CHAMPIONS Ferguslie welcome new professional Nkosana Mpofu as they bid to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Uddingston with victory over Drumpellier at Meikleriggs today.
The Paisley side went down fighting in a low-scoring thriller a week ago and the introduction of the the Zimbabwean all-rounder and return of Taimoor Ahmad gives them a stronger look for this afternoon’s encounter.
Skipper Riyaad Henry said: “It’s great to have the pro here and with Taimoor back the pair of them will boost our batting and bowling.
“The boys are hungry to get our first win but we’re taking nothing for granted because Drumpellier are like most teams in the league – tough to beat on their day.”
Drumpellier, fresh from an astonishing comeback win against Greenock, also have reinforcements in the shape of Sri Lankan professional Gayan Maneeshan who will add strength to the Coatbridge team’s top order as well as keeping wicket.
Skipper Gordon Shaw said: “It’s a boost to have someone of Gayan’s pedigree.
“Last week was an incredible game and a victory that lifts everyone’s confidence but our first two away games – Uddingston and Ferguslie – always looked difficult. I know Ferguslie have lost a couple of players but they are still a very strong side and it’s going to be tough.”
Meanwhile Clydesdale and Poloc meet in an eagerly anticipated southside derby at Titwood following contrasting fortunes a week ago.
While Dale proved too strong for Stirling, Poloc went down to Prestwick in another match where ball dominated bat at Shawholm.
The home team, who have enjoyed the edge in recent 50-over encounters between the sides, hand a home competitive debut to Umar Razaq while former Scotland U19 player Haris Chaudhry will again feature after returning to action following several seasons out of the game.
Poloc are buoyed by the arrival of their South African professional Lesiba Ngoepe who represented Aberdeenshire two seasons ago but Ahmad Chaudhry and Abdullah Malik are unavailable.
Early pacesetters Uddingston will aim to make it three consecutive victories when they entertain Stirling at Bothwell Castle.
The leaders have former Scotland star Ross Lyons back in their ranks following injury while Stirling are on familiar lines as they bid to recover from last week’s defeat to Clydesdale.
Having opened their account with victory at East Kilbride, West of Scotland show three changes for their meeting with Greenock at Hamilton Crescent with Michael Miller, Graeme Etheridge and Duncan Player drafted in.
The Glenpark side, smarting from the loss of their last nine wickets for just nine runs at Drumpellier, also make three changes, bringing in Sean Fischer-Keogh, Rod Mountford and Ewan Stewart.
Prestwick have home advantage as they seek a second consecutive win at the expense of East Kilbride.