WDCU - Week 3 Preview
From Cricket Media
It is the reigning champions against the side most see as title favourites so all roads this afternoon will lead to the attractive Bothwell Castle Policies where Uddingston entertain Clydesdale in the day’s top match.
Having stumbled at Ayr on the opening day of the season, the Lanarkshire side bounced back impressively to defeat West of Scotland last week while Clydesdale were belatedly launching their campaign by trouncing East Kilbride.
Today’s victors will therefore surely claim a timely edge as a stop-start season finally gains some momentum.
Uddingston’s strength-in-depth will be tested to the limit as they must do without their Durham duo of Calum MacLeod and Gavin Main who both made successful appearances in the county’s first team during the week.
David Bill and Nick Martin are also unavailable so youngster Ryan Dunne gains promotion after a spectacular performance for the second time last week which saw him claim an hat-trick en route to a six-wicket haul.
Explosive left-handed batsman Kamran Mohammed also steps up and skipper Bryan Clarke declared: “It is disappointing to have guys missing for what is a big game but we have a bit of depth.
“We are building from within and have every faith in the guys coming in. It is important that the players who step up have a role in the team.”
Dunne and Kamran will join fellow youngster Dennis Eyles in the top team, the opening bowler having impressed with two key wickets against West.
Sammy Zia, who fell just short of a century last week, will be another key player for the hosts and Clarke added: “Dennis has really taken his opportunity and that’s what we’re looking for the young guys to do.
“Sammy has been outstanding this year and hopefully he can keep performing to the high standards he has set.”
Clydesdale travel with a squad which has been boosted by the return to fitness of Saltires star Richie Berrington who marked his debut with a half-century last week.
The arrival of Con de Lange, the former Ferguslie and Northants all-rounder, is another reason why the Titwood side are seen as the team to beat.
However, manager Colin Mitchell is taking nothing for granted, saying: “We know a trip to Uddingston will offer a competitive welcome.
“They are justifiable champions and are well led. They also have quality in their ranks and I’m sure they will fight to defend their title.
“But we are continuing to develop as a new unit and welcome the challenge.”
Elsewhere, West of Scotland will attempt to break their duck when they head down the M74 to face Dumfries at Nunholm.
The hosts are in good spirits following a convincing win over Drumpellier and their unchanged team boasts two in-form players in Reivers duo Scott Beveridge and young pace bowler Niall Alexander who is the early leader in the wicket-taking charts.
However, the visitors are without Ian Young, Stuart Murray and Ross Brown who are replaced by Cammy Gibb, Miro Ralston and Craig Brown.
Ayr start favourites to maintain their unbeaten record when they host a Drumpellier side whose Scotland U19 all-rounder Abdul Sabri is celebrating promotion to the Reivers squad for their Pro Series clashes with the Highlanders.
Renfrew, fresh from a thrilling tie against Ayr last Saturday and a record-breaking midweek win over Prestwick in the West League Cup, entertain East Kilbride.