Cricket Scotland: James and Wilkinson looking forward to Forthill clash after promising starts

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Photo Credit: Cricket Scotland

The weather was the major winner in week one of the Eastern Premier League, but Stewart’s Melville managed to get the better of the rain – and Watsonians – at Myreside too.

It means they head up from Edinburgh to Forthill in Broughty Ferry to take on 2019 champions Forfarshire with a spring in their step this coming Saturday in week two.

And while they did not win at Stoneywood Dyce last weekend, Forfs were well on course to win as well until the weather intervened and Lewis James is one of their players feeling good after he took four wickets in that one at People’s Park.

After his 4-22 from seven overs, 23-year-old Dundee University third year geopolitics student James, who grew up playing for Poloc, explains:  “It is always nice to get some wickets early in the season, it was especially good this time given that I have just changed from bowling off spin to bowling seamers.

“I worked pretty hard on that transition over the winter and during pre-season and my team mates Craig Wallace and Scott Cameron have been helping me with that.

“Captain Scott then gave me a bowl last weekend and it gave me a bit of confidence taking some wickets. We would have liked to have won the game and were in a good position to do so [156 playing 100-2], but there is not much you can do about the weather.

“We are looking forward to playing our first home game of the season on Saturday and we know Stewart’s Melville will be up for the game, so it should be a good one.”

James is set to be part of an unchanged Forfarshire XI while Stewart’s Melville are able to bring in South African overseas amateur Neel Tandel for this one.

Tandel replaces unavailable skipper Steven Parker with Mike Miller leading the Inverleith men.

Ben Wilkinson made 87 not out off 63 balls last week to see Stew Mel over the line by four wickets via DLS and the 25-year-old said:  “The team were really happy to get a win away from home on the opening weekend.

“All in all, it was a good all-round team performance and we will have to put in another one this time around if we want to get a victory at Forfarshire.

“We know they have quality players in their side, but we are excited about the season ahead and how things are building at our club with young players like Joe Newman coming through so we will just focus on what we can do and keep building.”

There are two Edinburgh derbies in week two as RH Corstorphine welcome Watsonians to Barnton and Heriot’s host Gen!us Grange at Goldenacre.

Sean Fischer-Keogh is set to make a league debut for RHC in place of Elliot Rousen who is unavailable.

Oli Hairs skippers Watsonians in Mike Carson’s absence with Andrew Chalmers, Gregour Carr and Tom Pratt joining their XI.

Adrian Neill, Dylan Wilson and Niall Alexander come into the Heriot’s XI for the 2021 champions first home game of this campaign while Grange give a league debut to Robbie McGlasham. The experienced Gordon Goudie also comes in for the Portgower Place men.

Elsewhere in the capital, Carlton welcome Arbroath to Grange Loan.

Angus Beattie joins the Carlton XI in place of Harry Simpson while Arbroath have Ryan Plomer, Matthew Salmond and Luke Hayes making debuts for the first XI. John Salmond is also in for the visitors.

Stoneywood Dyce have a second home game on the spin and are unchanged for the visit of Falkland.

With Alan Hamilton Jnr and Jack Henderson unavailable, Greg Chambers and Ryan Jennings come in for Falkland.

Saturday, May 7’s fixtures:

Forfarshire v Stewart’s Melville (noon) 

RH Corstorphine v Watsonians (noon)

Carlton v Arbroath (noon)

Stoneywood Dyce v Falkland (noon)

Heriot’s v Gen!us Grange (1pm)


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