Masterclass from Oli Hairs keeps Grange in title hunt

Oli Hairs played one of the most spectacular innings seen in a long time in the CSL Eastern Premier Division on Saturday to keep the title hopes of Mazars Grange well and truly alive.

Sunday, 21st July 2019, 6:20 pm
Oli Hairs goes for a sweep shot

With poor weather around there was not much cricket played in the east of the country, but Grange and Stewart’s Melville managed to wait until later in the afternoon to play a 22-overs-a-side game.

Second-placed Grange managed to keep up the pressure on top-of-the-table ion8 Forfarshire with a comprehensive win.

It really was the Hairs show, with the left-handed batsman taking the game to the Stew Mel bowlers from ball one, and the ninth-placed visitors simply had no answers to the onslaught.

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Hairs reached his half century from just 31 balls and then carried on along his merry way.

His second 50 came in just 18 balls and he finished on 179 not out from 81 balls.

He hit 17 fours and 12 sixes in the innings and will be keen to repeat this form for the new Edinburgh Rocks franchise when the Euro T20 Slam takes place in late August and September.

In the end Grange made a massive 262-2 from their allocated overs, young Tom Mackintosh chipping in with 48 from 30 balls, and it was always going to be tough for Stew Mel to chase.

Shaylen Pillay made 53 not out and Hayden Sweet 40 not out, but the visitors could only manage 162-2 as Grange won by 100 runs.

Meanwhile, all local clubs mourned the passing of Willie Morton over the weekend, pictured inset. He was 58.

The former Scotland player, who played for Stirling County, Watsonians and Penicuik north of the border, collapsed and died suddenly on Friday.

A well-respected coach, he was also well known as being the head groundsman at George Watson’s College.

Watsonians called off their match with the Forfs as a mark of respect and a club statement said: “Devastating news.

“The level of support shown from clubs across the country is a true testament to his impact on Scottish cricket.

“Our condolences are with Willie’s family and friends at this time.”

Heriot’s, where Morton’s son Keith is first XI skipper, said in a club statement: “We are devastated. Willie was a great role model and a total gentleman to be around. Our thoughts and prayers are with our club captain Keith and his family and friends.”

Morton played with his son in a Scottish Cup final for Penicuik back in 2008 and the Midlothian club said in a statement: “Hearing of the passing of Willie has torn the hearts of everyone who knew him at Penicuik CC. Our thoughts are with Keith and the family of this kind and generous man. Sending love and support from the ‘Cuik.” One of the players who learnt a lot from Morton was current Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer. He said: “I was lucky to be coached by him and share some very special memories with the great man.”