Cricket: D/L victory places them ahead of rivals Watsonians

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Grange defeated Heriot’s – and the weather – to take a massive step towards the Cricket Scotland Eastern Premier 
Division title on Saturday.

Their 21-run victory via the Duckworth/Lewis method at Raeburn Place over the Scottish Cup finalists sees them top of the division with just one match to play as they look to add to “old” Premier Division titles from 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

When rain fell throughout the Capital on Saturday morning it looked like there would be little or no cricket. However, the sun peeked through the clouds and, at 3pm, after a number of pitch inspections, the match in Stockbridge began with it now being 30-overs-a-side.

At the same time title rivals Watsonians were trying to get their match with Arbroath at Myreside played. As it was they managed to start an hour later in a 23-overs-a-side encounter.

Grange’s batting line-up, which had self-imploded so dramatically seven days previously, was back on form and they managed to post 139-6 from their allotted overs.

Key to that total on a difficult wicket was 54 from skipper Neil McCallum and 37 from Giles Holmes, while seamer Sean Weeraratna took four wickets for the Goldenacre men.

At the same time, Watsonians, with captain Stuart Chalmers, Andrew Fraser-Harris, and Mike Legget, all back in the starting XI, made 103-8 from their 23 overs.

Heriot’s reply to Grange started slowly and they had reached 36-2 from nearly 13 overs when the black clouds descended and the players were forced off with the rain getting steadily heavier. That same spell of bad weather had prevented Arbroath’s reply even beginning at Myreside and, with the rain even heavier there, it was 
decided that the game should be abandoned.

That meant that if Grange could complete their match and get a victory they would leapfrog the frustrated Watsonians at the top of the table.

And, after much hanging around, they did manage to get back out in Stockbridge and play the 20 overs of Heriot’s 
innings required to constitute a “match” and get a result.

At that time Heriot’s had slumped to 76-7, McCallum having taken 4-14 with his medium pacers, and as the 20th over finished they were behind considerably on D/L.

All of which means that Grange know any result better than Watsonians this coming Saturday will see them crowned champions and go forward to the season finale against the Western top team the following week. Grange are at Carlton on Saturday, while Watsonians host Aberdeenshire

Carlton’s faint title hopes were dashed by the weather at the weekend.

They were cruising to victory over relegated Forfarshire at Grange Loan, having bowled the visitors out for just 80 and then making 53-0 in reply, 
before the rain came.

And after they lost their 
Scottish Cup semi-final to Heriot’s last week because of the weather too, Carlton’s players will be glad to see the end of a frustrating season that could have been so fruitful for them.

One Capital side did lift 
silverware on Saturday though, SMRH defeating Falkland at Inverleith to clinch the Cricket Scotland Eastern First Division title to join Grange, Watsonians, Carlton, and Heriot’s in the top flight in 2013.

On Saturday the visitors 
posted 118 all out batting first, Greg Ruthven taking 4-23 and Matt Coyle 4-26 for SMRH. In the hosts’ reply they had reached 77-3, Cedric English on 34 not out, before the weather played its part. In the end SMRH won by seven wickets via D/L.