Seamless transition for Heriots
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
HERIOT’S skipper Keith Morton reckons the evolution of his side since last season’s title triumph has been extensive but seamless.
His assertion is certainly borne out by results thus far, Saturday’s demolition job on Forfarshire completing a sequence of four wins out of four.
Morton observes: “We’ve had a really solid start to our campaign, despite having a much-changed line-up.
“The new boys have settling in very quickly and they have bought into our ethos of trying to play positive cricket.
“It has been great to see so many guys contributing at different phases so far.
“We’ve got a strong core squad of around 15, all of whom are capable of putting in match winning performances.”
Centuries by Hayes Van der Berg and Peter Ross struck superb centuries at Forthill to propel the capital outfit to 279 for six.
The hosts were curbed to 253 for eight, featuring an unbeaten 77 from Christian Robertson and 56 by Michael Leask.
Morton added: “It was a pleasure to watch Hayes and Peter out in the middle together.
“I felt that they each had an innings like that in the pipeline - and they produced them at the same time!
“The bottom line is that we’re a group who simply enjoy playing together and we’re looking forward to seeing how the season unfolds.”
Grange’s 100 per cent record also remained intact as their youth-infused team made light of the challenge of Glenrothes at Gilvenbank.
Nick Farrar emerged as the all round star of the show, snapping up four scalps to send the Fifers sliding to 139 all out, then hitting 82 not out as Grange cruised across the line in only 22 overs at the expense of one wicket.
Arbroath disposed of Carlton at Grange Loan to obliterate the painful memory of their last-day capitulation on the same turf which wrecked their championship quest.
Pursuing 233, they completed the four-wicket success with almost seven overs to spare.
Sri Lankan import Shanuka Withanawasam provided the backbone with 59 - after Craig Ramsay struck four times to help dismiss the home troops.
Arbroath captain Marc Petrie said: “Again, I was very pleased with how we went about the chase.
“We had not been at our best with the ball, with the exception of debutant Craig Ross, who bowled very well.
“We made sure we were focussed with the bat, having spoken about getting partnerships in the top order and taking responsibility in our own performances.”
RHC Lions also produced a top-notch team effort to earn the capital derby spoils against Watsonians at Barnton.
But it was a different story for neighbours Stew-Mel, who were crushed by Aberdeenshire at Mannofield - Ian Kirk making 63 not out and Callum Mackaness taking a five-for.