Clarke impressed with solid show from Uddingston

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UDDINGSTON will continue to preach a one-game-at-a-time mantra, but a sense of anticipation must surely be building at Bothwell Castle Policies.

The league season reaches its halfway point on Saturday and still Bryan Clarke’s side remain unbeaten.

Even the weather gods appear to be shining on Uddingston as their home clash with bottom-of-the-table Ayr was the only one in the west to survive Saturday’s rain.

The Lanarkshire side took the opportunity to claim their fourth win in a row, increasing their advantage over the chasing pack.

Clarke acknowledged the commitment of both sides in wanting to play in conditions which were far from ideal when he said: “It says a lot that we turned up believing we would play and wanting to play.

“From the middle of Bothwell Castle Policies you can see pretty much the whole of Glasgow, so we realised there wouldn’t be much happening elsewhere with the amount of rain that was skirting past us.

“We produced a good solid performance without being spectacular.”

Ayr skipper Andi McElnea’s positive decision to bat first back-fired when Ras Priyadarshana, the home professional, removed both openers for a single. That set the pattern for an innings in which the Uddingston bowlers rarely loosened their grip.

The only glimmer of hope Ayr had was provided by a seventh wicket stand of 71 between Scott McElnea and Dougie Johnstone, which took the total from 52 to 123.

However, McElnea’s dismissal, bowled for an excellent 63 by Calum MacLeod, sparked another collapse during which the visitors lost their last four batsmen for just 12 runs.

MacLeod claimed the bowling honours with 5-46, while Scott McKenzie’s two victims included the obdurate Johnstone.

But it was a matter of concern for Ayr that they again failed to bat through their innings – even in a match reduced to 42 overs.

Uddingston’s reply was a relatively routine affair, led by the in-form Amir Gul, who top-scored with a fine knock of 48.

Gul watched as opening partner Sami Zia was bowled by Callum Leck for 17 before Michael Schofield removed both Priyadarshana and MacLeod in quick succession.

At 77-3 Uddingston were wobbling, but Gul carried the total to 108 before falling two short of a half-century, leaving Nick Martin and Gautham Rai to complete a six-wicket win with nine overs to spare.

Declining to discuss his team’s title prospects, Clarke added: “We’re taking each game as it comes and trying to 
keep things very simple, so the only think I’m thinking about is Dumfries next Saturday.”