This article appeared in the Scotsman on Saturday, July 29 2017
With five weeks left in the CSL Eastern Premiership campaign things are really starting to heat up at both the top and bottom of the table.
Arbroath, Mazars Grange and Heriot’s are locked in a title battle while at the bottom Falkland know they must beat second bottom SMRH at Inverleith today to give themselves any real chance of staying up.
For the crucial clash in Edinburgh, the home side are boosted by the return of skipper Greg Ruthven, his brother Elliot Ruthven, Kyle McCallum and Andrew Tetley.
Falkland will be looking to top runs scorer Harsha Cooray and top wicket taker Aaron Paul to lead their charge.
Their skipper Stuart Campbell said: “We know it will be a tough game, but we have a few players back in the ranks and the guys are certainly up for it.”
At the other end of the table, leaders Arbroath host Tayside Group Forfarshire.
The home side will have Craig Cameron back for this one while ex-Arbroath man Matthew Parker and Brock Ditchmen return for the visitors.
Home captain Marc Petrie said: “Every match is crucial now and the guys are focused ahead of the run in. We know that any team can beat each other on their day, but we back ourselves at home and want to post a victory this weekend.”
Second placed Grange are making the trip to Watsonians with former skipper Andrew Brock and Tom Foulds returning to the XI.
Watsonians will have to get going at Myreside without skipper Ewan Chalmers though, the experienced Dewald Nel leading the team.
Indeed there are a few changes in the home ranks, the likes of Nel, Aman Bailwal, Lewis Dingle, Andrew Fraser-Harris and Greg Brown joining the XI.
Heriot’s have forced their way into the title race and head to fourth placed Glenrothes.
The visitors travel with Mark Watt captaining the team in the absence of Keith Morton.
Watt turns 21 today and said: “My Scotland team mate Safyaan Sharif has been captaining them well and it will we fun for me to skipper my team against his in a big game.”
For Glenrothes, Aamir Shahzad and Chris Mohale have 43 league wickets between them and will be key to the outcome.
In the fifth and final game Aberdeenshire, fresh from back-to-back wins over Arbroath and Glenrothes, host Carlton.
The Grange Loan side welcome back experienced batsman Fraser Watts for the Mannofield test.
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