The Cricket Scotland Men’s Regional Pro Series has been full of great cricket so far and that looks likely to continue this coming Sunday when the Caledonian Highlanders take on the Western Warriors to decide who will face the Eastern Knights in the final on July 2.
Steve Gilmour’s Knights are top of the table and safely through to the finale to the 50-over competition at Clydesdale CC’s Titwood ground next Friday with two wins from two.
The Highlanders and the Warriors have one win apiece to date and whoever comes out on top in a couple of days time at Arbroath CC’s Lochlands ground will make sure they have one more match to play.
For this one, the Highlanders are boosted by the return of Scotland wicketkeeper/batter Craig Wallace.
The ion8 Forfarshire man will skipper the side while his international skipper Kyle Coetzer is also back to strengthen the batting after a short stint with Durham.
Arbroath’s Craig Ramsay comes back in too and Highlanders head coach Craig Wright said: “We’re obviously pleased to get a couple of top quality, experienced players back in Craig and Kyle and we were pleased with our much improved performance against the Performance Academy last weekend, although we will be looking for our batters who get starts to go on and make big scores on Sunday.
“It should be a good game against a talented Warriors side.”
Warriors head coach Andy Tennant missed his side’s loss to the Knights at Titwood last weekend as he was isolating, but he hopes to be back on the boundary edge for this one.
He said: “Watching on the live stream was not ideal last Sunday and when the Knights batters got off to a flyer it was a tough watch, but the way that the bowlers really pulled things back to restrict the opposition to 242 took some guts.
“With the bat our top order didn’t quite fire, but credit to Brandon McMullen and Ross Lyons who got us up and over 200 and within reach of a win, but it wasn’t to be.
“The good thing is that we have another big match to focus on straight away and we are treating this like a semi-final because whoever wins will make the final, so there is no doubt that the guys are focused for this Highlanders clash.”
Seamers Gavin Main and Niall Alexander come into the Warriors squad along with spinner Haroon Tahir.
In the other match on Sunday, the Knights will host the Performance Academy at Heriot’s CC’s Goldenacre ground.
The Performance Academy have not won a match yet, but Toby Bailey’s men have been a positive addition to the competition and it has helped expose up-and-coming young talent to this level of cricket.
Batter Jamie Crawley, who scored an amazing 206 in the win over the Highlanders before missing the Warriors game due to university exams, is back for the Knights.
Their head coach Gilmour states: “I am looking for another professional performance from the team and we will continue to be aggressive with the bat if the situation suits.
“We have been very disciplined with the ball so far in the competition, so we are looking to make it very difficult for the Performance Academy batters.”