Domestic Preview – Week 5

Cricket Media preview the 5th week of action in the Eastern and Western Premier divisions

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
May 25, 2018 5 years

While unbeaten Edinburgh neighbours Heriot’s and Grange will be widely backed to keep up their powerful start to the campaign with home triumphs over Aberdeenshire and Carlton respectively, the most keenly fought derby in the league takes place on Tayside.

“Excitement” was common sentiment of rival skippers Marc Petrie and Umair Mohammed as they geared up for the Lochlands showdown.

Petrie’s Arbroath are tucked behind Heriot’s and Grange in the wake of two excellent run-chase victories in a row.

Mohammed’s Forfarshire are searching for consistency, though he stressed that form often counts for little in battles between the neighbours.

Petrie said: “Excitement is the word I always think of when it comes to matches against Forfs.

“It is usually a very competitive, fiery and high quality tussle and I’m sure this weekend will be no different.

“We will take forward the momentum created by two fantastic wins, chasing big totals in the last two weeks.

“Of course there are things I want to see us improve on, but I’m confident in the lads.”

Arbroath are without Fraser Burnett, who is running the Edinburgh Marathon in aid of Scottish Association for Mental Health.”

Mohammed added: “I am very excited about the trip up the road.

“I’m sure both sets of players are very much looking forward to what will transpire.

“The weather prospects are good and no doubt there will be a full house supporting the home lads.

“These are the games the players particularly look forward to, and we love to  challenge ourselves against the best teams. “

“We’ll go there full of optimism that we can get the job done and earn a valuable away success.”

Glenrothes are boosted by the return of inspirational captain Safyaan Sharif for the crucial meeting with Watsonians at Myreside.

Both sides have struggled to establish momentum so far this summer, so points are at a premium.

Sharif, back from his initial spell with Derbyshire, said: “We are in a similar situation to Sonians, so it is a huge match.

“They have a few guys – George Munsey and Mike Carson in particular – who can take the game away from you.

“We will focus on getting the basics right and hope to get over the line.”

Elsewhere, RHC Lions will be favourites in their north capital visit to Inverleith to face Stew-Mel.

FERGUSLIE skipper Jamey Carruthers is looking for improvements from his side – despite boasting a perfect record of four wins in the opening month of the season.

The Paisley side are back on home turf this afternoon following last week’s win at Stirling and start firm favourites against a Poloc team who have failed to add to their opening day win at West of Scotland.

Carruthers said: “I still believe we can improve a great deal – we’re obviously pleased with four wins but we can become a much more clinical side.
“As with any game in this league Poloc will be a tough test for us but we will look to put in another strong home performance.”

Ferguslie are unchanged for the third week on the trot but Poloc have doubts over left-arm spinner Hasseeb Zaker who will undergo a fitness test. Ahmed-Raza Hanif is on standby while Amaan Ali has been selected to bolster the middle order.

That middle order is unlikely to need much bolstering, though, if South African Jurie Snyman maintains the form that saw him blast a 39-ball century against West in midweek.
A Poloc spokesman said: “It’s small improvements in all areas that will be needed to produce the cumulative improvement required to add to matchday one’s win.”

Elsewhere Clydesdale, having recovered from defeat on the opening day with back-to-back wins, can step up their challenge when they face rock-bottom Greenock at Titwood.

Scotland’s record cap holder Richie Berrington has the chance to pile on the misery for his former club but, far from being a one-man band, Berrington is finding support from a clutch of talented youngsters, among them Angus Guy and Zain Ashraf who have both made vital contributions with the bat in the last fortnight.

Greenock are hoping the sunshine and an international venue will bring out the best in their Indian professional Saurabh Bandekar who has yet to hit top form while the visitors may be boosted by the return of wicket-keeper Chris Hempsey who has recovered from a poisoned ankle following an insect bite.

Champions Prestwick, having failed to raise a team for last Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie at Arbroath, may have to raise their game for the visit of a West of Scotland team who have climbed to second in the table following three straight wins.

Elsewhere, Stirling entertain Ayr while Dumfries will attempt to break their duck at Uddingston.

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