New Zealander James Tapper is loving life at Mazars Grange so far – and the opening bowler is looking forward to testing their unbeaten record against Arbroath in a top-of-the table clash tomorrow.
The 24-year-old right arm seamer has been a big hit with the Portgower Place outfit, taking 13 CSL Eastern Premiership wickets to put them top of the table.
Both Grange and Arbroath have won their five completed league matches so far and, given the closeness of recent battles between the sides, it should be an intriguing afternoon at Lochlands on Saturday.
Tapper is set to open the bowling with the returning Gordon Goudie and he said: “A couple of years ago Dylan Budge, who is now a team-mate at Grange, came out to play for my club St Albans in Christchurch.
“So, when I heard from him that Grange might be interested in me coming here this summer I was very keen. I played a season in Holland back in 2014 and during that trip I was lucky enough to visit Edinburgh.
“I loved the place, so to get a chance to be here all summer was too good to turn down while I knew Grange had some quality players and were keen to challenge for trophies.
“The standard in the squad has really impressed me and we have a good balance between experienced players and youngsters; we have good variety with both bat and ball.
“I have been pleased with how I have bowled, but my job has been made easier opening alongside someone like Gordon Goudie and we work well together.
“I have heard from the guys that Arbroath are a competitive team who pride themselves on a strong home record and, given their results so far, I am expecting a tough match, but we are playing some good cricket.”
This week Tapper had a few days out of Scotland to travel to Cardiff to watch New Zealand playing England in the Champions Trophy.
Neil McCallum captains Grange with Preston Mommsen unavailable ahead of the Scotland match with Namibia on Sunday while Tom Foulds comes into the team.
Last week’s five-wicket hero Andrew Brock is unavailable.
Heriot’s lost out last weekend at Carlton, but are third in the table as they head to Falkland.
Scotland man Mark Watt is unavailable with him, Steve Knox and James Hearn being replaced by Michael Shean, Scott Robertson and Bilal Ashraf.
Carlton are in a run of great form as they head to Tayside Group Forfarshire who are second from bottom.
However, the Capital team are without skipper Ali Evans, top runs scorer Fraser Watts and Rory McCann for the trip north.
Chayank Gosain takes over the duties as skipper while young duo Angus Beattie and Tom Simpson come into the XI alongside Guy Hudson.
Sixth plays fifth at Myreside when Watsonians host Glenrothes.
Ewan Chalmers’ men nearly pulled off a great run chase at Arbroath last week, but fell short.
Scotland man George Munsey is unavailable as is Mike Carson so Andrew Learmonth and Aman Bailwal are set to replace them.
SMRH are on the road to Aberdeenshire with Steven Parker still as captain in the absence of Greg Ruthven.
Hayden Mourits returns to bolster the batting line-up while another couple of players are set to be back from university exams.
The top two meet in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship, RH Corstorphine hosting Mazars Grange II.
The home side will be keen to bounce back from the defeat by Edinburgh.