CSL Preview Week 7

22 Jun

From Cricket Media

Western Premier


Scott Beveridge, the Dumfries captain, gets straight to the point when assessing the importance of this contest between the reigning champions and the league leaders. “This will be the game that decides our season,” said the Australian. “Uddy are very strong this season and we can’t afford to fall two games behind them. We have a few guys in good form and will need everyone to perform at their best to get the win.” Beveridge’s Uddingston counterpart, Bryan Clarke, places similar importance on the fixture, saying: “Every game is a big one for us at the moment and this could be our biggest test yet. Dumfries is a great place to play and they are a very good side so we’ll need to be at our best if we want to get a result.” Dumfries have fitness worries over the experienced Pat Druce while David Davidson will continue to deputise for Robert McBride. Nick Martin is unavailable for the visitors but Derek Allan and Ricky Bawa return.

Prediction: Away win



The Irwin Iffla Trophy is up for grabs but league points may be a bigger priority as bottom hosts second bottom. Neither side has managed a win yet so at least one of the pair should have something to celebrate tonight. Ayr skipper Andi McElnea, having dropped himself down the order last week, continues to look for the right blend among his batsmen. Callum McLaughlin is drafted in for Shujaa Khan. Stirling look closer to solving their batting woes and skipper Graeme Taylor believes the inclusion of Ian Shaw for his first game of the season strengthens their line-up.

Prediction: Away win



Last week’s rain frustrated both sides by washing out games they thought could be won. Victory today has become even more imperative as a result with Renfrew in danger of being overtaken by one of the bottom two while second top Drumpellier lost ground on leaders Uddingston who did manage to play – and win – last Saturday. Sai Majeed’s top flight newcomers believe they can upset any team on their day though the Renfrew skipper insists key moments must go his team’s way. Drumpellier counterpart Graeme McLaren is unavailable for this one but the Coatbridge side does feature two former Renfrew players in Muhammad Ramzan and Imran Adrees who will both be keen to do well against their old club.                                                         

Prediction: Away win



The Glasgow derby is always an eagerly anticipated affair but this game is one of the most important of recent times as the city’s “big two” are in danger of becoming detached from the leaders. West may already have too much to do to catch the top three while Dale can ill-afford to fall further behind, a point acknowledged by manager Colin Mitchell who said: “Both teams will feel they can’t afford to lose this one so that adds even more edge to a game both sides always love to win.” Gavin Smith, the talented young West bowler, returns for the home side who also welcome back Andrew Umeed, the Scotland Lions batsman. Clydesdale are boosted by the return of Saltires star Majid Haq but Kasim Farid and Sam Page are out.

Prediction: Away win


Eastern Premier


Tyler Buchan, the Aberdeenshire skipper, is looking for his men to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat to Heriot’s. The Dons have now lost two of their last three and need victory to rekindle their title hopes. They will not take SMRH lightly especially with the league’s leading run-scorer, Cedric English, in the travelling ranks. Aberdeenshire are without player-coach Neil MacRae who is on coaching duty with Austria but Tony McKenna returns. Chris Bissett and Richard Hannan are unavailable for the visitors who bring in Ranjith Augustine for a top team debut and Ali Khan for his first appearance of the season.

Prediction: Home win



The top two clash in the east’s match of the day and the onus is on Arbroath to make a positive response to last week’s defeat to Carlton – their first setback of the season. “We are looking to bounce back with a strong performance after our first defeat,” said their captain, Marc Petrie. “Our target is to still be sitting top of the table going into the cup break which will set us up perfectly for the second half of the season. We want to be in a position where we are genuine title contenders.” Grange, though, have won four on the trot since their opening day defeat to Aberdeenshire and they go into this one with a settled side. Arbroath are without Fraser Burnett, Matthew Hurst and Darren Spink but Euan Small and Alvin Pollard return and 17 year-old Blair Carnegie is promoted from the second eleven.

Prediction: Home win



Stoneywood’s opening day win at Heriot’s seems like a distant memory as the Aberdonians have subsequently suffered four straight defeats to slump to joint bottom. In contrast, Carlton have four victories and just one defeat to their name and last week’s success at leaders Arbroath proved the Grange Loan side are genuine title contenders. Stuart Coetzer, the home captain, realises his men are underdogs but said: “We have shown we have the ability to beat them looking back at last season’s results. It would be a great result if we could turn over Carlton again.” Carlton skipper Preston Mommsen is delighted with his side’s progress and will return from Saltires duty in time to lead the side as they bid to keep their title push on course. Michael Louw returns for the hosts who are without the injured Jan Stander and David Kidd. 

Prediction: Away win



Reigning champions Watsonian have the chance to pull further away from the drop zone after last week’s morale-boosting win over Stoneywood-Dyce. However, it will be no easy task against a Heriot’s side who got the better of Aberdeenshire seven days ago. “We’re looking to build some momentum,” said home captain Ewan Chalmers. Steve Knox, the Heriot’s player-coach said: “I’m expecting a tough encounter against a side who have probably under-performed thus far and who I think will be competing with Heriot’s for a top four finish.” Andy Learmonth replaces the unavailable Mike Legget in the home line-up while Heriot’s name an unchanged side.

Prediction: Home win

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