Caiden Lang will miss tonight’s Murgitroyd Masterton Trophy semi-final against Watsonians due to Scottish Universities commitments, but the wicketkeeper/batsman has made quite an impression in his first season with Mazars Grange so far.
Whoever wins the tie of the T20 competition this evening in Stockbridge (6.15pm) will progress to the final against Edinburgh on July 3 at Grange Loan. Should Grange be involved in that one South African Lang hopes to play his part after being made to feel very welcome at the club after he joined during pre-season.
Having recovered from an injury that had kept him out of sport for the best part of three years Lang, 26, arrived in the Capital at the end of last summer to study for a masters in philosophy at Edinburgh University. He got involved with the Edinburgh University cricket section and team-mate Tom Foulds had soon convinced him to head down to nets at Grange.
“I wasn’t that sure of the cricketing landscape in Scotland so was not sure which club to head along to, however I am glad I chose Grange,” Lang said. “There is a great bunch of boys at the club and with John Blain having come on board as player/coach this season he is really good at making sure we are prepared as well as we can be for each match.
“Off the pitch the guys all get on well and like a laugh and a joke, but as soon as we get onto the pitch we are deadly serious about our cricket. We are undefeated so far in three competitions and I think the competition for first XI places keeps pushing everyone on.”
Having once been on the fringes of the South African under-19 squad and played for Kent’s second XI in England when he was just 18, it was clear from his first practice in Stockbridge that Lang had plenty of talent. And his arrival was timely, following experienced gloveman Simon Smith retiring after the 2014 season.
His batting has also been important because he has been a good foil for George Munsey at the top of the order and played some important innings including 57 a week and a half ago against Carlton.
Lang, who today is playing for Scottish Universities away to Cambridge University, said: “I have enjoyed opening the batting with George and some of the innings he has played have been great, it has been good to see them close up.
“I have felt like I have batted okay myself, but there is more to come from me and hopefully we can continue to give the team a good platform to build on in every match that we play in.”
Grange are looking to win the Murgitroyd Masterton Trophy for the third year in a row and to date have defeated Morton and Marchmont comfortably to reach the last four.
Watsonians have struggled in the top flight so far this season – with just one win from eight matches – and they are out of the Scottish Cup so they will see this event as their big chance to pick up silverware.
So far in the T20 format in 2015 they have beaten Murrayfield DAFS and Heriot’s.
When the two sides met in the CSL Eastern Premiership on the opening day of the campaign back in late April, Grange won by 74 runs.