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Parker produces something 'special'

Eastern Premier Division Umair Mohammed led the tributes to Matty Parker after he produced a "special" innings to inspire Forfarshire to success against champions Arbroath.

Forfarshire had given warning of their intent and potential when they won in a pre-season friendly between the sides and they repeated the feat when it mattered, with Parker emerging as the star turn against his old club at Forthill.

Mohammed said that Parker's 127 was scored in the face of banter from the Arbroath fielders, which ultimately proved futile. "It was one of the best batting performances I have seen from a Forfarshire player," he said. "Matty oozed pure class. It was a special knock. The fact that he was getting all sorts of chat throughout the innings made it even more special. It is always a hard game against the Arbroath boys, but they do play it the right way, which means tough on the pitch and sociable off the pitch. The more they chatted, the more determined Matty became and he gave us a great platform. Then, as usual, our bowlers came up with a solid display."

Aman Bailwal provided ideal back-up with a half-century as the hosts reached 232. Hamish Bartlett was the only Arbroath batsman to rise to the challenge with 74 and they ended on 189-9, Balwal and Liam Gough each taking three wickets.

The shortest match was at Raeburn Place, where Grange surged to one of their most convincing derby wins over Carlton in many years. There was no way back for the visitors after they were skittled for 77, thanks to a six-wicket haul from George Munsey and Andrew Brock. Grange took just 14.4 overs to knock off their target.

The strongest all-round showing of the day came from Watsonians' Ewan Chalmers, whose exploits were too much for Falkland to handle at Myreside. First, he struck 95 in the hosts' total of 197, then he took four for 34 as the Fifers were dismissed for 140.

Stoneywood-Dyce kick-started their campaign with a surprise six-run win over Heriot's at Peoples Park, courtesy of Michael Leask's impression on a low-scoring contest. He hit 34 in Dyce's 131 before taking three crucial wickets.

Chris Venske's unbeaten 103 propelled Aberdeenshire to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over SMRH at Mannofield, the home side cruising to the 177 target in only 34 overs.

Meanwhile, in the EscA Championship, when Glenrothes signed Graeme Beghin from Edinburgh South, they thought they were acquiring an accomplished top-order batsman. Yet the young South African underlined his bowling prowess as Glenrothes demolished Freuchie at Riverside. He returned figures of three for five from 6.4 overs as the Muir Road men were dismissed for 87 in reply to 213 for eight.

Beghin was ably supported by Kenny Crichton (three for 10 from 10 overs), reducing Freuchie to 12 for five at one stage. Earlier, Glenrothes had made a shaky start, limping to 15 for three before Ryan Watson halted the rot with 59.

Chris Greaves, the Glens captain, said it was not only Beghin's on-field talents that made him such an attractive prospect. "We were very aware of Graeme's achievements with Edinburgh South last season. It was the work he did with the kids there, plus his experience working with juniors in Cape Town, which carried the greatest appeal. I'm sure he'll be a big help to me in my first season in charge."

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