CSL Review - 4 July 2015
The Western Union may only have entered the second half of the season but already Kelburne have emerged as one of the success stories of the summer.
Regardless of whether silverware finds its way to Whitehaugh at the end of August or not, Qasim Sheikh’s side have made their mark during their first season in the top flight.
Indeed, Sheikh made his own mark in more ways than one on Saturday when, during the warm-up for Kelburne’s clash with Renfrew, a lusty blow from his bat soared towards the car park and straight through the rear windscreen of a spectator’s Volkswagen Passat!
Sheihk’s side were then every bit as destructive in demolishing their struggling rivals whom they dismissed for just 109 before cruising to a six-wicket win.
The result keeps Kelburne within a whisker of leaders Clydesdale who retained their slender advantage with victory over Ferguslie at Titwood in the only other match to beat the weather.
Sheikh said: “I have already apologised to the car owner and I do so again.
“I was actually giving high catches to a couple of the guys and when one of them went up in the air I knew the car on the boundary was in trouble – and indeed it was!”
Kelburne’s success has been based on a strong team ethic with match-winners throughout the team and on Saturday it was Fraser Macdonald who was their key performer.
Macdonald claimed three wickets while there were two each for Jamie Macdonald, Bradley Williams and Zeeshan Bashir as the home bowlers dominated.
Macdonald completed a fine all-round display with a half-century and Williams chipped-in with 25 to secure a comfortable win.
Kelburne’s bowling display was all the more remarkable in that it was achieved without leading wicket-taker Scott Hamilton whose father-in-law died on the eve of the match.
Sheikh added: “Everyone at the club passes on to his wife Gillian and whole family our deepest condolences.
“We still managed to cope without Scott as it was another good bowling display which didn’t allow Renfrew to get going.
“On top of that it was an outstanding all-round performance by Fraser Macdonald.”
Meanwhile, Kelburne’s Paisley neighbours Ferguslie faltered in their bid to step up their own title challenge.
Instead it was leaders Clydesdale who took advantage of groundsman Cyril McLatchie’s hard work in getting Titwood fit for play at the latest possible starting time.
Both sides had moments when they appeared to hold the initiative but it was Dale who came out decisively on top when it mattered.
They recovered from a ropey start with the bat to reach a challenging 141-7, thanks largely to the hard-hitting of Basit Ali who made a rapid 40 while Paddy Barbour (35) and Mo Awais (27) also chipped-in usefully.
Awais’ main contribution to Clyedsdale’s success, though, was in holding on to the catch that removed Ferguslie’s professional Keith Dabengwa
The Zimbabwean had looked more than capable of spearheading a successful chase as he moved smoothly to 30 but when he departed off Mo Ali’s bowling, the Meikleriggs men quickly subsided from 54-2 to 94 all out.