Scotland’s newest cricket cap reckons his Carlton club have the perfect incentive ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with revivalist Watsonians in the Eastern Premiership.
Hamish Gardiner, who marked a debut opening for the Saltires in the YB40 competition against Surrey at the Kia Oval with a sterling innings of 48 last Sunday, says: “Throughout this week celebrations have been taking place to commemorate the club’s 150th anniversary so it would be good to round off with a win.”
In fact, with three league matches remaining Carlton have slipped to third behind Arbroath and Aberdeenshire so can’t afford any more setbacks and Gardiner, 22, who owes Scottish eligibility to his parents, is keen to finish with a flourish before returning to Australia.
He added: “When I was younger my parents came to work in Edinburgh and I attended James Gillespie’s Primary and Stewart’s Melville College before being coached at Anglican College, Brisbane, by Ian Greig, the former Surrey captain whose brother, Tony, skippered England. I finished university at the beginning of the year so heading overseas was natural. Wherever you play, a batsman’s job is to react to what the bowler delivers and always stay in the moment.
“Playing for Saltires has been a highlight but if we’d batted first last week my opening partnership (94 with Freddie Coleman) might have added more instead of having the pressure of chasing a big total.”
Carlton will be without cap record holder Fraser Watts who is at a wedding but Preston Mommsen returns from Saltires duty along with with Gardiner while Chayank Gosain and Kyle Stirling after back from assisting Scotland Under-19s.
Barclays Grange await Heriot’s and while Stuart Davidson, hero of last Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final victory, is on holiday the Stags are able to recall Simon Smith, Gordon Goudie and Zander Muir to help offset the injury enforced sabsence of Gregor Maiden.
At Inverleith, SMRH will face the only team they have beaten so far in the league, Stoneywood-Dyce.
In the First Division, RH Corstorphine hope to make it four wins in a row at leaders Forfarshire while Penicuik head for West Lothian.