Paterson takes seven as Gala maintain top spot

Gala vs Heriots 2nds. Stevie Halls.
Gala vs Heriots 2nds. Stevie Halls.
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The bowling of Scott Paterson and Dinesh Tharanga ensured Gala remain top of Division Two and reached the President’s Trophy final.

Saturday saw Paterson remove seven Heriot’s 2nd XI batsmen in a devastating 10-over spell that cost just 18 runs, and was backed up by some excellent fielding from the home side with a number of good catches taken, including two stunning efforts behind the stumps by Duncan Millar.

Paterson also had great support from Tharanga, who bowled a miserly opening spell, while Kris Mein, given the wind at his back, bowled with pace and aggression that kept the Heriot’s top order on the back foot.

Both Tharanga and Mein picked up a wicket each while Dean Moir came on to claim the final wicket as the visitors were dismissed for 72, 108 runs short of their target.

The excellent effort in the field made up for an earlier below par performance with the bat. All the top five got in, but none carried on to make the significant contribution the conditions deserved, with captain Stevie Halls top-scoring with 43.

The final seven wickets went for only 37 runs, and Gala were unable to bat out their full 50 overs. Leg spinners Dutia did the damage for the visitors, picking up the last five wickets for 25 as Gala ended their innings on 180 all out.

This result leaves Gala top of the league with three games remaining, but still have Marchmont to play, who currently sit third in the table.

The following day, defending champions Gala had no difficulty in brushing aside an understrength Edinburgh side on a poor-quality wicket at the Meadows to reach the final of the President’s Trophy.

On being asked to bat, the home side were unable to deal with the quality of the Gala attack on a wicket with inconsistent bounce as they were bowled out for 53 in the 17th over.

Tharanga provided the greatest threat, picking up five for 22 in a fine eight-over spell.

Neil Crooks took his opportunity with the ball to clean up the home innings with three for four, while Mein overcame early no-ball troubles to take two for 23.

In reply, David Boland and Halls took a few overs to get used to the pitch, and were aided when opening bowler Haider had to go off injured, but once they had the measure of the pitch and the home attack, they cut loose as Gala reached their target in the 12th over.

Boland finished unbeaten on 23 and Halls 19, with the Braw Lads heading to Musselburgh on August 25 for the final.