It has been a good first month of the cricket season for CSL Eastern Premiership new boys SMRH – and South African all-rounder Shaylen Pillay has certainly played his part.
In recent years the sides coming up from the feeder leagues into the top flight have generally struggled for victories, but the Inverleith men already have two positive results under their belts.
And ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with unbeaten Mazars Grange they sit seventh in the table and are looking to kick on during this month.
The wins to date have come away at Glenrothes and last weekend at Falkland with Pillay playing a starring role in both contests.
Against Glenrothes the 23-year-old took two wickets and then hit 88 not out. He scored 80 against Falkland.
“I have really enjoyed playing for the club so far,” Pillay said.
“The guys have made me feel really welcome and that has made it easier to focus on my cricket and try and get us some wins.
“I played in Manchester for a season a few years ago so I knew roughly what sort of conditions to expect. I have been impressed by the standard in our league, but the good thing is that all the teams look like they can beat each other on their day and we have to take confidence from the two victories so far.
“We know that Grange are a good side who have been going well, but heading into this match we are feeling in a good place and I am starting to see members of our team have more belief in themselves.
“There are a lot of matches left to play and we just have to keep chipping away, give it 100 percent each weekend and see where it takes us to.”
Pillay is sitting fifth in the league’s top batsmen’s list with 211 runs while he is sixth in the bowling standings with eight scalps.
Clearly he will be key if SMRH are to have any hope of upsetting Grange while Steven Parker will be leading the team with usual skipper Greg Ruthven unavailable.
Hayden Mourits and Matthew Angelini are also away this weekend so Andrew Tetley, Ralph Giraudeaux and Josh Tigne come into the XI.
Grange are formidable opponents having won four from four in the league so far and have batsmen such as Ryan Flannigan and skipper Preston Mommsen in great form.
Also in the Capital tomorrow there is an intriguing match between Carlton and Heriot’s at Grange Loan.
Both team won two matches last weekend and will head into this one with a spring in their step.
Carlton skipper Ali Evans has been able to name an unchanged side while Heriot’s have Michael Shean unavailable.
Steve Knox replaces him while James Hearn and Richard Cummine also come into the XI.
Shean’s unavailability is a blow given that he was the hero on Sunday in the Citylets Scottish Cup win over West of Scotland.
Recounting his 67 not out, which included a last wicket stand of 41 with Duncan Hamilton, the 25-year-old South African all-rounder said: “Wickets just kept falling around me and when Duncan came in we still had quite a lot of work to do.
“I knew that I had to take the majority of the strike and when I hit a six at one point that tied the scores.
“Duncan then had to see out an over from their best bowler and he did well which allowed me to then hit the winning runs and it was a great feeling for me and the team.”
Watsonians are on the road tomorrow to take on leaders Arbroath.
They have Tom Cullen, Lewis Dingle, Mike Carson and Dewald Nel coming into the team.
Leaders RH Corstorphine host Edinburgh in the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship while Mazars Grange II are at home to Kelso at Portgower Place.