CSL Premier Round up - Week 1
Mo Awais marked the start of the new season with a maiden top team century as Clydesdale launched the defence of their Western Premier title with victory over East Kilbride at chilly Titwood.
The classy opening batsman, tipped to break into the Scotland set-up, warmed home supporters with a brilliant 123 from only 112 deliveries to help propel the champions to 270-6.
Awais, who kissed the Titwood turf when he reached the landmark, said: “This is by far my highest score for the first eleven and a great way to start the season.
“My previous best was 58 but today I showed that I can go on and it was a very special moment when I reached the hundred.
“Hopefully there are more to come and I can play my part in helping Clydesdale win the league again.”
Awais survived the loss of opening partner Carl Huyser to compile useful partnerships with Con de Lange, Richie Berrington and Majid Haq.
The opener peppered the boundaries with a series of trademark attacking shots while de Lange also looked in the mood before being trapped by Ross Lyons for 25.
Berrington hit the day’s first maximum on his way to 26 before being stumped while Awais showed no sign of letting up.
Skipper Haq partnered him on his way to three figures as Dale scored at an impressive rate.
Awais eventually fell for 123, miscuing into the hands of Petrus Coetzee off Umar Khan.
He had stroked sixteen attractive boundaries and one audacious maximum over extra cover.
Haq went on to finish unbeaten on 60 though late wickets prevented the Titwood side from reaching the 300 they may have had their eyes on.
East Kilbride’s were in a promising position when a third wicket stand between Ally Dalgleish and Moneeb Iqbal took them to 103-2.
However, the introduction of spin spelled the end of the partnership and of the challenge, Haq removing Dalgleish for 40 and de Lange bringing Iqbal’s 45-run innings to an end.
The visitors lost their last eight wickets for 31runs, de Lange claiming 5-22.
There was another opening day centurion at Ayr where local hero Neil Smith outscored former New Zealand Test batsman Michael Papps.
The latter made 94 but was upstaged by Smith who finished unbeaten on 110 in a total of 283-3against Drumpellier.
Last year’s runners-up Kelburne had half-centuries from Qasim Sheikh and Brad Williams in a 12-run win at newcomers Prestwick.
Stenhousemuir, the other promoted team, suffered a much heavier defeat, going down by 111 runs to Ferguslie for whom Michael English was another aspiring Scotland batsman to score a century.
Scott Beveridge and Chris Bellwood both fell just short of three figures but their contributions helped Dumfries to victory at Uddingston.
Meanwhile Eastern Premier champions Grange flexed their muscles with an impressive demolition job on Falkland at Scroggie Park.
In tricky conditions Grange battled hard to reach 198-9, a total which proved more than enough as their bowlers went to work.
Falkland were soon deep trouble on 23-4 and they never recovered, collapsing to 42 all out.
Glenrothes suffered a top flight baptism of fire, the Fifers falling to a heavy seven-wicket defeat against Forfarshire at Forthill.
Chris Greaves held the newcomers’ innings together with a battling 60 but when he fell to a fine return catch by Umair Mohammed Glenrothes slipped to 126 all out, Graeme Beghin taking 3-9 for the hosts.
Scotland star Craig Wallace then bludgeoned 68 as Forfarshire raced to the target inside sixteen overs.
Elsewhere a half-century from Fraser Watts helped Carlton to a five-wicket derby success against Heriot’s at Grange Loan while Arbroath made 255-8 to set up a 125-run win over Stoneywood-Dyce.
The match between Aberdeenshire and Watsonians was abandoned.