CSL week 6 previews

15 Jun

From Cricket Media

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Western Premier


The day’s top clash sees the pre-season favourites host unbeaten Drumpellier in a match which may have a significant bearing on how the season unfolds. Maximum points would take Dale above their visitors but the Titwood troops find themselves playing catch-up following defeat to Uddingston a fortnight ago. That result still rankles in the Clydesdale ranks as team manager Colin Mitchell confirmed, saying: “We should have been able to defend the total we had that day but, in the end naïve captaincy cost us.” Mitchell is therefore happy to welcome back Saltires star Majid Haq to skipper the team after recovering from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Uddingston defeat and last week’s win at Stirling. Drumpellier saw their 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to and end with a West League Cup loss to Uddingston on Wednesdsay. However, the Coatbridge side bounced back with a revenge Rowan Cup semi-final win twenty-four hours later and skipper Graeme McLaren said: “We’re buzzing after beating Uddingston to reach our first final of any note since 1995. Hopefully we can keep our league form going.” Player-coach Muhammad Ramzan has recovered from the eye injury that saw him taken to hospital during last week’s tie with West of Scotland. However, Imran Adrees, Ally Rawlinson and Zaheer Mohammed are out.

Prediction: Away win


Following their maiden win at Dumfries a fortnight ago, Renfrew were brought back to earth by league leaders Uddingston last week. However, they start favourites against a Stirling side who are yet to break their duck. Renfrew also boast the league’s top scorer in Pakistani professional Ahmed Said who will be looking to add substantially to his aggregate of 220 runs in just three games. Stirling skipper Graeme Taylor is happy to welcome back Richie Carswell whom he believes will bolster both the batting and bowling departments.

Prediction: Home win


Table-topping Uddingston have the chance to strengthen their position against an Ayr team who are yet to record their first win. However, no-one at Bothwell Castle is taking anything for granted especially after Thursday’s Rowan Cup defeat to Drumpellier. “I can’t ever recall Uddy being top of the league in June, never mind being serious contenders so we’ll just take it one game at a time and give Ayr respect.” Ayr skipper Andi McElnea remains upbeat, saying: “We won the last time we went to Uddingston so that will give us a boost going into the match.” Uddingston welcome back Saltires star Calum MacLeod while Ayr replace Elliot Speirs and Calum McLaughlin with Callum Leck and Neil Logan.

Prediction: Home win 


West showed both their fragility and resilience during last week’s thrilling tie at Drumpellier and player-coach John Blain is looking for more of the latter against champions Dumfries who were boosted by last week’s win over Ayr. West have been beset by selection problems during the opening weeks of the campaign and they are again without two of their most talented youngsters in Gavin Smith and Andrew Umeed. Chris Bellwood, who already has one century and one fifty to his name, will bid to continue his excellent scoring streak for the visitors.

Prediction: Home win


Eastern Premier


Table-topping Arbroath face arguably their toughest test of the campaign to date against a side many fancy to win the title. However, the Lochlands side have prove equal to several formidable challenges already and skipper Marc Petrie wants his players to adhere to the winning formula. He said: “This will obviously be a very tough game but we will look to concentrate on our own game and execute our skills as we have done so far this season. We are entering a crunch period before the break for the Scottish Cup and we want to keep our winning run going.” Carlton counterpart Preston Mommsen also acknowledges the important of this fixture. “They are top of the table so there’s no hiding from the fact that this is a big one,” said Mommsen. The guys have done a fantastic job in my absence over the past two weeks to pull off two very convincing wins so the mood in the squad is good.” The match is given an extra edge by the availability of Calvin Burnett for Arbroath along with Mommsen and Gordon Drummond in the visiting ranks, Saltires players having been cleared to play prior to their trip to Durham. 

Prediction: Home win 


Having lost two derby matches in a row, Heriot’s may be happy to welcome a team from outside the capital. However, the last time they entertained a team from the Ganite City they were on the receiving end of a six-wicket defeat to Stoneywood-Dyce. It promises to be just as difficult against a Dons side who have lost just once in their first four matches. Much will depend on how the home batsmen cope with the pacy Daya Singh who has already claimed more wickets than any other bowler in the division.  

Prediction: Away win


The big games keep coming for SMRH as they adjust to life in the top flight. Having given leaders Arbroath a run for their money a week ago, the Inverleith must brace themselves for a visit from second top Grange. SMRH will again rely heavily on their player-coach, Cedric English, who has already established himself at the top of the scoring charts with 310 runs in four games. SMRH welcome back Matt Coyle after injury while Andrew Brock captains Grange in the absence of Neil McCallum who has work commitments. Giles Holmes and Henry Edwards return.

Prediction: Away win 


The Myreside club welcome back their captain Ewan Chalmers as they bid to kick-start their title defence. Four defeats have seriously undermined the champions’ hopes of repeating last season’s success and they must start winning or face the reality of a relegation battle. It will not be easy against a Stoneywood-Dyce side who have several match-winners in their ranks including in-form Michael Leask who scored a century against Grange a week ago.

Prediction: Home win

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