Citylets Scottish Cup Quarter-Final Replays - Preview
Cricket Media preview the 2016 Citylets Scottish Cup quarter-final replays.
Majid Haq believes Clydesdale and Grange are capable of serving up a “classic” in today’s replayed Scottish Cup quarter-final at Titwood – despite the absence of two of the country’s leading batsmen.
National skipper Preston Mommsen will be missing from the visiting ranks while the hosts must do without Richie Berrington as the pair prepare for next week’s ODI double header with Afghanistan.
The respective player-coaches, Con de Lange and John Blain, are also absent but Haq, whose team appeared to have the upper-hand before last Sunday’s initial meeting was abandoned, is looking forward to a thriller on the southside of Glasgow.
He said: “Ideally you’d want the national players involved in Scotland’s premier cup competition so it’s unfortunate.
“But there is still plenty of quality among the remaining 22 players for it to be a 'classic' quarter-final between two of Scotland's great clubs.”
Haq was dismayed when the rain arrived last week after his side had restricted the Eastern Premier champions to 171-8 after 48 overs but he added: “We’ll be even more confident at home.”
Blain, though, believes last week’s match was in the balance and expects another tight affair.
He said: “Clydesdale thought they had got themselves into a good position but it wouldn’t have been easy chasing in the conditions.
“Clydesdale are a strong side and a difficult one to play against and I think it’s almost too close to call.
“Both sides are capable of winning and it might be about who gets their nose in front first.”
If the winner of the Titwood tussle may emerge as favourites to go on and land the trophy, there is no shortage of potential contenders and holders Arbroath are quietly confident of mounting a successful title defence.
The Lochlands men now have home advantage after their match at East Kilbride suffered a similar fate with the contest interestingly poised, Arbroath having reached 83-3 from 17 overs.
Skipper Marc Petrie said: “We’re happy that cup cricket is returning to Lochlands after the disappointment of last week’s postponement and we're expecting a decent crowd for the game.
“East Kilbride are a dangerous team and Ross Lyons in particular has been in excellent form with both bat and ball so we must be wary of him.
“If we perform to our potential we will be difficult to beat.
EK counterpart Hari Singh said: “It’s a big challenge for us because Arbroath are a decent side.
“We have been training hard and feel confident. It will be a close game and one we are really looking forward to.”
The third tie to start but fail to finish was the all-Western Premier affair between Drumpellier and Ferguslie and it is league leaders Ferguslie who now have home advantage.
Greenock’s clash with Carlton was called-off before the Edinburgh side had travelled so Glenpark remains the venue for a re-run of the 2007 final.
Greenock prevailed on that occasion but times have changed at the Tail ‘o the Bank where the hosts are now a second tier Western Union outfit.
That said, the men from the west were still good enough to beat Carlton in this competition two years ago, albeit on a D/L calculation, while they are pushing hard for a return to the top flight, having lost only once in the league.