Domestic Preview – Week 2

Cricket Media preview the action in week 2 of the Eastern and Western Premier Divisions

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
May 5, 2018 6 years
Domestic Preview – Week 2

The man who so nearly propelled Scotland to the World Cup will make his delayed return to the domestic stage today.

Safyaan Sharif will lead Glenrothes into battle against RHC Lions at Barnton – and he can’t wait to get stuck in.

There was frustration last weekend when the home-turf encounter with Carlton fell victim to the elements.

And Sharif said: “We are more than ready to launch our campaign.

“We have a few new faces in the line-up, however there are one or two injury worries.

“But we have worked tremendously hard in training and we know that if we get the basics right, we should get over the line.”

The contest will feature a fascinating duel between Sharif and veteran Scotland ace Majid Haq.

RHC captain Joe Kinghorn-Gray admitted: “We’re excited at the prospect of facing Saffy.

“It is always good to test yourselves against top class players.”

Tayside rivals Forfarshire and Arbroath will be without their skippers for the matches against Grange and Aberdeenshire respectively.

Arbroath head for Mannofield, which has been a happy hunting ground in recent years.

And despite the absence of captain Marc Petrie, they are boosted by the return of Fraser Burnett, who has claimed a century on three visits to the Granite City.

Calvin Burnett takes charge of the side, while Murray Clark emerges from retirement to take over from Petrie behind the stumps.

Petrie said: “It is great to have Murray back playing again after hip surgery.

“The guys are confident after beating Stew-Mel last week, but Aberdeenshire will wee drilled under Chris Venske, who has done a great job as skipper up there.”

Meanwhile, Jack Hogarth steps in for Mohammed at Forthill against a Grange outfit that won’t have the services of ex-England Test star Ryan Sidebottom until next month.

They proved against Aberdeenshire on opening day that they will take a bit of stopping without him.

The remainder of the card features two capital derbies.

Champions Heriot’s make the short hop to Inverleith to square up to Stew-Mel.

And Carlton entertain Watsonians, buoyed up by Sunday’s success in the Murgitroyd T20 Final, held over from last year.FERGUSLIE skipper Jamey Carruthers is determined to ensure his team does not rest on their laurels after last week’s outstanding win over Clydesdale.

The Paisley men launched their Western Premier campaign in style by brushing Dale aside at Meikleriggs.

Ferguslie have home advantage again when Uddingston, idle last week due to the weather, provide the opposition for the day’s standout fixture.

Carruthers said: “It was a good opening day win and I was relatively pleased with the way we played. However, there is plenty room for improvement.

“The focus is now on Uddingston and another tough game when we will need to take care of our own performance.”

Last week’s win featured a brilliant unbeaten century from Scotland prospect Michael English and another cap star of the future Hamza Tahir, back at Meikleriggs after a season with Poloc, was in sparkling form during the week, the left-arm spinner claiming six wickets to bowl Scotland A to a nine-wicket win over Durham 2nd XI.

Meanwhile Uddingston skipper Bryan Clarke is backing his men for another successful campaign after last season’s third place finish – just behind Ferguslie.

The Bothwell club have lost Anwar Hafeez to Ayr but welcome attacking batsman Mo Awais who has joined from Clydesdale and Clarke said: “I’m pleased with the make-up of the squad and the balance of experience and youth.

“It looks like being a really tight league again and I believe we can match anyone on our day.”

Elsewhere, champions Prestwick will bid to bounce back from their surprise defeat to Stirling but face a testing trip to Poloc who are on a high after a thrilling last-over win against West of Scotland.

Poloc, though, have managed just one victory against today’s visitors in the last four seasons and will look to Coenie Nel to repeat the heroics which saw him score his first century at any level a week ago.

Stirling, aiming to claim another big scalp, entertain a Clydesdale team bidding to kickstart their challenge.

Ayr and Greenock, both beaten by the weather on day one, clash at Cambusdoon and the away side should be boosted by Indian professional Saurabh Bandekar who was due to arrive in the country last night.

Dumfries, also entering the fray for the first time, entertain a West side who make two changes from the one that just failed to mark their top-flight return with victory, Jesse Mills and Jon Williams replacing Simon Naitram and Jonathan Fearn.

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