Macpherson gives U-19 selectors timely reminder of his prowess

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A RISING star appeared on the Capital cricket stage as 17-year-old Kyle Macpherson completed a maiden century in Carlton’s massive 261 run Scottish Cup victory over Prestwick at Grange Loan.

Capped by Scotland at under-12, under-15 and under-17 levels, the opening batsman has waited patiently and worked diligently for his breakthrough innings into three figures.

Timing could not be better in sending out a reminder to the national under-19 selectors and adding lustre was the fact that Macpherson – eventually run out for 103 after putting on 145 with Hamish Gardiner (79) for the first wicket – did not give a single chance.

“It was the first time I’d scored a century at any level and there were a few dodgy moments early on where I knocked the ball over the heads of a few fielders,” he said.

“But I felt pretty good after chatting in midweek ith Hamish and also Fraser Watts (Scotland cap record holder).”

Added the son of current club vice president and Carlton stalwart, Andy Macpherson, who made several centuries for various teams but none for the club: “Hamish and Fraser were very good at focusing me on where I wanted to hit the ball particularly against spinners and what shot to play.

“Most of my runs against Prestwick came from back foot drives or cut shots up the hill but I also clipped a few through mid-wicket.

“I wasn’t too nervous in the 90s, but it was a good feeling to glance the ball away to leg for a couple of runs when I was on 99.” Macpherson’s knock spanned 145 balls and was likely to cost proud dad “a takeaway meal” to celebrate.

In dismissing Prestwick for 77 chasing a monumental 338-6, there were four wickets for Ahmad Shah and three for Omar Ahmad, but Carlton must win at West next weekend to qualify for the knock-out stages.

Few could have bowled more accurately or economically on Saturday than Barclays Grange internationalist Gregor Maiden, who was hugely instrumental in a comfortable home win over Greenock.

Spinner Maiden reeled off his first six overs for a mere half-a-dozen runs, during which he picked up a brace of wickets and it was only late on that a couple of boundaries took the edge of his figures.

Another key performer for the young Grange side was teenage wicket keeper Matt Angelini with three stumpings, while Zander Muir, on only his second top team appearance, made an unbeaten 64.

Saltire Ryan Flannigan also had a half century after Greenock were restricted to 165.

So quickly did the home bowlers run through the visitors that four overs were possible before tea during which Grange reached 30-2, George Munsey holing out in the deep and Maiden presenting a return catch off a full toss which was spinner Fraser Colson’s first delivery..

Step in Flannigan and Muir to seal the deal by six wickets with 15 overs to spare.

Holders Heriot’s will require to win their concluding group fixture at Dumfries on Saturday after going down by four runs at home to Ferguslie.

A key moment came when Richard Cummine was stumped off a wide for two off the pace bowling of Michael English as Heriot’s chased 229 by a Ferguslie side who had elected to bat first.

When David Ross (60) and Steve Knox (30) put on 54 for the first wicket Heriot’s looked on course, especially with Adam Lockhart-Krause making a solid 59.

But the stuffy Ferguslie side dug in and claimed the final wicket with three balls remaining.

Despite a century from Cedric English (101) and half centuries from Brayden Tracey (63) and Martin Speirs (53). SMRH lost out at East Kilbride who passed a 256-3 target with eight wickets down.

Most convincing winners of the day were Watsonians, but even a steamrollering of Weirs, who were all out for 95, leaves the Myresiders’ qualifying out of their hands.

RH Corstorphine’s outside qualifying hopes have gone after they went to Hamilton Crescent and were bowled out for 115 by West of Scotland who cruised home by seven wickets.

Penicuik have endured a difficult sectional campaign so far but they wrecked Ayr’s hopes with a one wicket win – their first of the tournament – as Kris Steel led from the front with 56 supported by Matt Foulds’ 43.

Chasing a total of 183, the Midlothian side got home with three balls to spare.