Grange win 2015 CSL Grand Final
Grange yesterday overcame Clydesdale at sunny Bothwell Castle Policies as east continued to dominate west in the CS Grand Final.
Hopes had been high in the Titwood camp that the Western Union champions could end the Eastern Premier’s three-year monopoly on the end-of-season showpiece.
However, the Stockbridge troops showed their big-game mentality to survive a testing examination before coming through comfortably by 90 runs, aided by Dale losing their last eight wickets for just 22 runs as spinners Andrew Brock and Harris Aslam claimed all ten wickets.
Skipper Brock, who was upstaged by Aslam’s six-wicket haul, said: “For three-quarters of the match it was pretty tight and Clydesdale deserve a lot of credit, not just for winning the Union, but for the way they pushed us today.
“But for us this caps a fantastic season and I have to give a special mention to (man-of-the-match) Harris Aslam.
“To get six wickets in such a big game was a fantastic effort.”
Needing 232 for victory, Clydesdale produced a solid opening stand as skipper Majid Haq and Mo Awais consolidated sensibly.
Awais was the dominant partner, scoring 33 to his captain’s five when the fifty came up in the tenth over.
Haq eventually got in on the act when he smacked a delivery from Brock over the tall beech hedge surrounding the ground and halfway towards Uddingston town centre.
Awais went on to complete an enterprising half-century from just 46 balls but added only another four before holing out at long-off as Brock made the breakthrough.
It proved a momentum-changer as Grange suddenly upped their game and Clydesdale wobbled.
Player-coach Con de Lange fell soon after, picking out Chris Sole at short cover as Aslam claimed his first wicket.
His second and third came in quick succession as Haq edged behind for 31 and Sam Page found first slip as the visitors stuttered to 121-4.
There was no way back for the Glasgow side as man-of-the-match Aslam claimed 6-40 and Brock 4-39 to seal Grange’s triumph.
Earlier Nick Farrar and Ryan Flannigan gave the Edinburgh side a solid start after they had won the toss and elected to bat.
Farrar, the former Scotland U19 batsman, got the board ticking by hooking and driving Richie Berrington for two boundaries in the third over while Flannigan got in on the act, albeit by edging Mo Afzal between keeper and first slip.
The former Saltires player looked much more convincing in hoisting Berrington for a straight six with a beautifully timed shot.
However, Flannigan departed in the next over, trapped in front by Afzal as Clydesdale hit back.
Farrar continued to look in good touch, pulling Abdul Sabri for his seventh boundary, only to depart for 35 as he attempted an action replay but instead was comprehensively bowled.
Grange rebuilt through a studied 61-run stand between Neil McCallum and Ian Worth though they found the Clydesdale bowlers in mean mood, particularly Haq who teased his rivals with subtle variations of flight.
Haq eventually got his reward when he took a return catch to remove Worth for 31 and struck again when Grange counterpart Brock holed out to Sam Page.
However, the capital side fought back in grand style as McCallum and his former Saltires colleague Goudie hit out to telling effect.
McCallum went to his half-century with a trademark sweep off Haq for one of his eight boundaries before hoisting a Basit Ali delivery over the deep mid-wicket boundary and out of the ground.
The same bowler suffered similar punishment from Goudie who hit two maximums in an over that cost twenty-one runs and signalled that the final push was well and truly underway.
To their credit, Clydesdale stuck to their task to hold some excellent catches during the death overs, both McCallum and Goudie picking out the safe hands of de Lange as Afzal returned to the attack.
McCallum’s 70 came from 107 deliveries while Goudie faced only thirty-two for his 45 which included three fours and the same number of sixes.
Afzal was the pick of the Dale attack with 4-32 while Haq claimed 2-44.
A dejected Haq admitted: “We lost too many wickets in clusters and our shot selection was poor but they bowled well and special credit to Haris.”