Ayr keep campaign on track
From Cricket Media
Andi McElnea, the Ayr captain, insists his side will not get carried away in the wake of Saturday’s five-wicket success against title favourites Clydesdale.
McElnea was at the forefront of the action as the Alloway team first dismissed an understrength Dale for 114 and then reached the target with five wickets and more than twenty-six overs to spare to secure a first win at Titwood for more than a decade
“It’s a proud moment for me as captain to win here after such a long time,” said the skipper.
“However, I said to the squad straight after we got into the changing rooms that the hard work starts now.
“We still have areas that we can all improve on. If we want to be recognised we have to play at consistently high levels.”
McElnea’s brother Scott and professional Sikander Raza dented Dale’s hopes of a big total early on with two wickets apiece, the latter trapping Richie Berrington lbw for a first-ball duck.
Raza struck an even bigger blow when he bowled Con de Lange, the stand-in home captain having struck his side’s top score – a modest 19.
The Ayr skipper himself weighed-in with two wickets and conceded just nine runs in his six overs as Ayr refused to loosen their grip.
McElnea and Neil Smith gave their team a solid start, putting on 41 for the first wicket before Raza hammered six boundaries and a six in a rapid 36.
Mo Ali picked-up three mid-innings wickets as Clydesdale fought back but they had too much to do and Smith carried his bat for a match-winning 36no.
McElnea played down an ugly incident which saw angry words exchanged between Smith and several home fielders and resulted in both umpires stepping-in to cool frayed tempers.
He said: “It was a misunderstanding carried over from the first innings and has been sorted out.
“It was unfortunate but both teams dealt with it well in the end.
“We’re just delighted to get such a great victory but we know Clydesdale were well understrength so although we will take a lot from the win we keep our feet on the ground and continue to work hard to improve.”
Clydesdale’s chairman of cricket Colin Mitchell refused to point to the absence of Majid Haq, Kasim Farid and Zeeshan Bashir as a factor in a poor performance and said simply: “We didn’t look after our own disciplines.”
Renfrew bounced back from their first defeat to reclaim second place with a thrilling one-run win over Dumfries at Nunholm.
Amjad Jawed top-scored for the visitors with 78 while Ahmad Said hit 67 as Renfrew posted 218-9, Neil Alexander and Peter Lojszczyk keeping Dumfries in contention with three wickets each.
The hosts looked on course for victory when Alan Davidson and Chris Bellwood both stroked half-centuries but the Renfrew bowlers held their nerve.
Champions Uddingston remain on the fringes of the title race after victory over an East Kilbride team who played with plenty of fight and no little skill before going down by 23 runs at Torrance House.
The visitors were made to work for their runs as Syed Shah produced another seam bowling masterclass to claim 5-47 while Sammy Zia top-scored with 49 in a total of 196-9.
Saltires star Moneeb Iqbal led East Kilbride’s chase with four boundaries and three maximums in his 82 but when he became one of Matt McEwan three victims the game was up.
West of Scotland remain rooted to bottom spot and still seeking their first win after Drumpellier emerged victorious – by just two runs – from the basement battle at Hamilton Crescent.