Domestic Review - Week 13
Cricket Media review the action from a big weekend of fixtures in the Eastern and Western Premier divisions.
Clydesdale may have struck a decisive blow in their bid to retain the Western Premier title with victory over second placed Ferguslie at Titwood.
This was a slow-burner of a match but it came to a red-hot climax as the hosts edged home by two wickets in the final over.
Needing 183 Clydesdale appeared to be cruising when Mo Awais and Con de Lange added 72 for the second wicket following the early loss of Carl Huyser.
However, de Lange’s departure, run out following a mix-up with his partner, gave Ferguslie hope especially when Awais followed, bowled by Haroon Tahir after making a fluent 79.
Mishkal Ramsaroop then got in on the act with two quick wickets while Hamza Tahir took one to reduce Clydesdale to 141-6.
The required run-rate rose along with the tension and when Majid Haq was bowled by Greg Cameron the game was firmly in the balance.
However, the champions held their nerve to send Ferguslie to a third consecutive defeat.
Earlier the visitors made a steady start to see off Dale’s lauded new –ball attack.
Abdul Sabri and Basit Ali have rightly earned plaudits but Ramsaroop and Hannes Venter were relatively untroubled in posting 66 for the first wicket.
It took the introduction of Richie Berrington to induce a false shot from Ramsaroop who nicked behind for 21.
Skipper Gregor Preston-Jones showed aggression for the Paisley men especially when he hoisted a huge six off Sabri to scatter spectators in front of the pavilion.
Preston-Jones also swept a boundary off de Lange but suffered a lapse of concentration to the first ball after drinks and edged a wide one off Ali.
Ali produced a brute of a delivery to clean bowl Venter for 33 as Ferguslie began to lose their way.
Their hopes relied to a large extent on Michael English and the Scotland prospect looked set to oblige with a series of classy strokes.
However, having made a top-score of 36 he was teased out of his crease by Haq and 14 year-old keeper Andrew Guy completed a fine stumping.
Haq claimed a further two wickets and was no doubt content to have restricted Ferguslie to 182-7 though it proved a little close for comfort in the end.
Elsewhere East Kilbride consolidated third place with an easy win over Stenhousemuir at Torrance House, first amassing 258-8, Moneeb Iqbal top-scoring with 66, and then dismissing their opponents for 106.
Ross Lyons claimed four wickets while Rushdi Jappie was stranded on 70no for the visitors.
Gavin Bradley scored 87 and Niall MacLeod 66no as Uddingston secured a thrilling last-over win against Ayr for whom Michael Papps had fallen seven runs short of a fifth century of the season.
Drumpellier remain in relegation bother after an 85-run loss at Prestwick while Dumfries, for whom Josh Geary had three wickets and 60no, are heading upwards after a five-wicket win at Kelburne.
Eastern Premier leaders Watsonians survived an early scare before staying on course for the title with victory over Falkland at Scroggie Park.
The Myreside men were in trouble on 67-5 before recovering to reach 183-9 thanks to some stout resistance from the lower order.
That proved more than enough as the Fifers slumped back into relegation trouble by tumbling to 35 all out, former New Zealand star Andy McKay adding a further five wickets to his season’s haul.
Carlton remain the closest challengers after a hard-fought win over Forfarshire at Grange Loan.
Chasing 192 for victory, the capital side got home with five wickets to spare thanks mainly to the efforts of Rory McCann who steered the chase with a polished 67.
Earlier Chayank Gosain and Arun Pillai claimed four wickets each, the former bagging the crucial one of ‘Shire’s in-form skipper Craig Wallace for 46.
Arbroath are still in contention thanks to a comfortable nine-wicket win over Glenrothes at Lochlands.
Heriot’s won by 92 runs at Stoneywood-Dyce after posting an impressive 256-6, 86 of them to Kevin McLaren, in a match reduced to 28 overs.
The clash between Aberdeenshire and Grange was abandoned due to a wet outfield at Mannofield.