This weekend will feature the second and final round of preseason fixtures, ahead of the start of the league season the following weekend.
On Saturday morning the Women’s First XI will entertain Watsonians Womens at Grange Loan in their first outing of the season. The sides played each other on two occasions last year with the Arrows winning both matches. In the WPL fixture the Grange Loan side scored 200 for 2 from their 30 overs with all of the top order getting scores. Watsonians then lost 3 quick wickets in response and never quite recovered. They finished 64 all out with Zaara Dancu taking 4 wickets in just 2 overs.
Also on Saturday the First XI will host Watsonians 1st XI at Grange Loan, a reverse fixture from last year’s pre-season. In that match the Arrows secured a 28 run win at Myreside. Ali Shah’s 71 set up a first innings total of 196 in a 40 over a side match. The target proved too much for the home side and with wickets falling at regular intervals they fell 28 short. In last season’s league fixture against Watsonians at Grange Loan the Arrows ran out comfortable victors. The visitors won the toss and opted to bat first but struggled to ever get going. In the end ‘Sonians were bowled out for 148 in 41 overs, with Shujaa Khan picking up 5 wickets. Hugo Southwell hit 56* of 55 balls to help see the Arrows to their target in the 36th over for the loss of 2 wickets.
The Second XI will travel to Myreside for a match against Watsonians’ 2nd XI. Sonians’ 2nd XI finished 4th place in ESCA Division 1 last year. The 2s have played Watsonians on numerous occasions in recent times however the sides did not meet at all last year. The Second XI will be bolstered by stronger availability this week including skipper Ben D’Ulisse as the team looks to build on a productive match last weekend against Edinburgh Accies.
The Fourth XI will be in action at Craiglockhart against Watsonians 3s on Saturday. In last year’s preseason fixture the 13 men of Watsonians were bowled out for 66 after an impressive bowling display by the youngsters. In reply Keith & Al Murray got off to a solid start before both fell for 15. James Stronach and Joe Griffin ensured the Arrows got to the total in the 16th over. Watsonians very sportingly bowled the rest of their overs as the 4s took the score to 164 for 8 with Robbie Murray’s 33* the highlight.
The Fifth XI have two fixtures this weekend, the first of those being against Watsonians’ 4s at the Myreside Artificial. The 5th XI finished one place above Sonians’ 4th team in ESCA Division 7 last time out. They met twice in the league last year, the spoils going to the men from Grange Loan both times. The first meeting was contested at Craiglockhart where the visitors were inserted. The 5s put 152 on the board with useful contributions coming from Keith (26) and Robbie Murray (28*) as well as James Stronach (32). Keith Murray’s men bowled out Sonians for just 53 with Angus Turner returning remarkable figures of 6-2-4-5 as well as Aadi Khadse picking up 3 scalps.
On Sunday the Third XI will welcome Dollar to Grange Loan in a reverse fixture from last year’s preseason. In the game played at Dollar the 3s batted first and scored 101 for 8 off their 30 overs. This proved to be too little as the hosts knocked the runs off 6 wickets down.
In the final match of the weekend the Fifth XI will face Stewart’s Melville’s 4s on the main square at Inverleith. The sides played numerous friendlies against each other in recent times and met twice in league fixtures in 2022, with both teams winning one game each. In the match played at Inverleith artificial the home side were inserted and were bowled out for a defendable 173. In this game it was the other Turner, Hamish, who returned impressive figures of 8-1-14-5. In response the Arrows chased the target down for the loss of only 2 wickets, thanks to 88 from Keith Murray and 36* from Hamish Turner.