CSL Preview - Week 2
CSL Eastern Premier Division
ARBROATH skipper Marc Petrie has insisted two fringe men at opposite ends of the experience scale are worth their place in the team on merit.
He delivered his vote of confidence after revealing they will be without several front-line performers for the tricky Eastern Premiership trip to the capital to take on Heriot’s.
Petrie will be denied the services of the injured Brendon Ford, along with both Burnett brothers - Fraser is still suspended, while Calvin is attending a wedding.
The captain explained: “Brendon suffered a groin strain while appearing for the Highlanders on Sunday at Forthill.
“We have no idea how long he will be out of action and it is a case of taking things a day at a time while he goes through the rehab programme. There is a hope, however, that he could be back next weekend.”
Among the call ups is Greig Peel, who has come out of his latest retirement spell.
However, there is also a big chance for Ryan Cameron to make a claim for a regular starting slot.
Petrie added: “Greig has worked hard to get himself back into the groove and he has always been a very useful all-rounder.
“As for Ryan, he has been one of the top performers in our second eleven with both bat and ball..
“He played in a couple of our Scottish Cup games last season and I am convinced he can do the business on the bigger stage for us this weekend.
Despite the absence of the distinguished trio, Petrie and Co will go into battle as favourites on the strength of their opening-day victory over Stoneywood-Dyce at Lochlands - and the fact that Heriot’s lost heavily to Carlton.
Forfarshire also made a flying start to their campaign at the expense of newly promoted Glenrothes and they will also make their way to Edinburgh in buoyant mood to face Watsonians.
However, batsman Graeme Beghin will approach the tussle with caution.
He said: “Watsons are a good unit and they showed significant improvement last year. We will respect them - while focussing on our own display.”
Forfs bring in all rounder Christian Robertson for Andy Wallace.
Two sides who suffered stinging losses on Day One - Glenrothes and Falkland - collide in the Fife derby at Gilvenbank.
Elsewhere, champions Grange will be keen to claim the scalp of Edinburgh rivals Carlton at Raeburn Place, while Stoneywood-Dyce and Aberdeenshire battle for the Granite City bragging rights.
CSL Western Premier Division
Dumfries skipper Robert McBride believes his side can prove they mean business with a winning performance against champions Clydesdale at Nunholm today.
The 2012 title winners made the ideal start last week with a 150-run demolition of Uddingston at Bothwell Castle Policies - the biggest winning margin of the day.
This afternoon they host a Titwood side who were equally impressive in beating East Kilbride and who rate as firm favourites to retain their crown.
However, McBride said: “We want to follow on from the good win last week with another against last year’s champions.
“That would demonstrate that we are up for challenging at the top of the league this season.
“The win at Uddingston was a good all-round performance and a well-judged batting effort with runs for the top order.
“We then made and took chances in the field so it was a very positive start for a number of players and for the team as a whole.”
The Dumfries men in form include batsmen Scott Beveridge and Chris Bellwood who scored 98 and 92 at Uddingston while Alan Davidson returned the opening day’s best bowling figures with 6-16.
Clydesdale skipper Majid Haq expects a tough examination for his side and said: “It should be an exciting game played at a beautiful venue.
“We played an almost perfect all-round game last week with lots of contributions from everyone and I’m hoping for more of the same.”
If Dumfries boast the most lethal bowler from the opening round of matches, today’s game is given added interest by the presence in the Dale team of Mo Awais, last week’s highest run scorer with 123.
Dumfries must name a replacement for Drew Dawson who is unavailable while Clydesdale are unchanged.
Elsewhere, Ferguslie welcome back skipper Gregor Preston-Jones for the visit of Ayr to Meikleriggs.
Preston-Jones missed last week’s win over Stenhousemuir but replaces Jamie Cook as the Paisley side, third last year, aim to demonstrate their title credentials against the 2014 champions who comfortably disposed of Drumpellier last Saturday.
This match promises batting fireworks as it features two of the opening day centurions, Michael English for the hosts and Ayr’s Neil Smith who will tomorrow (Sun) become team-mates for the Western Warriors against Caley Highlanders in the opening match of Cricket Scotland’s T20 Blitz.
WDCU top flight cricket comes to Stenhousemuir’s Tryst ground for the first time this afternoon with the hosts bidding to bounce back from their opening day humbling at Ferguslie.
It may be no easier against last year’s runners-up Kelburne who opened with victory at the division’s other new side Prestwick.
The Ayrshiremen face another tough test at East Kilbride but are boosted by the presence of Mitchell Rao and Fawad Jawal in the Warriors squad, the latter receiving his first call.
Gavin Pitt replaces Willie Rowan in the Prestwick side.
Defeats on the opening day give added importance to the Lanarkshire derby between Drumpellier and Uddingston which is sure to be keenly contested at Langloan.