It’s the third round of league action this weekend. On Sunday the First XI will have a second go at getting their Scottish Cup campaign underway and the Women’s Premier League will get underway for the 2023 season.
On Saturday the First XI will take on city rivals Grange at Grange Loan. Last season Grange finished 2 places above the Arrows in the EPL and the Stockbridge side are currently 2 from 2 in this year’s edition. So far they have had two six wicket wins against Stewart’s Melville and Stoneywood-Dyce. In last year’s league season the Stags and the Arrows won one game a piece against each other. In the game at Grange Loan the hosts won the toss and opted to bat first. With Shujaa Khan, Arun Pillai, Fraser Burnett and Ali Shah all registering half-centuries the Arrows got themselves to a strong total of 279 for 6. In response Grange lost wickets at frequent intervals and fell 118 runs short. Umair Mohammed was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets, Neville Madziva, Ali Evans and Ruaridh McIntyre all also claimed 2 wickets. Rory Allardice and Ruaridh McIntyre will be available for selection, however Lewis O’Donnell will not be.
The 2nd XI will head to Dunnikier as they look to complete their first game of the season having been rained off against Edinburgh and Heriot’s 2s so far this season. Dunnikier were promoted to the Championship after finishing in 2nd place in ESCA Division 1 last year with 13 wins from 17 games. The most recent meeting between the sides was in the 2019 ESCA Championship. At Grange Loan the 2s won the toss and opted to bat first. Parker Neame (52), Chris McAllister (39) and Zaki Yusaf (32) helped set up a defendable first innings total of 194 all out. 7 out of the 11 Dunnikier players failed to trouble the scorers and ultimately the Fifers fell short by 117 runs. Rory Allardice picked up 3 wickets with Harry Simpson and Saif Khan also claiming 2 for themselves. Gavin Murray will be back available for selection after returning from injury.
The 3rd XI will travel south for their fixture against newcomers Selkirk. The Borders side have entered ESCA Division 2 after finishing 2nd in Division 3 last time out. Selkirk have got off to a strong start this year, comfortably defeating Edinburgh CC 2s and Dunfermline and Carnegie. The last meeting between the two sides was in ESCA Division 3 in 2016, the year the 3rd XI gained promotion to ESCA Division 2, the league they have remained in since then. In the away game in 2016 Ben Thurman top scored with 43 as he helped the 3s reach 145 for 8 off their allotment of overs. In reply Selkirk were bowled out for 79 with Gavin Rittoo taking 3 scalps.
To conclude action on Saturday the 4th XI will travel to The Meadows to take on Morton 2s. Morton are new to the league after finishing in 2nd place in ESCA Division 5, however suffered 2 defeats in the first 2 games of the season. The sides last met at The Meadows in 2018 in ESCA Division 5. Carlton bowled first and managed to restrict Morton to 118 for 5 off their 40 overs. In reply 30 from Mo Nauman and 27 from Anish Amin was enough to get Carlton over the line in the 33rd over.
Sunday’s action starts with a first round Scottish Cup fixture against Edinburgh CC at Campbell Park. The First XI compete in the division above Edinburgh, however the side from Bonaly were meant to meet the 2s on the first weekend of the season had it not been for the wet conditions. Last year Edinburgh got to the quarter finals of the Cricket Scotland Challenge Cup before being knocked out by Dunnikier. Allardice and McIntyre will also be available for selection on Sunday.
Also on Sunday the Women’s First XI will get their WPL season underway in Glasgow against West of Scotland. The home side finished second in the WPL last year, one spot below the Arrows. On the first day of the 2022 WPL the Arrows welcomed West of Scotland to Grange Loan who won the toss and opted to have a bat. Ellen Watson’s 81 set up a defendable total of 186 for West of Scotland. Maisie Maceira, Zaara Dancu, Ashley Robertson and Charis Scott all picked up a wicket apiece. The Arrows put together a strong chase but fell 2 runs short in the end despite a magnificent 70 from Abbi Aitken-Drummond.
In the final fixture of the weekend the 5th XI will welcome Livingston 3s to Grange Loan on Sunday afternoon. Livingston finished in 8th place last year, 2 positions above the 5th XI. The only meeting between the sides came on the last day of the season. The 5s were inserted away at Dresselrigg and it was only James Stronach (40) who was able to find any fluidity with the bat. Livingston chased down the 5s first innings total of 127 with 4 wickets to spare. After being 19 for 5 the home side’s 6th wicket partnership of 82 proved an important one, as Livingston were able to coast home in the 36th over. Despite the tough loss there was positives for the 5s as youngsters Hector Murray and Daniel Mowat took 3 and 2 wickets respectively.