CSL round up - Week 11
A fortnight ago Uddingston appeared to have taken a huge step towards lifting their first CSL Western Premier Division title with victory over Drumpellier.
Two weeks – and two defeats – later the Lanarkshire side’s prospects look less promising.
They remain top, but only just, after Clydesdale cruised to a a convincing eight-wicket win at Bothwell Castle Policies.
Majid Haq, the Dale captain, had little hesitation in putting the home side in to bat and his decision was vindicated in spectacular style as Uddingston slumped to 13-3, having lost their top three batsmen.
All three fell to Mo Afzal who first removed the in-form Amir Gul for just 5 in the third over.
Afzal did even better in his next over, cleaning bowling Sri Lankan professional Ras Priydarshana for a duck and five balls later having Saltires star Calum MacLeod caught behind, also without scoring.
Afzal retired from the attack to reflect with pride on figures of 3-7 from six overs but his departure brought only temporary respite for Uddingston.
Sammy Zia did figure in a couple of modest partnerships, adding 39 with Derek Allan, who was adjudged lbw to Mo Ali for 20, and 23 with Gautham Rai.
However, another mini-collapse undermined the hosts’ chances of setting a big total, Zia gloving a catch off Ali to Kasim Farid for his side’s top score of 22 and Rai bowled by Haq before the board had moved.
Haq went on to claim two further wickets while Nick Martin’s spirited 18 ensured that Uddingston reached three figures before the final wicket fell with the total on 126.
Clydesdale’s reply suffered an early setback when Anjan Luthra holed out to mid-off to give Ricky Bawa.
When Shoaib Khan followed soon after, Clydesdale were 17-2 and Uddingston’s tails were up.
However, Haq and Safyaan Sharif led the visitors to the target with a half-century apiece, the skipper top-scoring with 59no including three boundaries and two maximums.
Meanwhile Arbroath took a massive step towards securing Eastern Premier glory with a battling win in their top-of-the-table clash with Aberdeenshire at Lochlands.
The visitors, needing victory to claim top spot, looked to be on course after dismissing Arbroath for 172.
Adrian Neill and Harsha Cooray had three wickets each while Calvin Burnett top-scored with 66.
Aberdeenshire were cruising on 130-3 before Arbroath dug deep to claim the last seven wickets for less than thirty runs.
Arbroath now enjoy a handy 12-point lead over Carlton who moved second thanks to a fine all-round display from Preston Mommsen.
The Saltires skipper top-scored with 69 of his side’s 230-8 and then claimed five wickets to seal a 36-run win over Watsonian.
Grange stayed on the fringes, bouncing back from last week’s surprise defeat to Watsonian by crushing Heriot’s at Portgower Place.
Saltires bowler Gordon Goudie claimed 3-30 as Heriot’s were dismissed for just 104, Adam Lockhart-Krause sparing their blushes with 56.
However, Ryan Flannigan hammered a rapid 46 and George Munsey 38no as Grange raced to a nine-wicket win in just 14.3 overs.
In the big relegation battle Greg Ruthven claimed six wickets to fire SMRH to a crucial win over Stoneywood-Dyce at Inverleith.
Ruthven’s 6-26 helped dismiss the Aberdonians for 120 though Michael Louw (42) and Michael Leask (37) offered some resistance.
Former Scotland batsman Cedric English, the SMRH player-coach, led the run-chase with 43 as the Edinburgh side won by four wickets with almost fifteen overs to spare, leapfrogging their visitors at the foot of the table.