Carlton Sunday XI 2011 Fixtures and Results
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Sunday, 22nd May Friendly
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Carlton XI
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West Lothian XI
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176 for 6

Liam Prescott 51, Imtiaz Ahmed 42

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177 for 6

Keshav Arvind 2 for 34

Your Ancient Greeks may have had many virtues.  Javelin throwing, pottery and epic poetry writing come to mind. Cricket your correspondent is less certain about.  But they had surely not encountered Grange Loan on a blustery Sunday afternoon in May.  For the Greeks identified Zephyrus as the god of the west wind. Good call, you might say, great name -  just what I would have done.  But they held that Zephyrus is the gentlest of the winds, it is the fructifying wind, the messenger of spring. Blow me - to coin a phrase.  The wind that was blowing this afternoon at Grange Loan was certainly out of the west but if it was gentle, then who knows what storm conditions would be?   

There are many stories about Zephyr, apparently among other things he was the father of Achilles' horses.  He also features prominently in the story of Hyacinth.  Now Hyacinth was a very handsome and athletic Spartan prince, a top order bat and outstanding fielder. Zephyrus, presumably on another tack from fathering horses, fell in love with him and so did Apollo. The two competed for the boy's love, but he chose Apollo, driving Zephyrus mad with jealousy. Later,coming upon Apollo and Hyacinth throwing a discus (as they did in Ancient Greece), Zephyrus in his jealousy blew a gust of wind at them, striking the boy in the head with the falling discus.  Presumably had he had the opportunity he could have done similar things with a cricket ball. When Hyacinth died, Apollo created the hyacinth flower from his blood.  A nice touch.  

So out of the West came not only Zephyr but a team of cricketers from West Lothian for a friendly with the Al Murray Development XI.  The toss won, a blustery shower passed over interrupting the start of the Carlton innings, but it was gone in a trice, chased away by Zephyrus.  In line with the Child Safety code, juniors had been warned against discus throwing in such conditions.  Wells and Aslam opened.  Aslam leaving quickly LBW and Wells being bowled not much later, 2 for 32.  Imtiaz, fresh from his last match over 2 years ago and Liam, fresh from his final exam yesterday, were brought together.  They complemented each other in an excellent 80 run partnership with Liam hitting one enormous straight 6, aided by Zephyr, and coming close with another 2.  Imty looked like he'd never put a bat down in his time away.  But all good things come to an end and Liam fell (perhaps predictably) to the slow bowler holding the ball up in the wind and giving Liam's overactive brain too much time to envisage possibilities, none of which came to pass.  Bowled.  Imtiaz went shortly after his middle stump also taken out by the fast bowler (identified in the score book only as shirt number 13) bowling down wind.  117 for 4 and Kevin Whitaker and Keshav now together.  Keshav played well for 15 pushing the ball nicely into gaps, until his furniture was disturbed.  Kevin cleared the wall twice and engaged in competitive quick single taking with FB - a sad sight for everyone.  Kevin was caught behind for 21 and FB (14*) and Dougal (4*) closed the innings at 176 for 6. 

 Zephyr obviously enjoyed a good tea for coming out again, the wind's blood sugar level was up and it had definitely freshened.  Dougal opened down wind, FB in noble self sacrifice tacked against the wind with a couple of reefs in the sail.  They each had early success to leave WL 17 for 2.  FB inducing a catch from a rank long hop, or as he put it, the first time his bouncer has taken a wicket for many years.  Dougal's wicket was more aesthetically pleasing, a leg stump yorker.   

Sam had 4 decent overs but was unlucky not to get a wicket.  Calum was a bit luckier and got a wicket with a top edge to Haris at fly slip. FB having reached a pitiful point of exhaustion fighting against the wind was replaced by Keshav who bowled a good spell finishing with 2 for 34 off his 8 (and 15 of those in his last over as the wind finally got to him).  We had WL at 63 for 5 at drinks, but the break was a bad idea as it was the batsmen who came out fighting and the balance changed as a match winning partnership of 93 between Bennie and Bennie took shape.  They survived a couple of difficult chances and began to assert momentum.  

These brothers (your correspondent assumes) were not separated until the 36th over when Haris pulled the Bennie on 44 out of his ground for Kevin to take a smart stumping.  But then WL were well on top and brother Bennie went past his 50 as WL got to the target in the 39th over.   A most enjoyable game, even if Carlton ended up on the losing side. 

Excellent to see Imtiaz and Kevin (left) play like they'd never been away, and to see a new crop of juniors step up to the adult plate.  Good fielding from old and young with Imtiaz sparkling in his footwork and Alan throwing himself around like a............well you fill the blank.  

Thanks to WL for the match and congratulations on a good chase.   And as for Zephyr - in the words of Michael Winner as recently stolen by David Cameron - do calm down dear.

Scorecard

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Sunday, 12th June Friendly
  Westquarter XI
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Carlton XI
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RAINED OFF
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Sunday, 3rd July Friendly
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Carlton XI
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Grange XI
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122 for 8

Liam Prescott 47, Tom Dean 34

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125 for 5

Keith Murray 2 for 10

The 'Fathers & Sons' clash between Carlton and Grange perhaps didn't quite meet the strict nominal criteria due to unavailability of numerous home familes - either in part or in whole - but one son of Grange Loan, 12 year old Tom Dean, starred for the home side as he hit 34 in a total of 122 for 8 off 35 overs. Liam Prescott also thumped 47 while breaking a bat.

The Grange outfit then knocked off the runs for 5 wickets down. Keith Murray took 2 for 10, while one dismissal surely made the scorecard a collectors item: "st Prescott, b irvine-Hess'.

Scorecard

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Wednesday, 6th July Friendly
  Gargunnock XI
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Carlton XI
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RAINED OFF
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Sunday, 10th July Friendly
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Gargunnock Village CC
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145 all out

Mo Ahmed 55, Rory Allardice 21

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136 for 7

Bob Irvine 5 for 28

Your correspondent had arrived at Grange Loan a bit early for the friendly with our friends from Gargunnock.  A shower had just passed over and the sun was shining - it looked likely that the rare event of a game of cricket happening in Scotland this summer might be a possibility.   The tension was mounting.  Who had Al Murray managed to line up for this critically important fixture?  Your correspondent perked up when Preston Mommsen game through the gate with his kit and stood blinking in the unfamiliar sun.  A few moments later in came Gordon Drummond. The thought crossed your correspondent's mind that for once Al had selected players in his class.  Then came Kyle Coetzer 'Must be guesting today' your correspondent thought.  Sadly the gate then disgorged into the ground a less exalted set of cricketers and Al confirmed to Mommsen and his chums that he had managed to raise XI and any thoughts they had of a true test of their skills before playing Sri Lanka this week could be forgotten, thankyou very much for coming though.  With tails between their legs they made their way to the nets as the Murraymints went about their warm up routines. 

The toss successfully negotiated, Al chose to open with Fantasy Bob and Richard Allardice. There seemed to be some ageism in his strategic thinking here, but your correspondent will gloss over this and refrain from inviting the Equality Commission to investigate further.  Suffice it to say that, like the life of Franz Schubert or Buddy Holly, the Carlton innings was full of unfulfilled potential.  The good died young.

Gargunnock's opening bowler was a left armer.  Fantasy Bob has petitioned the Carlton council many times to the effect that left armers should not be allowed within Grange Loan far less allowed to bowl at him.  He has supported his argument with extensive references to relevant parts of the Trust Deed, the Institutes of Justinian and the Talmud.  He has pointed out the unacknowledged eleventh commandment that came down the mountain with Moses which scholars of ancient Hebraic script now agree translates as follows 'Thou Shalt not have a left armer bowling over the wicket particularly at Fantasy Bob.'  But he has been ignored.  However while Mr Leftarm Naris bagged 3 for 10 as a bowler it was as a catcher that he did most damage.  Lurking in various disguises in various parts of the field he took 5 catches - none of them easy and most of them one handed.  It was unnatural.  Al was too polite to demand a drug test at the tea interval.

Only Mo Ahmed did himself any justice scoring a classy 55 until he holed out after drinks when it looked like he would get the second fifty with no bother.   Otherwise there were contributions that could have gone on from Rory Allardice 21, Al Murray 20 and Neil irvine-Hess 17 but all got themselves out when looking set.  As a result our innings finished in the 28th over with 145 on the board.

Taking tea we weren't too downhearted.  We are British after all.  We thought this might be a defendable total as long as we bowled and fielded well.  20 overs later the score was 66-0 and things didn't look so rosy.  Al had no choice but to promise FB a lifetime's free physiotherapy if only he would shuffle up to the bowling crease in his time honoured manner.  But lose 1, lose 2 happened as Al and FB got the openers in quick succession.  And that was enough - Gargunnock never got on top of the run rate after that and wickets kept falling.  Particularly to the injury racked FB.  He ended up with 5-28 - without appearing threatening at all.  Presumably the batsmen were as amazed as everyone else that the ball actually made it to the other end.  Included in the 5 wickets was a hat trick - only nobody noticed since it was spread across 2 overs.  Just as well since FB lacked the financial wherewithal to stand his hand.  Good efforts from Gargunnock's Sutcliffe (27) Lloyd (35) and Naris - what him again? - (31) but Gargunnock were left at 136 for 7 at the end of 40 overs.  The other wicket went to Adam, who also took a smart catch off FB, and there was good spell from Rory who bowled his 8 overs for 21.  The neutral observer would say that Carlton kept interest in the match by dropping a number of catches.

There are those who will be able to write in their memoirs and tell their grandchildren that they were there when FB took a hattrick.  There were those who were there and couldn't care less. 

Many thanks to Gargunnock for the game. 

 

Scorecard

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Sunday, 7th August Friendly
  Carlton XI
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Woodcutters CC
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RAINED OFF
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Sunday, 14th August Friendly
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Carlton XI
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Teuchters CC
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155 for 8

Keshav Arvind 31

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156 for 7

Bob Irvine 3 for 35. Sam Marchbank 2 for 33

The following review is reprinted from later editions of yesterday's Scotsman.  

Carlton v Teuchters Lite

*****  

Another lamentable administrative oversight in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe administrative machine meant that this compelling performance at the world famous Grange Loan auditorium did not feature in the published programme.  Theatre goers therefore needed to have their ear to the ground to learn of the appearance of the legendary theatrical figures in the Carlton Sunday XI in their latest improvised tragical-comical-pastoral-epic 'Friendly against Teuchters.'  The word had got round however and the audience swelled into double figures as the doughty stage manager put the finishing touches to the set.  Greeness was the predominant theme on the playing platform itself to which attention was drawn by economical structures at either end representing at one end the trident of Neptune (surely an inspired comment on recent deluges) and at the other a minimalist interpretation of the Three Graces.  Lighting was stunning with the stage bathed in an unfamiliar brightness that suggested that the sun was shining.  A marvellous special effect of which the doughty stage manager should be proud.  

It was Carlton who strut the stage first with legendary tragedian Imtiaz Ahmed pressed into action with young moralist Keshav Arvind.  And a fine opening act they gave the appreciative audience.  Imtiaz's timing was a bit off - he blamed the props department for his sword was of a Goochian heaviness.  However when eventually he changed it for a lighter model he immediately succumbed and was back in the green room for 15.  After that only Keshav looked like he had any theatrical nous before he fell for 31 mid way through the first act.  But then the comedy part of the show did not make the most of the start.  Teuchters tried hard to set things up by presenting inviting lines, but actor after actor from Carlton fluffed their lines - mistiming or stuttering or colliding with the scenery - sometimes all three.  There was little for the theatrical connoisseur to enjoy here, broad comedy may have its place but this was too much.  More rehearsal is recommended.  

Nevertheless the Carlton troupe closed the first act with 155 from their allotted script which set the second act up.   

Lites donned the motley and took to the stage. Lites started with purpose - so much purpose in fact that the legendary David Prosser bowled Bartsch in the first over.  Theatre goers struggled to remember when they had seen such a stunning opening - Bartsch has previously done nothing but one man shows at Grange Loan.  Carlton's junior bowlers supported Prosser well and the Lites gave little to entertain the audience for a while.  Marchbank Main and Allardice junior's stagecraft was excellent.  Sam effected 2 exits but the others were ill rewarded in the wickets column.  It was when skipper Al turned to even more legendary Music Hall entertainer  Fantasy Bob, in desperation rather than inspiration your critic thinks, that exits began as the old timer showed how it was done - 3 wickets could have put Carlton on top.  At this stage surtitles might have helped the mystified audience for the old timer also leaked runs.  This was the rare stuff of tragedy - or was it alternative comedy (your critic is frequently unsure of the difference) -  but there was not a dry eye in the house when he was smacked yet again to the long on boundary.  What was the dramatic purpose here? Lites middle order players took the fight to the home side and they brought up their deserved victory in the second last over to win by 3 wickets.  

A fine show - it could run and run but your critic suggests that Carlton needed more runs.  Perhaps some rough edges to be knocked off if it is seriously to transfer for a West End run, although Andrew Lloyd Webber is rumoured to be considering a musical version.

Scorecard

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Sunday, 21st August Friendly
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Carlton XI
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Dollar CC
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103 all out

Mo Ahmed 32, Ben Dean 25

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153 all out

Haris Aslam 2 for 13, Alan Murray 2 for 17

An unfamiliar sunlit vista welcomed cricketers to Grange Loan for a Sunday friendly against Dollar CC, freshly returned from a bombing raid on Cologne [Er don’t you mean a bowling and batting raid. Ed]. But it was not only credulity at the pleasant weather that was under strain. For your correspondent arrived to find emergency measures being considered.

Our doughty groundsman, he with no name, was clear in conveying the information that the electronic scoreboard was ******, the battery was ******. It might last for part of the match, but was definitely ******. He almost matched he eloquence of England spinner John Emburey who once described the shredded nature of his spinning finger with the poetic lament 'The ****ing ****er's ****ed.' [The doughty groundsman has asked me independently to advise readers that the word the over excited correspondent has blanked is in fact 'broken'. Neither he not I have any idea why the correspondent should blank it other than to make a cheap joke at his expense. Ed]

In emergencies the UK Government institutes the COBRA committee to mastermind the nation’s survival. At Carlton emergency planning is also on high alert and creaked into action. [Surely you mean sprang. Ed] After full consultation with NATO, Number 10, the Ministry of Defence, Hilary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Brian Forrester it was decided that in the face of the visible threat to world peace that a failing scoreboard would represent, it was necessary to activate Plan B. But as all UK voters are told regularly, there is no Plan B. With time running out, no chances could be taken. The match therefore started with 3 scoreboards on display. This brought an immediate benefit, for while the electronic scoreboard functioned, one of the reserves was pressed into service by our doughty groundsman to convey to the fielding Carlton side the progress being made by their colleagues in the SNCL match against Forfarshire. A contingency that will duly be recommended to COBRA for future national emergencies.

Your correspondent is confident that a similar rig was in place in Broughty Ferry to convey to Carlton travelling support the story at Grange Loan in the day’s only match that mattered in Scotland [Er, are you sure you understand the concept of crunch league title decider? Ed]

Dollar chose to bat. After Haris had removed opener Smith with a classic leg break and a smart catch by stand in keeper Mo, some lusty hitting by big Buchanan-Smith and more cultured stroke play by Torrance had the visitors rattling along at 4+ an over. The multiplicity of scoreboards may have confused them – because one scoreboard showed wickets tumbling (reflecting the impact of Omar’s 5-fer) when in fact a solid partnership for the second wicket was taking place (reporting the impact of FB’s 0-fer). Dollar batters had to pinch themselves to confirm that they were still at the crease – a common experience as one FB pie follows the next. [A similar feeling is usually felt by spectators too. Ed]

Al Murray broke the spell by bowling the big man and Carlton nibbled away with skipper Whatley rotating the bowlers. Efforts were aided by 2 smart run outs, Fergus throwing the stumps down for one. In an historic moment, Tom Dean collected his first wicket in senior cricket assisted by Dad Ben’s catch – as the proud father observed 'A lot of pocket money was riding on that one.' But scoreboards were causing concern – were they both working properly? The Forfar scoreboard’s wickets column seemed to have seized as the Taysiders staged a recovery, while the home scoreboard’s runs column pegged out in favour of the wickets leaving Dollar on 153 all out in the last over. Al Murray 2-17, Haris 2-13. The innings closed with Carlton a scoreboard in hand.

Carlton’s batting might have benefitted from some emergency planning. Plan A seemed good until the opening bowlers fairly rapidly removed Zaki, BoomBoomTobyDrummoNick, and FB – 2 top drawer slip catches at ankle height and a fine Yorker. Time for Plan B. Mo looked good until he rashly ran on a misfield and paid the price. His accomplished 32 proved to be Carlton’s top score. Mo forgot that there is no Plan B - just more of Plan A. This is known as Plan C and came into play as the stage was left clear for a fine partnership between Dean father and son. This was in sight of 50 when Ben mistimed a pull and was caught for an enterprising 25. Tom went shortly after for a batsman like 13 to another fine slip catch by Buchanan-Smith. Scoreboard number 3 was pressed into service in the middle of Carlton’s innings, the doughty groundsman’s Embureyesque diagnosis proving correct. But it was not put under undue pressure as with the mild disturbance of a couple of biffs from Al Murray, Carlton’s innings gently subsided to 103 all out in the 36th over. A worthy victory to Dollar.

As the teams came off, the news from Forfar was encouraging – after the scoreboard gobbled up some early wickets Carlton had rallied and looked to be on course for a victory. Many thanks to Dollar for an enjoyable game, the last in this year’s Sunday Friendly series brought to your screens by Murray and Robertson Enterprises.

Scorecard

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