CSL - Week 4
From Cricket Media
Aside from a couple of Scottish Cup triumphs for Uddingston, cricket in Lanarkshire has hardly been enjoying boom times in the recent past.
Yet, a look at the CSL Western Premier Division table paints an encouraging picture for the county with the BothwellCastle club and neighbours Drumpellier the only sides boasting unbeaten records.
True, it is early days but both clubs have genuine cause for optimism as the season gets into full swing.
Drumps hold the edge by a single point after a thrilling win over champions Dumfries at Nunholm.
The Coatbridge side had to show their powers of recovery in both halves of the match, first pegging the hosts back after their opening pair had put on 100 runs and then shrugging-off the early loss of their own opening batsmen to secure a three-wicket D/L victory.
Alan Davidson (55) and Ally Dawson 36 gave Dumfries that solid start before Muhammad Ramzan’s three wickets applied the brakes.
Spinner Ally Rawlinson turned the screw with 4-33 as the home side were dismissed for 202.
Drumpellier’s reply suffered the worst possible start when Asad and Zaheer Mohammed were dismissed inside the first three overs.
However, Jarod Armitage’s cameo paved the way for Abdul Sabri and skipper Graeme McLaren to complete the recovery.
Scotland U19 star Sabri hit two maximums in his 30 while McLaren finished unbeaten on 48, including four sixes.
McLaren said: “It was a fantastic win that required lots of character from the lads.
“We really came back strongly in both innings and the pleasing thing for me is that we aren’t relying on the same people week-in, week-out.
“It has been a real team effort so far and we are flying.”
County neighbours Uddingston were equally impressive in returning from Clydesdale with maximum points.
They appeared to be up against when Kasim Farid’s 94 guided the Titwood side to 234-9 while Vasu Reddy claimed four wickets in a rain-interrupted innings.
However, Gawtham Rai and teenager Gavin Main both scored half-centuries as Uddingston pulled off a successful chase with three wickets in hand.
“Farid batted really well for them but we hung in there,” said skipper Bryan Clarke.
“It’s all about belief and we kept going really well while in the past we might have folded.
“It’s great to see Lanarkshire cricket on top in the west.”
Elsewhere John Blain and Mark Gilchrist ripped through the Stirling batting line-up as West of Scotland secured their first win at Hamilton Crescent.
Player-coach Blain claimed 3-12 but was trumped by the veteran Gilchrist who took 4-14 as Stirling made just 106.
Greig Watson’s unbeaten 30 then secured a four-wicket success.
Ahmed Said was the hero of Renfrew’s first-ever win in the top flight, the Pakistani professional scoring an unbeaten 124 in an imposing total of 272-6 at Ayr.
The Cambusdoon side were in the hunt while Neale Parlane was at the crease but the Kiwi’s dismissal for 94 saw Ayr slip to 198 all out, Shahid Abbasi adding three wickets to his earlier half-century.
Arbroath emerged victorious from their north-east derby with Aberdeenshire at Mannofield.
Fraser Burnett’s 93 proved decisive as the Dons lost for the first time despite Daya Singh’s hat-trick.
However, the former skipper shrugged-off his own excellent innings to heap praise on the whole side.
“It was simply a brilliant all-round effort which earned a brilliant result,” he enthused.”
Elsewhere, Neil McCallum’s 88 helped Grange moved second top thanks to a thrilling 11-run win over Heriot’s for whom Cammy Farrell’s unbeaten 136 was in vain.
Carlton are also starting to display the form of title favourites, a century stand between Fraser Watts (74 not out) and Hamish Gardiner (73) helping them to an eight-wicket win against Watsonian who are still seeking the first win of their title defence.
SMRH, however, did manage their maiden top flight win, Cedric English playing the lead role with 87 in a 43-run D/L win.