Blain ‘still keen’ on call-up after career-best figures
CRICKET followers the world over are often heard to insist there is no substitute for experience.
The efforts of Ryan Watson, John Blain and Wayne Sullivan for Forfarshire, Grange and Falkland respectively would certainly have backed up that notion – although Arbroath fans might beg to differ in the wake of their stunning triumph over title rivals Carlton.
Step forward spinners Ross McLean and Craig Ramsay, whose bowling in tandem propelled the Lochlands men to glory in the capital.
But even their combined success couldn’t hold a candle to the eightwicket demolition job embarked upon by Blain against Watsonians, which again begged the question: how long can the Scotland selectors ignore him? With the bat, Blain’s former Saltires colleague and skipper Watson blasted his second league century on the trot to snuff out the challenge of Heriot’s. And at the ripe old age of 48, Wayne Sullivan produced one of the knocks of his life as Falkland delivered a huge body blow to Aberdeenshire’s quest to retain the championship.
Falkland captain Safyaan Sharif, who also played a major role by claiming five Dons’ scalps at Mannofield, said: “Sully was fantastic. He is a wise old head and he used his savvy to guide us past the post. It was another superb away win, coming so soon after the one against Grange.”
Sharif’s five for 33 pegged Aberdeenshire to 114 all out before Sullivan (44 not out), kept his cool to complete the job.
Blain bagged his best ever figures of eight for 32 as Sonians crashed to 74 all out in pursuit of Grange’s shaky 130 at Myreside.
“I remember taking eight for Rotherham 11 years ago,” Blain reflected. “But I gave away more runs that time.
“With regards to a Scotland return, I am still very keen for that to happen.”