WEST OF SCOTLAND showed the resilience of potential champions on Saturday, winning a last-ball thriller against Uddingston to preserve their unbeaten record.
Not for the first time this season, the Hamilton Crescent troops appeared to be on the ropes as the home side seized control of the top-of-the-table encounter at Hamilton Crescent.
Chasing a rain-revised target of 166 in 42 overs, Uddy were cruising on 117-0 with Mo Awais and Anwar Hafeez having registered half-centuries.
However, when four wickets then fell without addition to the total – two-each to Lucas Farndale and James Fennah – panic appeared to set in amongst the batting ranks.
West displayed their ruthless streak by continuing to take wickets but Uddingston, with two wickets in hand, were still in contention going into the final over with seven runs required.
Some tight deliveries from Gavin Smith, coupled with a run-out, meant the equation was five runs from the final ball.
Smith dropped it short, Muhammad Adnan connected perfectly and the ball was sailing over the boundary until Fennah stuck out a hand to take a superb catch with his foot perilously close to the rope.
It was a dramatic ending to a match which West skipper Ian Young admitted he feared had slipped away.
“When they were 117-0 we were certainly starting to lose any hope, but we kept fighting regardless,” said Young.
“Their openers batted very well but taking pace off the ball was key on that wicket and once we got a couple of quick wickets the belief came back for the guys and there was a really good feeling that something would happen for us.
“Simon Brown, James Fennah and Lucas Farndale all bowled incredibly well to keep it tight and take wickets at crucial times.
“The last ball of the game was amazing – to be fair their No11 hit it really well and when it was in the air I thought it was 6 but an incredible catch from James sealed the win.”
Farndale claimed three wickets with Brown and Fennah taking two each while earlier Rory Kleinveldt top-scored for West with 56 in a total of 157-7.
Elsewhere, Prestwick also maintained their 100% record thanks to a 132-run DLS win over an understrength Clydesdale at Titwood.
Fazal Jawad (47) and skipper Tom Fleet (41no) propelled the visitors to 207-7 from 43 overs before Sachin Chaudhary starred with the ball, claiming 4-15 as Dale were bundled out for 99.
Champions Ferguslie remain in the title race thanks to their victory over still winless Greenock at Glenpark.
Another rain-affected encounter saw Zimbabwean Nkosana Mpofu hit 64no in a total of 172-4 and then claim four scalps as Greenock fell 72 runs short of their revised target.
A brilliant unbroken partnership of 160 between Craig Young (51no) and Lesiba Ngoepe (96no) helped Poloc secure their first win of the campaign at the expense of Drumpellier.
In between the Shawholm showers, Ngoepe was particularly severe on the visiting bowlers, bludgeoning six maximums before Drumps fell 30 short of an adjusted target.