Berrington and English guide Warriors to first win
Michael English yesterday fired a superb century as Western Warriors broke their CS Pro50 Cup duck with a thumping win over Caley Highlanders.
The Warriors went into the Forthill clash as underdogs but they rattled up 359-6 - the highest total of the tournament to date – to set up an easy 184-run victory.
Ayr opener Neil Smith and Clydesdale’s Mo Awais provided the platform with 63 and 40 before English and Richie Berrington piled the misery on the Caley attack.
Ferguslie star English led the way with a wonderfully constructed innings of 120 while Berrington fell just five runs short of a ton.
English faced just 97 balls, hitting nine boundaries and five maximums, while the home attack was diminished by injuries to Adrian Neill and Christian Robertson.
A century for Berrington also looked on the cards as the Clydesdale and Scotland batsman returned to peak form but, with the landmark in sight, he was stumped after being deceived in the flight by Brock Ditchmen.
In reply, the Highlanders had no-one to match the heroics of the Warriors batsmen though Scotland all-rounder Safyaan Sharif offered resistance with a defiant 56 while Harris Carnegie and Robertson also showed intent with 32 and 27.
Abdul Sabri did the bulk of the damage for the Warriors with three top order wickets before Con de Lange cleaned up the tail with 4-33.
Colin Mitchell, the Warriors team manager, said: “Although we haven’t had the results we wanted, our performances generally this season have been better and against Caley everything came together.
“There’s nothing like a win to lift the collective spirit but everyone realises it is only one win.
“We have stuck by our selection ethos of giving young players a chance and yesterday was really a microcosm of that in that you had an emerging player like Michael batting with the experience of Richie and the pair really fed off each other.
“Both of them batted beautifully and their partnership was facilitated by the platform they were given by Neil and Mo who both played with real intent.
“It has to be acknowledged too that the Forthill track facilitated our aggressive approach – it was a very good cricket surface.
“In the second half we maintained the pressure and got the rewards.”
Warriors are next in action against tournament favourites Eastern Knights next month.
By Cricket Media, Images Ian Potts