Cricket: On-song West aim to maintain fine start
LEAGUE leaders West of Scotland are at full strength as they prepare for a tricky trip across Glasgow to face improving Clydesdale.
Club spokesman Stuart Leggat said: “This is always a big game, but it’s just one in a run of key matches leading up to the half-way mark of the season and we’re simply aiming to maintain the standards shown so far.”
Clydesdale coach Colin Mitchell is wary of the test his side will face against the league leaders. “West are clearly rejuvenated under John Blain,” he said. “He has brought a more disciplined, mentally tough, professional focus to their play. We have to be respectful of what is probably the best seam attack in this league.”
Dale, bolstered by three wins on the trot which have lifted them into third, reintroduce Scottish U19 starlet Sam Page, who has recovered from an ankle injury, to add some top-order batting strength.
Deposed leaders Dumfries are unchanged for their visit to Coatbridge, which means that veteran Davie Davidson, scorer of an unbeaten 50 at number eight in last week’s Uddingston reverse, retains his slot. “We struggled against some very tight bowling last week,” admits Nunholm skipper Stuart Corbett-Byers, who may tinker with the batting order “to freshen things up”. Drumpellier, who have played just two league games due to inclement weather, may well be languishing in bottom slot, but captain Graeme McLaren believes that better days are ahead for the Langloan men, who recall Craig McDonald for young Darren Pryde.
An intriguing tussle lies in store at Bothwell where Uddingston welcome Ayr. The individual battle between the respective pros could prove crucial. Uddy’s Sri Lankan Ras Priyarashana’s fighting 80 saw off Dumfries, but the New Cambusdoon men also have their own potential assassin in South African Craig Thyssen with 158 runs in just two league outings. Ayr skipper Mark Renny hopes to restore young Calum McLaughlin, recovered from appendicitis, for unavailable Dave Pinder.
Home advantage could aid Greenock against Stirling County. The struggling Glenpark outfit, minus keeper-bat Alex Baum who is on Scottish Universities duty, and chastened by last week’s D/L defeat at West and Cricket Scotland’s refusal to allow a replacement for departed overseas amateur Craig Schlebusch, hope Saltires star Richie Berrington can feature despite a hand injury. Unchanged County seek a better batting display after last week’s 128 all out against Ayr.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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