Fresh from a rare century in Murgitroyd Masterton Twenty20 cricket, Heriot’s all-rounder James Hearn has set sights on lifting Heriot’s up the Eastern Premiership.
Currently lying sixth, the Goldenacre outfit host a rapidly improving Mazars Grange and the prospect of an in-form Hearn is one that fills them with optimism, especially as coach Steve Knox believes ever-present potential is now being fulfilled.
Said Knox: “James had a lean time with the bat last season after joining from Grange, but we always knew he had plenty to offer.
“In a recent Masterton tie with SMRH he hit a magnificent 105 not out from a total of 165 going in the middle order. That was some achievement and having bowled tidily so far for us there is every possibility he is coming to the boil with the bat.”
Hearn revealed: “I played for Scotland Under-15s and Under-17s out of Stewart’s Melville before getting a David Gower Scholarship to King’s School, Canterbury, where I played for Kent 17s in 2011.
“These were pretty big boots to fill and it didn’t really happen last year.
“So now is the time to repay Heriot’s for retaining faith in my abilities.”
As for that whirlwind century, Hearn says: “I couldn’t have done it without Duncan Anderson holding up the other end and making a very solid 20 runs. It was one of those days when I tried every shot in the book and they came off.”
It was ironic that Hearn’s ton came against SMRH, but it appears there are no hard feelings. “I’ve been invited back to play for the Headmasters XI against Stewart’s Melville next month and Saturday’s visit from Grange will be particularly interesting for myself, Iain Worth and Steve Knox having all previously played for them,” said Hearn, 21, who is studying English Literature at Glasgow University.
Knox is especially keen to notch a win. “It is now nine years since I moved to Heriot’s and I’ve still to get the better of Grange!” he says.
Ali Farooq and Sean Weeraratna are back after missing a match at Stoneywood Dyce where Heriot’s stood 70-2 but failed to chase down 131.
Grange make one change, with Chris Sole available again to take over from younger brother Tom, whose only over in the win over Carlton was a wicket maiden.
There is plenty riding on another Capital derby which sees SMRH seeking their first win at home to a Watsonians side who got off the mark last weekend.
SMRH are without the unavailable Jonny Brock and Greg Ruthven, but batsman Tom Beattie is home from St Andrews University. Still missing for SMRH is Vishal Shah who is nursing a broken finger.
At Grange Loan Carlton are keen to get back in the saddle against Falkland after a disappointing weekend in which they were bowled out for 77 en route to defeat at Grange before travelling to Greenock the following day only to bow out of the Scottish Cup in a rain affected encounter. The same XI that lost to Grange are given a chance to redeem themselves and skipper Gordon Drummond said: “There is no getting away from how poorly we played and it will be a difficult test against Falkland who have stepped up and proved they are not in the league to make up numbers.”
Big danger is the league’s top wicket taker in Sayaan Sharif who has claimed 19 victims so far.
However, Australian Tom Freshwater has bagged ten wickets include a brace at Grange and Drummond feels he is beginning to adapt to conditions.
“Tom is handy with the bat and nips it in with the ball. He is beginning to be more relaxed in new surroundings but what we really need is more consistency all round.
“For us it is a case of striking a happy medium involving bringing in youngsters around some experienced heads.”