Western Premier League: Week One

Cricket Scotland Media review the first round of the Eastern Premier as the season gets underway in Scotland.

Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
April 30, 2019 4 years

MO Awais lit up a dull and damp day with a sparkling century as Uddingston stole a march on their Western Premier rivals with a derby win over Drumpellier in the only match to beat the weather.

Bothwell Castle did not escape the rain altogether but between the showers Uddingston, inspired by Western Warriors batsman Awais, did enough to secure a nine-wicket victory on DLS.

Chasing a revised target after restricting Drumps to 136-7 from 45 overs, Awais totally dominated the reply with a brilliant unbeaten 113 as the home side raced to victory on 145-1 after 26 overs.

Former Clydesdale star Awais stroked a dozen boundaries and cleared the ropes on five occasions as Uddingston made the ideal start to their campaign.

Skipper Bryan Clarke said: “Awais had a really tough season last year and has come out firing so far this year. For me he’s a one-off – certainly in the west. He is a unique talent who offers us so much as he showed on Saturday.”

Clarke also had praise for new acquisition Niall Alexander, the former Scotland U19 and Dumfries pace bowler, who marked his competitive debut with 4-33 as the Drumps batsmen toiled.

Following the early loss of skipper Gordon Shaw, bowled by Alexander, they were given hope through a solid half-century stand between Jordan Pryde (27) and Graeme McLaren (22).

However, when they departed in quick succession, Chris Keltie found himself fighting a lone battle with an unbeaten 27 as his team-mates succumbed to Alexander and the rest of the home attack.

Clarke added: “Niall has been very impressive and has settled in really well. He has a great attitude and has a presence in the dressing room which adds a lot for us.

“He bowled very well – pace and control – and was pretty unlucky not to bag five to be honest.”

In the only other match to get underway, Prestwick appeared to be on course for victory after dismissing Stirling for 67 at the Henry Thow Oval.

Sachin Chaudhary was the standout performer with the ball, claiming 4-13, while only two Stirling batsmen reached double figures. However, rain denied Prestwick the chance to complete the job.

Despite little prospect of play at Titwood, the players of Clydesdale and Ferguslie turned up to observe a minute’s silence in tribute to their former player and coach Con de Lange who died earlier this month from a brain tumour. It was a scene which was repeated around the country in memory of one of the most popular figures in the Scottish game.

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