CSL Premier Preview - Week 4

01 Jun

From Cricket Media

Western Premier


The day’s top fixture is slightly undermined by the absence of Majid Haq from the Dale line-up and Calum MacLeod from the visitors’ team. Both would have been expected to play key roles with both bat and ball but Haq is injured and his Saltires colleague is in transit for tomorrow’s YB40 clash at Essex. There is therefore an opportunity for others to stand up and be counted in a contest between two of the sides fancied to be challenging for the title. Bryan Clarke, the visiting captain, believes is side have the strength in depth to cope with MacLeod’s absence. He said: “We have lots of options and competition for places.”

Prediction: Away win


A superb century from Chris Bellwood helped Dumfries demonstrate that they intend to mount a stout title defence as they opened their campaign with victory against Renfrew. The Nunholm side, though, may find it a little tougher against a Drumpellier side who have momentum on their side, having won all three of their Scottish Cup group matches as well as launching their league bid with victory at Stirling a week ago. Dumfries hope to have Aussie Todd Griffith in their line-up. The Wests player, now 37, first played for the Nunholm side as an 18 year-old but Tom McBride will miss the remainder of the season as he heads to the States to study. Drumps are boosted by the return of skipper Graeme McLaren and top order batsman Zaheer Mohammed though Chris Keltie is unavailable.   

Prediction: Away win


West, on the receiving end of a Calum MacLeod century a week ago, will attempt to kick-start their campaign at the expense of a Stirling side who are also seeking their first win. The home attack will be boosted by the return of the experienced Dave McNulty but West are weakened by the absence of Dougie Lockhart, Andrew Umeed and Ian Young. Stirling name the side that lost narrowly to Drumpellier and skipper Graeme Taylor remains upbeat. He said: “We have shown a lot of fighting spirit and we believe a win is just around the corner. We are ready for a West backlash after their defeat at Uddingston.”

Prediction: Home win


Both sides are targeting their first win of the campaign and Ayr, with home advantage, start favourites. However, the Cambusdoon side know they will have to improve on last week’s below-par showing at Clydesdale against a Renfrew side anxious to prove they belong in the top flight.

Prediction: Home win

Eastern Premier


Something must give as the only unbeaten sides clash in what is the most important match of the season so far. The victors will emerge as genuine challengers to the more fancied Edinburgh sides though both ‘Shire and their north-east visitors have already claimed capital scalps. The Mannofield side have beaten both Grange and Carlton while Arbroath claimed the scalp of champions Watsonian on the opening day. ‘Shire skipper Tyler Buchan said: “I think it is set up to be a great match. It's been nip and tuck between us and Arbroath over recent years. We have beaten them twice in two years at their place, and they have done the same to us at Mannofield so home advantage doesn't seem to count for much in this fixture. But the boys are keen to maintain our 100% start to the season across all competitions.” Arbroath are bolstered by the return of West Indian Alvin Pollard while there is promotion for Bryce Carnegie following his maiden century for the seconds last weekend but Calvin Burnett is on Saltires duty. Geoff Fisher, the Arbroath president, said: "It is great for cricket in this part of the country that both clubs are doing so well at the moment and it has all the makings of a hugely entertaining encounter.”

Prediction: Home win


Grange have traditionally held the upper-hand in this Edinburgh derby but the Portgower Place side will be wary of a Heriot’s outfit whose confidence is sky-high after rattling up 328-2 in last week’s win over SMRH. Steve Knox, the Heriot’s player-coach, names an unchanged team. Knox, one of two Goldenacre centurions last week, said: “The spirit is good but we are aware we face a bigger test against Grange.” The visitors had their own centurion last week in Ross Paterson who scored a career-best 185no for the club’s third eleven. That has earned the young batsman a top team debut while Giles Holmes returns in place of Saltires star Gordon Goudie.

Prediction: Away win


Stuart Coetzer, the Stoneywood-Dyce captain, is looking for a team effort from his men to compensate for the absence of in-form batsman Michael Leask who is on Saltires duty. It will not be easy against an SMRH side who are desperate to put their first win on the board. 

Prediction: Home win


The Myreside team’s title defence is in danger of petering out before it has even begun and they can ill-afford a third consecutive defeat against a Carlton team bristling to take out their frustrations following last week’s defeat at Aberdeenshire. Both teams are without their regular captains with Ewan Chalmers and Preston Mommsen linking up for the Saltires for whom Carlton’s Gordon Drummond is also on duty.

Prediction: Away win

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