The Famous 5s assembled at Grange Loan for their encounter with local rivals Watsonians 4s, which despite the apocalyptic weather forecast was dry and fair at the commence of play. Both teams had a mixture of youth and experience, with added spice from the match up between brothers Kyle and Euan Burgess, who were playing for opposing teams.
Skipper Keith won the toss and had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat, conscious that a premature finish was likely. Regular opening bowlers Kyle and Robert took the new ball, with big brother Euan opening the batting for ‘Sonians, along with young Josh Belfer. Burgess senior had the better of the early exchanges, hitting some powerful drives off his younger brother, although he was fortunate to survive an excellent shout from Robert. The openers put on 45 for the first wicket until a sharp piece of fielding from James allowed Shuaib to run out Belfer. This brought the redoubtable Aadarsh to the crease, who enjoyed clubbing anything slightly short to the leg side. Shuaib was introduced to the attack and got a wicket in his first over, removing the dangerous Burgess senior, adjudged lbw. Robbie also bowled an accurate spell, almost having Aadarsh caught a couple of times (R. Murray 4-0-18-0). He was replaced by Stu, who caused the batsmen some problems, but at 102 for 2 after 22 overs, Watsonians were well set. Stu finally got the breakthrough with a fine catch carefully watched all the way by Robert at short third man to remove Dickinson (S. Dawson 4-0-17-1). A run out by Keith and wicket for Shuaib in his final over, trapping Robson lbw, (S. Farooq 8-0-31-2) pegged the visitors back to 110 for 5.
Lewis then came on to tease the batsmen with his off spin. He bowled a beautiful ball to clean bowl the dangerous Aadarsh, who played all round one that turned very sharply (L. King 4-0-30-1). This brought experienced bat Counsell to the crease and after giving a couple of tough chances, he formed a useful partnership with the belligerent Ridge, until the latter was removed by the seventh bowler used, Angus, who induced a looping catch to the ever reliable Martin at short fine leg (A. Turner 4-0-14-1). The next bat in was the dangerous Sinclair, who had been instrumental in Watsonians’ win in the early season friendly. Kyle returned and Sinclair mistimed a big drive off him, spooning the ball up the hill over the smallest fielder on the pitch, Robbie, who somehow managed to turn, run up the hill, jump, catch it and hold on when he hit the ground for an excellent catch. The Watsonians skipper Borthwick was Kyle’s next victim, skying one that was taken by James behind the stumps after a good, clear call (K. Burgess 8-0-41-2). Robert returned and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket (R. Rowlands 8-0-44-0). It was left to Shuaib to get his second run out to dismiss Counsell in the final over, restricting the visitors to 202 all out in 39.4 overs. This was a very good effort by the bowlers and fielders considering where Watsonians were after 22 overs and the overall strength of their batting. Miraculously, there was no sign of rain and Grange Loan was by now bathed in glorious sunshine.
The Carlton reply was lead by skipper, Keith, and James. They got the innings off to a positive start, with James hitting three crisp boundaries before being caught mistiming a shot to square leg (J. Stronach 14). Martin joined Keith out in the middle, but by now the prophesied storm clouds were starting to appear. As thunder rumbled ominously nearby, the Carlton batters pressed on to 39 for 1 after 10 overs, but a bright flash of lightening and even louder thunder persuaded the captains to come off, very shortly before a tremendous deluge ensued. This ended the match with the skipper and Martin undefeated (K. Murray 13*) (M. Robertson 6*). Carlton were marginally ahead of the rate on rain calculator, but without the necessary 20 overs having been completed to enable a result. This was a shame as a close contest looked to be in the offing, but both sides were amazed they had managed over 3 hours of play after the terrible forecast.
Nonetheless, it was a very positive outing for the 5s, with a strong performance in the field including 3 run outs and 4 good catches, accurate bowling, and a brisk start with the bat. Many thanks to Sandy Scotland for umpiring and to the ground staff for preparing an excellent wicket. Thanks also to Watsonians for another enjoyable match, played in very good spirit. We look forward to the return match at Craiglockhart later in the summer.