Blain ‘still keen’ on call-up af­ter ca­reer-best fig­ures

The Herald - Sport - - CYCLING, CRICKET - DAVID KELSO

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.”

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