drinks with Barrett out for 15 followed by both Boyd & Spry for ducks.  These quick wickets crucially swung the game Watsonians way.  At the 26th over, the batsmen of the team had disappointingly left it to Nick Martin & the lower order to score 136 in 24 overs with 4 wickets in hand.  Clearly an inadequate contribution from guys who have fired in weeks past, but were found short in tough conditions when it counted. 

Martin & Pietsch set about reigning in this daunting task.  Nick’s innings included 6 fours and a 6, his big straight hitting again serving him well.  It was this that brought his downfall on 55 – after being dropped from the same lofted drive a few overs before, the mid on held onto an ‘almost six’ to have Nick heading off to China for 55 in the 37th over.  Pietsch continued to press on with the job but failed to get any sustained support from Ferg & Habs.  His innings of 50 including 8 fours served to keep the required run rate below 6.  It all came undone however in the 45th over attempting a pull shot that wasn’t really there, leaving Elder – who was determined to help finish off the job – stranded. 


All out 29 runs short with 5 overs left.  An extremely disappointing end to a crucial game that will go a long way in determining this year’s East League Division One champions.

Scorecard

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Saturday 3rd July 1pm

East League Division One
W
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Carlton 2
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v
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Grange 2
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281 for 4

Ben Duerden 66, Tom Barrett 65, Simon Spry 56, Rajan Bhopal 53*

home

188 all out

Mohammed Habib 4 for 21

After last week’s disappointing defeat against table toppers Watsonians the 2nd XI were provided the perfect opportunity to bounce back with a derby day clash at Grange Loan against the Stags. 


 “Stand in” stand in skipper Duerden won the toss and perhaps unsurprisingly decided to take first use of a good deck and have a bat. He and Tom Barrett were watchful of the opening bowlers early on, but progressed steadily to reach 108 at drinks without loss. Shortly after Ben tried to advance to offspinner Mullins once too many times and departed for 66, bringing Simon Spry to the crease who wasted no time in pushing along the rate with a combination of good shot placement and excellent running between the wickets. Tom pushed on until he top edged Mullins to midwicket for 65 and Rajan “The Finisher” Bhopal joined Simon to unleash hell on the Grange bowlers; both passed fifty in the last five overs to set Grange an imposing target of 281, for the loss of four wickets. Rajan again unleashed an array of strokes all around the wicket including a straight six and a few reverse sweeps, reaching fifty off just 39 balls. Fraser Boyd was the only casualty of the top six with a golden quacker trying to push the score along from the start (he’s a team player) with Charlie providing a late cameo to boost the total.

 

The boys went into the field with confidence on the back of a good batting display and after a few aerial shots failed to find fielders early on, Stevie made the breakthrough when he drew a fifth false shot from Mullins who sliced to Charlie at point. From there on it was the Mohammed Habib show, the charismatic opener bowled with great hostility at the Grange top order (seeeriously man!) to pick up batsmen three, four and five without scoring and finally, crucially the opener Parkinson who had hit 30 and looked threatening, reducing Grange to 55-6. Spin was then introduced into the attack in the form of Saif and Cheeky. The wicket was still good and the boundary short so runs were always going to come at some point, but Saif managed to prize two middle order wickets and produced a couple of deliveries that left the batsmen looking utterly perplexed. Allsopp had shown resistance for Grange by this point and was ably supported by the lower order, meaning the boys had to be patient in getting the last few wickets, but Spry capped off a fine all round performance by hovering up number  ten and (the irritable) number eleven. Boydy was rewarded for a good keeping display with two sharp catches to make up for his duck, and the Carlton boys ran out comfortable victors by 98 runs.

Normal service resumed then for the twos, and if it can be maintained over the second half of the campaign then we could be in the mixer at the top of the league come the end of the season. Next up is a trip to Fauldhouse, the heroics of last season are unlikely to be repeated but if the result can be matched then we’ll be happy.   

Scorecard

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Saturday 10th July 1pm East League Division One
  Fauldhouse
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v
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Carlton 2
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    away  

RAINED OFF

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Saturday 17th July 1pm

East League Division One
W
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Carlton 2
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v
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Holy Cross
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255 for 5

Bryn Lockie 106, Rajan Bhopal 55*

home

87 all out

Mohammed Habib 4 for 11, Josh Walker 3 for 17

It was very much a sense of déjà vu for the second team on Saturday as the game echoed the Grange encounter from two weeks previous; an imposing total batting first with good acceleration throughout, and a blitz of the opposition top order with the ball which ultimately led to another convincing victory.

The similarities didn’t stop there. They also extended to personal performances, Rajan Bhopal again showing devastating hitting and killer instinct to smash another unbeaten fifty and cement his new found status as “The Finisher”. Rajan hit three sixes, two up the hill and one up the loan, in a partnership with Swanny who was also clearing the ropes with surprising ease given his condition that yielded over fifty in five overs at the death. This gave Carlton a total of 255-5 against a Holy Cross side that was admittedly under strength.

Before all that though came a batting master class from the batting master himself. Bryn opened up with Ani and after surviving a chance early on never looked back in compiling a typically classy hundred, full of clinical drives and cuts. The outfield was still a bit lush from the midweek downpours and at times the boundary was hard to reach, causing Bryn to roll back the years and run plenty of ones, twos and the occasional three (it was just a good job he didn’t have to bat with Boydy)!

Bryn eventually fell lbw to Ellis, and sandwiched in between his 106 were cameos from Ani and Ben at 3. The curse of the golden duck was another returning character from previous weeks, this time falling to Nick Hunt who trudged off a bit nonplussed (i’m pretty sure Huntman’s reaction would be the same though if he hit a hundred or a duck). This cued the entrance of the Finisher and the rest as they say is history.

If the batting had drawn parallels to the Grange game, then the bowling was almost an exact replica. Habs and Stevie accounted for the top five again in strikingly similar fashion, Habs’ raw pace and clever use of the short ball bringing him 4-11, helped by the pressure that Stevie Elder was applying at the other end to go with his opening scalp. Again there were a couple of tidy pouches for Boydy, three ducks in the top five, and six overall in a Holy Cross line up that had no answer to what was being thrown at them. Only Ellis provided any real resistance, driving anything too full but when he fell lbw to Habs in his final over, the only question left was the size of the winning margin; Holy Cross 30-5 and with nowhere to go. Josh Walker replaced Habs at the top end and bowled good areas to pick up 3 well deserved wickets. The only concern in the second half of the innings was regarding Clarkey. For all his efforts it looked like he had left the extension cord to his hoover at home, and try as he might, he couldn’t find it (it certainly wasn’t in Rajan’s hands put it that way). To everyone’s relief he eventually “plugged in” and picked up a couple of cheap wickets near the end to neaten up his figures, Holy Cross all out for 87 and a 168 run victory for the Fist Arrows.

Another emphatic victory for the Fist Arrows. If the twos can carry on like this for the rest of the season, then the questions of “what if” harking back to the Watsonians and East Academy games may well be long forgotten........

Scorecard

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Saturday 24th July 1pm

East League Division One
W
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Edinburgh CC 2
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v
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Carlton 2
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136 all out

Mohammed Habib 5 for 32

away

213 all out

Oli Tame 69, Ben Duerden 58

An overcast afternoon and a soggy pitch met the Twos as they travelled across the city to Academy Park to take on Edinburgh CC in their latest quest for points at the summit of East League Division One.

Captain Duerden lost his second toss in as many weeks and Carlton were sent into bat on a green wicket which, along with overhead conditions seemed to be bowler friendly. Nevertheless openers Ani Majumdar and Tom Barrett negotiated the new ball well until Ani was run out in somewhat controversial circumstances with the score on nine. Ben joined Tom and a bowling change brought a release of pressure and a flurry of boundaries, but just as it looked like a partnership was about to develop, Tom was adjudged caught behind for 16 and Nick Hunt followed next ball to a peach of a delivery that nipped back in between the gate.

Oli Tame (or Patrick Monaco as he is now known following a strange dream the skipper endured last week) joined Ben at 47-3 with the Carlton innings in danger of stalling after a solid start. After a bit of dodgy calling early on from both batsmen, good running ensured momentum swung back in the way of the Arrows and the hundred came shortly after drinks.

Ben and Oli continued to push on against the Edinburgh middle overs bowling which largely consisted of spin. Ben eventually fell lbw trying to go over the top to the returning opening bowler Aziz for 57, bringing Boydy to the crease. Fraser used his whole array of shots to help Oli keep the score ticking along until he tried to sweep one a little too fine, bizarrely playing the ball off the face of the bat and on to the stumps for a well made brisk 22, Carlton 179-5 after 41 overs.

From then on wickets fell at regular intervals, nullifying the customary end of innings blitz that has been typical of the twos over the last few weeks. Elder carved a few through the offside before failing to make his ground returning for a second and Charlie became the third run out victim of the day. In between that Oli holed out in the deep for a well made 69, marshalling the innings from potential collapse to a solid defendable score. Habs missed a straight one and Clarkey connected too well to find deep extra cover in the last over to leave us all out for 213, a good score but perhaps a tad short by our standards given our position with ten overs remaining.

The clouds darkened over tea and the boys entered the field with the confidence that a good opening spell from “Little” and “Larger Than Life” would see us home. Unfortunately Edinburgh opener Mazhar hadn’t read the script and showed why he is the runaway leading run scorer in the division, lacing a couple to the fence before smashing Habs over his head for six. The Mighty Habs did not like this one bit and charged in once more only for Mazhar to go for the same shot again. This time though he didn’t get all of it and Clarkey ran backwards from mid off to take a well judged catch over his shoulder to make the breakthrough. From there normal service was resumed, Stevie bowling with devastating accuracy which yielded six maidens from eight overs and two wickets for his efforts. Habs continued to smash pads or stumps all over the place and finished with 5-32, batsmen coming and going in procession and the game looking like a formality with Edinburgh 76-8.

Edinburgh opener Ul Hameed had watched this carnage from the other end and had looked solid, but needed a partner to stick around and a bowling change. Unfortunately for Carlton he found both of these as the rain came and captain Arshad came out to bat at ten. A short delay followed but when play resumed spin was brought on at both ends in order to guarantee that the minimum 30 overs required for a result were bowled as quickly as possible. The ball had become hard to grip though and this played into the batsmen’s hands as Duerden and Clarke leaked runs and fielding became tricky. Cue Josh Walker, who wrapped up the innings with minimal fuss for the second week running, good wicket to wicket bowling accounting for both Ul Hameed and Arshad.

Eventually Carlton ran out comfortable winners, despite the last two Edinburgh wickets scoring more than the first eight. The boys travelled back to the Loan in high spirits and joined Clarkey in a few quiet, sedate birthday drinks at the club where the odd jovial game was played, anecdote shared and Tom kept all of his drink in his stomach. Seriously man.......

Scorecard

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Saturday 31st July 1pm

East League Division One
W
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Carlton 2
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v
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Largo
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250 for 5

Ben Duerden 110, Tom Barrett 106

home

200 all out

Peter Swan 4 for 23, Mohammed Habib 4 for 33

Saturday’s home encounter pitted two sides at opposite end of the table battling for points for different reasons; Carlton desperate to keep pace at the top and Largo looking to drag themselves clear from the foot of East League Division One.

An overcast Grange Loan met the visitors who had made a good fist of a run chase earlier in the season until a Nathan Pietsch five for saw the Fist Arrows home. Despite this, upon winning the toss Duerden once again invited Largo to chase down a total, opting for first use of another flat home track. Openers Tom Barrett and Ani Majumdar reaffirmed his faith, even if there did appear to be a role reversal out in the middle; while Ani played the more watchful role Tom raced out of the blocks, cutting and driving superbly and getting on top of the bowling to give Carlton the early initiative.

Ani eventually top edged to mid wicket in attempt to accelerate in the 18th over, bringing the captain to the crease at 60-1. Ben and Tom immediately wrested the momentum back in Carlton’s favour, punishing anything too full and stealing singles in the ring that they had no right to. Good running has been a constant theme in the seconds this season and today was no different. The hundred came up shortly before drinks and Tom’s fifty followed just after; with Ben, who was timing the ball beautifully, not far behind. Bowling changes were rife in the middle overs but none of them could stop the partnership, which quickly passed 100 and then 150, with both batsmen progressing through the seventies and eighties together. A few nervy singles in the nineties were safely negotiated and Ben brought up his ton in the 45th over, followed later in the over by Tom who clipped through square leg to scamper home.

By the time Ben was bowled by Aussie amateur Thomason a few overs later, the partnership of 181 had set the foundation for another big Carlton total. Bizarrely though, after the two centuries in the scorebook there followed three rings, as Nick Martin, Simon Spry and Fraser Boyd all failed to register against the admittedly sharp death bowling from Thomason. Tom fell lbw last ball of the innings for his expertly crafted 106 and Carlton closed for tea on 250-6.

The boys had talked before the game about not being able to rely on the opening spells that Habs and Stevie Elder have provided in recent weeks. This unfortunately rang true in the Largo reply as openers Warrender and Thomason showed that the wicket was still good, driving and pulling well. Despite Habs removing Thomason and later captain Robinson with a cracking Yorker, Largo were well up with the rate after 15 overs and Scott senior had joined Warrender in pressurising the Carlton bowling. The other running theme for the twos this season, fielding, momentarily deserted the boys as chances were put down, and with Largo’s run rate showing no signs of slowing, Warrender passed fifty just before the half way stage was reached. Specialist spinner Swanny was introduced into the attack to take pace off the ball in attempt to slow the run rate. Not only did he do this but he managed to break the partnership, Scott slicing to Stevie at mid off.

Despite another Swan wicket a few overs later, Warrender was still scoring quickly. Habs was reintroduced to try and prize him out, but found his opportunities limited, instead removing numbers 6 and 7 while Swanny got rid of Anderson and Robertson at 8 and 9 an over later, finishing with impressive figures of 4-23 to cap off a spell that had changed the game. Spry returned to snare Warrender who, running out of partners thick edged to Nick to depart for a well made 86. Si accounted for number 11, giving Boydy a second, slightly trickier stumping than his first and adding a sense of symmetry to the scorecard, a wicket at each end of what was the Swanny and Habs show inbetween.  Largo were all out for 200 and Carlton were home by 50 runs, a comparatively narrow victory by recent margins.

Going into the final month of the season, anything seems possible. With strength in depth and momentum on our side, there is a great opportunity to mount a serious challenge on the top two sides, who we meet in our final two games.

Scorecard

Video clips

Ben brings up his 100 ...

... closely followed by Tom

Highlights from Habs' opening spell

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Saturday 7th August 1pm

East League Division One
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Boroughmuir
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Carlton 2
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186 for 8

Steven Elder 2 for 17, Tom Clarke 2 for 26, Simon Spry 2 for 26

away

185 all out

Tom Clarke 41, Tom Barrett 31, Fraser Boyd 25

A dull, gloomy day greeted the 2's on their arrival at Meggetland.  Captain Bryn lost the important toss and we were inserted to bat on a green wicket.  Ani and Tom opened up and, assisted by some erratic Boroughmuir bowling, brought up 50 inside 10 overs.  It was their change bowlers that brought the first wicket, Ani spooning a catch straight up for an easy catch.  Boroughmuir's Manam was particularly difficult to get away, making the most of the favourable conditions with swing and seam and taking four wickets straight, leaving Carlton on 80/4.  A mini recovery was staged by Spry and Fraz, with the latter booming a large maximum.  Both fell soon after drinks to leave Carlton in real trouble.  It was only a quality 41 from Clarkey who played some nice shots whilst giving out some chat that allowed Carlton to reach 185 all out.  The 37 added for the last wicket could have been very important, as the wicket had dried out nicely in the now hot sun.
 
Elder and Rushy opened up the bowling with Elder being particularly miserly, bowling his ten straight through for 2/17, including the local skipper bowled by an absolute peach.  It was Rushy who made the initial breakthrough though and after Drummo enticed the number 4 to throw away his wicket, Boroughmuir were in deep trouble.  Their 5 and 6 dug in for a while, looking to rebuild the innings, but both fell to the Hoover, and the match looked all but over at 78/6.  Then, slowly, the match turned with the quality of the bowling falling away and the batsmen looking more assured after riding their luck earlier on.  Bowlers came and went as the target reduced, and it was Spry who made the breakthrough, nabbing Boyapati for 39.  With an end open, Spry took another wicket, but it was too late.  Boroughmuir's Talreja held their innings together for a well made 58 not out and the winning runs were scored in the final over, with 8 wickets down.
 
A disappointing result, but not batting out 50 overs proved crucial.  The odds are now against the team winning the league but with three games to go, we look to end on a high.
 

Scorecard

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Saturday 14th August 1pm

East League Division One
W
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Carlton 2
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v
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Glenrothes
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163 for 7

Simon Spry 40, Seb Rae 36, Steven Elder 31*

home

162 for 7

Haris Aslam 3 for 24

While there may have been an end of season feel to this penultimate league match of 2010, it was a big day for 13 year old leg spinner Haris Aslam who made his 2nd XI debut.

With Carlton in the unusual position of bowling first at home, it was Rushy who made the early breakthrough as opener Walker sliced an airy drive into the welcoming hands of Edinburgh University cricketing supremo Seb Rae.

With no further wickets forthcoming to the seamers, skipper Pietsch had no hesitation in turning to young Haris, who locked horns with the evergreen Hopcroft in a fascinating battle between youth and experience. First to go was number three Neil who was bamboozled by the youngster’s dip and turn and slapped carelessly to the skipper at cover. Then came Haris’s finest moment; a looping leggie caught Hopcroft in two minds and he slashed straight to the country’s number one gully, Ani.

With the back-to-form Braddles picking up a wicket, courtesy of a sharp caught behind, Glens were in a bit of bother.  And when Haris collected his third - Khan pulling the youngster straight down the throat of Nick – to finish with the superb figures of 3 for 24 off his ten, Carlton were looking good.

Brad missed out on his second when what looked like a simple caught and bowled was accidentally ruined by the batsman who barged into the big bowler. Boydy was awake though and picked up the loose ball to effect one of the easiest run outs of the season. The keeper could also have been in line to take the catch but left it to Brad. “Why didn’t you catch it?” asked his teammates. “Fantasy points,” replied Boydy, “10 for a direct runout, only 5 for a wicketkeeper catch.”

With Clarkey (left) replacing Haris and soon picking up a wicket, an early tea was looming. However, a strange malaise crept over the home side during the last ten overs. Scarcely a sound was to be heard from the field as Ross and Georgeson were allowed to take the visitors to 162 for 7 – at least 40 more than it should have been.

After Ani departed early lbw, Seb and Simon looked in great touch, with the positive running of the latter great to watch. However, a clatter of quick wickets decimated the middle order and the previous week’s batting hero – yes, Clarkey - had it all to do again. This time he was able to play second fiddle to all-rounderã Steven Elder who showed the middle order how to bat, racing to 31 not out to see his side home with over 12 hours to spare.

Scorecard
Photos

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Saturday 21st August 1pm

East League Division One
W
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Edinburgh Accies
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Carlton 2
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188 for 7

Simon Spry 95 not out

away

158 all out

Simon Spry 3 for 28

A big game for both sides, with Accies aiming to get back in the SNCL while the Carlton Twos were looking to leapfrog their hosts into second place.

Seb and Ani got things off to a steady start on a bowler friendly wicket before both fell in their teens. Simon and under 15 Kyle, on debut, were looking good before Kyle was called through for one tight run too many by his partner. The Martin/Boyd middle order failed to engage their brains and it was left to skipper Pietschy and golden-boy Elder to keep Spry company to ensure a competitive total. In the end, the classy Aussie was unbeaten on 95 as Carlton closed on 188 for 7.

Josh and Stevie had learned from the Accies innings and bowled tight lines to make sure Accies had to work for every run and they finished their opening spells with two wickets apiece and the home side in deep trouble. Nathan and Brad kept up the pressure but Amin, with some unorthodox shots, kept Accies in the hunt until he was finally bowled by Simon.

With just seven overs remaining and three Accies’ wickets intact, there was an unusual event in the cricket summer of 2010 ...the rains came. It chucked it down for ninety minutes and when it ended, the outfield was soaked and the light very poor. With Carlton ahead on run rate, and the umpires leaving it up to the players whether they went back or not, there was no onus on Nathan to get his team back on. However, mindful of the importance of the game to Accies SNCL ambitions, the Carlton boys were unanimous that they should get back out and finish the game.

Simon then sealed his man of the match claim with two perfect deliveries to shatter the stumps of the dangerous Paton and then Stewart, first ball. The skipper sealed a thirty win run when he caught the inside edge of Williams’ bat and Boydy claimed the catch in near darkness.

Scorecard

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Saturday 28th August noon

East League Division One
L
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Carlton 2
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Watsonian 2
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260 for 9

Simon Spry 151 not out, Seb Rae 38

home

294 for 4

Nathan Pietsch 2 for 38

On yet another sunny cricket Saturday, ‘Sonians opener Keith Flanagan strode out to the middle, taking two strides to every one taken by his partner, overseas man-mountain Richard Crosby. With only 7 on the board, Flanagan pulled up sharply as his calf muscle twanged spectacularly. A call for ice found the Carlton freezer embarrassingly empty of ice packs, and the suffering opener gratefully accepted the offer of a couple of frozen beefburgers. The veteran spent the rest of the innings with two burgers strapped to his calf while his team-mates ensured they didn’t get downwind of him.

Although they didn’t realise it at the time, Flanagan’s long hobble to the pavilion was the last the Carlton bowlers would see of the back of a batsman for a very long time. Joined by Mark Yellowlees, Crosby survived a huge lbw shout early on from debutant Mo Ahmed, who impressed with a tight opening spell. Once Crosby got his eye in, he soon began to unleash some trademark drives and pulls, taking a liking to the medium paced Carlton attack. Unfortunately for the home side, they picked the wrong day to turn in probably their worst fielding performance of the season as a series of catches were put down, giving Crosby every encouragement to continue to dominate. Full marks to 15 year old Kyle Macpherson though, who set a high standard in the field and was the first to encourage his team mates when the experienced heads in the side began to wilt.

The extra pace of skipper Pietschy had Crosby looking uncomfortable as he struggled to hit the back of a length ball. However, when the skipper over modestly brought himself off after his first spell the big left handed batsman upped a gear and raced to his century, with Yellowlees giving intelligent support.

At last, with the score on 276, a wicket fell when Crosby holed out to a good catch from Mo on 165, off the occasional bowling of Ani. Incredibly, Yellowlees then fell next ball to a Majumdar yorker. With the hat-trick narrowly averted, Nathan picked up two quick wickets to deliver two of the four bonus points the Twos needed to seal second place in the league.

Chasing 295 to win against the newly crowned champions, the home side needed a good start but Boydy, promoted to opener, responded to that rarest of things, a Pete Legget long hop, by smashing it over the head of that man Crosby, who calmly raised his arms and plucked the ball out of the sky.

In form batsman Simon Spry joined Seb at the crease and the two batted very well together once again, taking the side past 100 and clinching the league runners-up spot. Seb was eventually stumped for a fine 38 trying to up the rate, but Simon batted on serenely, reaching a popular and well deserved hundred.

Ani tried to up the tempo but succeeded in injuring himself, calling for a runner only to be caught next ball. Nik, Matt and Kyle all batted well but there were not enough boundaries coming to keep Carlton in contention.

Nevertheless, Simon continued in classy vein, bringing up a superb 150 in the final over as Carlton fell 34 runs short.

Scorecard
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Final ESCA Division 1 league placings

 

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