Mark Watt smacked his first half-century for Heriot’s in a “bizarre” Eastern Cricket Premiership win over Falkland at Goldenacre – and then found himself wondering how to celebrate such a feat.
The 18-year-old Scotland A cap had, until Saturday, been regarded as a spin bowler good enough to have recently had a trial with Durham’s Academy.
However, in boosting credentials as an all-rounder, rarely has the Leith lad played a more important innings than the 52 not out achieved as part of an 82-run ninth-wicket stand with Ryan Brown (27) as it doubled the home total to a barely respectable 172 in 45.2 overs.
However, if Heriot’s had been toiling at 82-8, that was nothing compared to Falkland’s subsequent 63 all out after picking up from 28-8.
Watt said: “I did get a 50 when I was invited to turn out for the Durham Academy recently, so I knew I could do it with a bit of belief in myself.
“However, it was special to get a half-century for the club for a number of reasons.
“Firstly, this was the last home game for our captain, Cammy Farrell, before he returns home to Australia shortly and we wanted to send him on his way with a win.
“Also, from a personal point of view, the runs might help push me up the order from No. 8.
“It was a strange feeling out there, though, because when I reached 50 I really didn’t know what to do. Should I kiss the badge on my shirt – or raise my bat in the air? I got a bit confused because I had never had to think about that before!
“What really helped was the way Ryan knocked the ball about in our partnership and we knew that if we could see off [Scotland seamer] Safyaan Sharif, runs would come.”
Heriot’s opener/coach Steve Knox was left scratching his head as to how his team snared the win. “A bizarre game – if you had told me at 82-8 we were going to win by over 100 runs I wouldn’t have believed it.”
Incredibly, Watt comes across as a veteran in comparison to one of the heroes of Carlton’s 27-run win over Watsonians at Grange Loan.
Practising in the adjacent nets, 13-year-old Ruairidh Main found himself called into the action as a substitute fielder when Scotland captain Preston Mommsen retired with a broken finger sustained attempting a slip catch.
While Mommsen began coming to terms with missing next week’s three ODI’s against New Zealand A, including one at Raeburn Place on the Thursday, Ruairidh was positioned at third man.
A slick throw to the wicket eased nerves then, later, he positioned himself brilliantly under a steepling top edge from Andrew Chalmers to complete a vital catch.
“Fraggle [Fraser Watts] scored his third 100 in the space of six league matches, but the biggest scream of the day was when Ruaridh took that catch,” said Carlton skipper Gordon Drummond.
Carlton’s 253-8 also included 49 in just 32 balls from Alex Rajendran, an Indian all-rounder who arrived to work in Edinburgh this season from St Albans CC.
“Alex has done that more and more as he gets used to conditions,” said Drummond who also paid tribute to Watts: “Three hundreds in his last six league games is phenomenal.”
Watts retired from international cricket a couple of years ago as Scotland’s cap record holder and Drummond added: “It is important for our younger players to see how he understands his game and the different circumstances he finds himself batting in.”
Elsewhere, Mazars Grange by 131 runs but SMRH’s relegation woes continued with a heavy defeat at Arbroath.