On-song Pillai steps into the breach for Barclays Grange

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East cricket’s latest player of the month, Arun Pillai, has earned a quick promotion to a Barclays Grange side aiming to keep Premiership title hopes alive when Watsonians visit Raeburn Place tomorrow.

Pillai, who took the award for bowling figures of 7-14 representing Grange 2nds against Edinburgh South and also notching an unbeaten 55 in the same match, will demonstrate versatility by keeping wicket with Simon Smith absent as part of the Scotland backroom team visiting Surrey in the YB40 competition.

Grange fast bowler Gordon Goudie is also out, and, with Zander Muir and Will Edwards on World Cup qualifying duty with Scotland Under-19s, resources are similarly stretched for Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at home to Arbroath.

However, Chris Sole returns with plenty of experience this season while Stuart Davidson is bracketed for the Sunday match. ’Sonians are without skipper Ewan Chalmers (Saltires) but Brendan O’Connell comes in along with Mike Legget. Carlton are particularly badly hit by representative calls as they prepare to host Aberdeenshire in the league followed by Clydesdale in the Cup semi-final.

Hamish Gardiner, who returned to the club after several years in Australia, gets a first Saltires cap, and, with Preston Mommsen also at the Oval and both Kyle Stirling and Cheeky Gosain part of the under-19 set-up, there are promotions for Rob Thornton, Ruari Macpherson and Ali Shah.

Heriot’s give an opportunity to 17-year-old off-spinner Scott Lucas for the short journey to SMRH while Duncan Anderson is a late replacement for Ben Wilkinson. Skipper Steve Knox is fit to return.

Division One Penicuik have ex-Scotland spinner Willie Morton available for their trip to Dundee High, the only team below them in the table, while RH Corstorphine aim to make it three league wins in a row when they entertain Glenrothes at Inverleith on Sunday.