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FORFARSHIRE ROAR BACK TO RETAIN SCOTTISH CUP

Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
August 20, 2023 11 months
FORFARSHIRE ROAR BACK TO RETAIN SCOTTISH CUP
Men Cup Final - Forfarshire CC v Uddingston CC iptcyear2}0820 Forfarshire CC take on Uddingston CC in the Men’s Scottish Cup Final at Titwood Cricket Ground, Glasgow, UK Credit: Ian Jacobs

Superb bowling performances from Aman Baiwal and Lyle Robertson drove Forfarshire to victory over Tunnocks Uddingston, as they won a second successive HF Group Men’s Scottish Cup at Titwood on Sunday.

Forfarshire were bowled out for just 156 after being asked to bat first, with Michael Leask top scoring with 48, but in reply Tunnocks Uddingston collapsed to 68 all out, handing the defending champions a comfortable victory by 88 runs.

Forfarshire will now target a second successive cup double, with a Men’s T20 Scottish Cup Final appearance against Carlton looming in two weeks time at Stirling.

On a breezy but sunny afternoon at Titwood, Uddingston captain Bryan Clarke won the toss, and had no hesitation in putting Forfarshire in to bat on what appeared at first glance to be a wicket with a tinge of green. The decision paid dividends immediately in the first over, as Zeeshan Azhar trapped Callum Garden LBW for a duck.

Jack O’Neill joined Craig Wallace at the crease, and with both men having hit hundreds the week before in the league, hopes were high they could bed in a partnership, but O’Neill was soon on his way back to the pavilion for just 17 after being bowled by Thomas Willmott.

Men Cup Final – Forfarshire CC v Uddingston CC iptcyear2}0820 Forfarshire CC take on Uddingston CC in the Men’s Scottish Cup Final at Titwood Cricket Ground, Glasgow, UK Credit: Ian Jacobs

Scotland allrounder Michael Leask was next in, and settled quickly as he sent the run rate climbing above five an over. Wallace was providing an anchor at the other end, but the partnership was broken on 78 as he found a leading edge off Abdul Sabri which ballooned to mid off. It was then 82-4 when Lyle Robertson edged Azhar to gully, and soon after 95-5 when skipper Scott Cameron edged behind.

Forfarshire needed a partner to stick with Leask, but they weren’t helped by a calamitous run out, as Aman Bailwal was left stranded after a communication mix-up. The pressure was on Leask to play a big innings, and he crunched some beautiful drives through the covers to reach 48, but then he misjudged an attempt to hit Imran Mughal for six and holed out on the deep square leg boundary.

Uddingston sensed they could wrap up the innings quickly, and brought on Ross Lyons, who immediately struck twice in two balls to reduce Forfarshire for 146-9. Muhammad Awais picked up the final wicket to bowl Forfarshire out for 156 inside 33 overs.

Men Cup Final – Forfarshire CC v Uddingston CC iptcyear2}0820 Forfarshire CC take on Uddingston CC in the Men’s Scottish Cup Final at Titwood Cricket Ground, Glasgow, UK Credit: Ian Jacobs

The large vocal travelling Forfarshire support may have been concerned at the low total their team was defending, but they were soon roaring in celebration as Imran Mughal was run out after great work by Bailwal and Callum Garden. Bailwal then began to wreak havoc with the ball, trapping Muhammad Awais and Amaan Ramzan in front, before having Fazal Jawad caught in the gully to leave 41-4. The game was now on a knife-edge as former Scotland spinner Ross Lyons, so often a match-winner with the bat recently, came to the crease.

He was left stranded, as Robertson’s introduction ensured there was no chance of a turnaround as he ripped through Uddingston’s lower order, taking 4-5 in 5.2 overs, as Uddingston lost their last five wickets for 12 runs.

Men Cup Final – Forfarshire CC v Uddingston CC iptcyear2}0820 Forfarshire CC take on Uddingston CC in the Men’s Scottish Cup Final at Titwood Cricket Ground, Glasgow, UK Credit: Ian Jacobs

A pitch invasion and raucous celebration greeted the final wicket, as Forfarshire fans spilled onto the pitch in the evening sun. Heartbreak for Uddingston, but the journey for the travelling supporters back to Tayside would certainly be a joyous one.

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