Cricket: English the hero as Carlton close in on Premier title

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Star man Cedric English finished things off in style with a six as Carlton’s cricketers edged ever closer to the SNCL Premiership title over the weekend.

The Grange Loan men headed up to Broughty Ferry yesterday without injured skipper Fraser Watts, but still managed to defeat nearest rivals Forfarshire.

And the Capital side know wins over Aberdeenshire and Arbroath this coming weekend will see them get their hands on some silverware.

Yesterday the hosts batted first and got off to a steady start before medium pacer Omar Ahmad struck two huge blows in the same over.

Firstly he had Forfarshire skipper Ryan Watson caught by Aravind Srinivasan and then he superbly caught and bowled Brendon Ford to leave the home side on 41-3.

Ahmad’s brilliant spell continued and amazingly he took the next three wickets, including one that saw Sean Olivier take one of the catches of the summer, and Forfarshire were now 73-6 after 28 overs.

The home side rallied to post 178 all out, former RH Corstorphine man Tim Hancock sticking in for a while, but spin duo Preston Mommsen and Jason Trembath finished the innings off. Tony Weed top scored with 74 not out for Forfarshire, while Ahmad’s figures were 5-20.

In reply, Carlton lost Srinivasan in just the second over and then when Mommsen was bowled five overs later they were 33-2.

Worse was to follow when stand-in skipper Steve Gilmour and Scotland captain Gordon Drummond followed them back to the pavilion, but English and teenager Nik Hunt steadied the ship. When Hunt was caught behind they were 120-5 and English and experienced wicketkeeper Jamie Kerr saw Carlton home. English finished on 72 not out with Kerr on 36 not out.

Elsewhere yesterday Kiwi Warren McSkimming top scored with 80 as Grange defeated Heriot’s at Goldenacre.

Batting first the men from Stockbridge made 255-6 with the professional’s runs being backed up by 69 from Neil McCallum and 50 not out from Stuart Moffat.

Spinner Keith Morton was the pick of the Heriot’s bowlers with three wickets, but he was quite expensive going for 59 runs.

Heriot’s reply never really got going and they slumped to 181 all out.The victory means Grange are pushing hard to finish in fifth place and they will have been pleased to see rivals for that spot Watsonians lose at Clydesdale.

The hosts batted first at Titwood, making it up to 200-8 with Nazar Hussain top scoring with a half century and ‘Sonians skipper Craig Wright taking three wickets.

The Edinburgh club’s reply saw them slump to 135 all out.