Heriot’s cricket captain Steve Knox intends to take into account any debilitating effects associated with the Muslim festival of Ramadan ahead of a “season-defining” weekend in which Carlton will be encountered in the East Premiership followed – 24 hours later – by a trip to East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
Heriot’s booked their place in the Cup’s knock-out stages as one of the few teams able to take the field on Saturday due to continuing inclement weather.
However, Ferguslie’s Meikleriggs ground was playable and, despite losing the toss, Heriot’s survived a middle-order wobble to post a daunting 290-9 total then bowled their Paisley-based hosts out for 95 in just over half the allocated 50 overs. Says Knox: “East Kilbride will be a new venture for a lot of us and we are capable of fielding one of the strongest Heriot’s sides in the time I have been with the club.
“There is a lot of depth in our ranks but one question that has to be resolved s whether any of our players will be affected by the start of Ramadan on Friday and we’ll select accordingly.”
During Ramadan it is forbidden to eat during daylight hours and Knox acknowledged that, in the past, this has been shown to have an effect on sportsmen.
“Whatever happens, I’m sure we can be extremely competitive both at Carlton on Saturday and against an East Kilbride side who have recruited (former Scotland spinner) Ross Lyons and a couple of ex-Clydesdale players this season.
“It is going to be a season-defining weekend.
“So far as our own side is concerned, quite a few of our players showed some form at Ferguslie despite the lay-off on a pitch that was damp at one end and with barely any grass at the other. Ironically, if I’d won the toss I’d have put them in so it was a good toss to lose!
“We got off to a decent start with an opening stand of 50 before Kevin McLaren’s 68 and Brad Kneebone’s 44 strengthened our position. Craig Adams came in and hit 36 but it was really Craig MacKellar we were indebted to for his 39 not out after we slipped to 210-8 with ten overs remaining.”
It was the second 200+ total from Heriot’s in the Cup and Knox was always confident of containing the reply.
He said: “Ferguslie’s professional returned to Zimbabwe earlier in the week so we knew they would be short-handed in the batting department.
“To capitalise, we relied on Sean Weeraratna and Cammy Farrell putting them under pressure from the start and, after having them 10-3 early on, we had half their batting back in the pavilion with just 30 runs on the board.”
Barclays Wealth Grange were not so fortunate as the cancellation of their home game against Uddingston saw them leapfrogged by Renfrew, who accounted for Fauldhouse.
Grange now go into the second tier SCU Trophy which runs parallel to the main event.
Flying the flag for the Capital alongside Heriot’s in the Cup, will be Watsonians and Carlton both of whom finished top of their respective groups without a ball being bowled once again.
Watsonians now face a tricky visit to Renfrew while Carlton head for Clydesdale.
The other quarter-final is between Aberdeenshire or Kelburne and Stenhousemuir.
Grange’s opponents in the SCU Trophy are Dumfries with the tie likely to be played at Fettes College due to Raeburn Place continuing to be saturated.