PREVIEW: Scotland Stars Return As WPL Continues

Jake Perry looks ahead to Week Two of the Cricket Scotland Women’s Premier League

Week Two of the Cricket Scotland Women’s Premier League features the biggest match of the competition so far as two-in-a-row champions Stewart’s Melville travel to Grange Loan to face early pacesetters Carlton. Both will be looking for a strong performance after Carlton’s blistering start to the season last weekend.

A dominant innings with the bat backed up by some ruthless work with the ball saw Annette Aitken-Drummond’s side complete a mammoth 308-run victory over Watsonians/Grange at Myreside. The Carlton captain’s quickfire 65 set the tone as she put on 117 for the first wicket with Sarah Beith (37), but the standout performance of the day came from Charis Scott, whose unbeaten 97 included sixteen fours and a six. The young Scotland player then took 4 for 12 to complete an outstanding all-round display, and with Carlton likely to be strengthened further by their returning international contingent, Stewart’s Melville are sure to face a stern test as they play their first competitive match of the season.

The title holders have plenty of firepower of their own, of course, and will be focusing on their own strengths as they make the short journey across the capital.

“Carlton are a very strong team so it will be a tough game for us, but we’re definitely up for the challenge,” said SMCC captain Catherine Holland. “There’s a vibrant women and girl’s scene at SMCC thanks to David Gibson, Mark Burgess and others, and we’ve been able to train quite a lot over the last few weeks.”

“It’s really great to have the experience of players like Katie McGill at the club,” she went on, “but we’re also lucky to have a great group of younger players, including girls who are part of the Cricket Scotland player pathway. And then we’ve got Scotland star Katherine Fraser and ‘A’ cap Emma Walsingham in the side, who are also available for the weekend.”

“We’re looking forward to the game.”

Royal High Corstorphine will look to build on their winning start when they take on Watsonians/Grange at Barnton. A solid batting performance backed by some excellent bowling from Matilda Coke (3 for 18), Phoebe Beal (3 for 28) and skipper Megan Taylor (2 for 7) was enough to see off George Watson’s College at Craiglockhart, and with the fit-again Kitty Levenson back at the top of the order alongside Riti Patel, who scored 157 runs at 52.33 in the 2019 edition of the competition, RHC are again likely to be in contention come the end of the season. 

While thoughts of the title are probably a little premature for their opponents, there were at least some signs of encouragement that could be extracted from the performance of Watsonians/Grange last time out. The talented Catherine Edwards played well as she continued her return from injury, while Sarah Lowe followed her smart caught-and-bowled dismissal of Annette Aitken-Drummond with a couple of well-struck boundaries in her side’s eventful but ultimately short-lived run-chase. The future development of the division’s newest team is a long-term project for both clubs – the two are intending to play separately when the Beyond Boundaries Scottish Cup gets underway in August – but while last weekend’s result was a tough one to take, better days will surely come for both halves of the side which bears the names of two of Scotland’s foremost cricketing powers. 

The remaining match in the second round of fixtures, between George Watson’s College and McCrea West of Scotland, has been postponed due to the ongoing Level 3 restrictions in Glasgow. 

Women’s Premier League – 30 May 2021 

George Watson’s College v West of Scotland (at Craiglockhart) – Match Postponed 

Royal High Corstorphine v Watsonians/Grange (at Barnton) 

Carlton v Stewart’s Melville (at Grange Loan)

——

Jake Perry is the author of The Secret Game

Twitter: @jperry_cricket / Facebook: Jake Perry Cricket

The Cricket Scotland Podcast will include a round-up of the women’s (and men’s) league action from across the country every Tuesday, with player interviews from featured games. Follow @ScotlandPod on Twitter for all the latest information.

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