Carlton batsman Fraser Watts was delighted with the side’s all-round effort on Saturday as they got their CSL Eastern Premiership campaign off to a winning start against Heriot’s at Grange Loan.
The home side finished third in the division last summer and will be looking to challenge for the title again this time around.
And on the weekend’s evidence they have recruited well with South African Mario Olivier looking like a dangerous bowler and Arun Pillai and Hugo Southwell useful additions.
After the five-wicket victory, former Scotland man Watts said: “Given the weather late last week we were just delighted to get out there playing cricket and I thought the guys did a good job.
“The bowlers started off well to get out Heriot’s danger men and then a few guys chipped in with the bat when it was required.
“In such a tight league it is always good to get off to a winning start and I think we are all pretty happy with the way we played.”
Carlton’s opening bowlers Ali Evans and Olivier put Heriot’s under pressure from the first ball.
Scotland cap Evans dismissed both openers Michael Kelly and James Hearn and then Olivier got the key wicket of Hayes van der Berg as Heriot’s were wobbling on 12-3.
Pete Ross steadied things with 38, but by the time he was dismissed by the bowling of Chayank Gosain foor 38 Heriot’s were still in trouble at 82-6.
Captain Keith Morton and Richard Cummine then came together and rescued the innings.
Morton made 48 and Cummine 37 as they shared in a 83-run partnership before both were run out in the final over of the allotted 50.
Heriot’s at that stage had made it up to a respectable total of 170-9 while for Carlton Evans, Olivier and Omar Ahmad both took two wickets apiece and young wicketkeeper Tom Simpson was tidy behind the stumps.
Carlton’s reply got off to a poor start when Arun Pillai was out for one when he was caught behind by Tom Dryden off the bowling of James Hearn.
Kyle Macpherson and Watts steadied things with a 64-run partnership and by the time the latter was out for 57 they were 117-3 and edging towards victory.
Gordon Drummond (31 not out) and Evans (15 not out) then saw Steve Gilmour’s charges home.
Reigning champions Mazars Grange also got 2016 underway with a victory.
Batting first away to Falkland they made a decent score of 198-9.
The top scorer was wicketkeeper Alex Baum, a winter recruit from Greenock, who batted really well for his 44 not out.
Fellow new boy Preston Mommsen chipped in with 32 while Ryan Flannigan made 30.
Opening bowlers Raj Routray and Gordon Goudie were on form early on in Falkland’s reply and both took a wicket.
Young spinner Harris Aslam then got in on the act with 3-7 while Chris Sole and Mommsen – with his first ball for the club – also took wickets.
In the end Falkland were all out for just 42 in the 25th over and Grange showed they will not be giving up top spot without a fight this summer.
Watsonians’ match at Aberdeenshire was called off while there were wins for Arbroath and Autoecosse Forfarshire over Stoneywood-Dyce and Glenrothes respectively.
In the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship, Carlton II got off to a winning start in a tight match with Kelso.
Ben Thurman’s 42 helped Carlton make 108 all out batting first. Then Angus Beattie and Rory Allardice took three wickets apiece as the Borderers were all out for 101 as Carlton II came out on top by just seven runs.
Jonny Brock was the main man for Mazars Grange II as they defeated Holy Cross. Brock made 75 as Grange posted 214 batting first in Stockbridge. In reply the visitors could only make 147 all out.
Freddie Young took five wickets to help RH Corstorphine secure a home win over Marchmont.
Young was the star with 5-23 as Marchmont were all out for 130. RH Corstorphine had a couple of wobbles, but eventually won by three wickets.
SMRH defeated Dunnikier by 88 runs while the Edinburgh-Stuart&Stuart Penicuik clash was off.