Final-over drama as Clydesdale keep title defence on track

Clydesdale may have struck the decisive blow in their bid to retain the Western Premier title with victory over second-placed Ferguslie at Titwood.

Majid Haq took crucial wickets for Clydesdale
Majid Haq took crucial wickets for Clydesdale

It was a slow-burner of a match but it came to a red-hot climax as the hosts edged home by two wickets in the final over.

Needing 183, Clydesdale appeared to be cruising when Mo Awais and Con de Lange added 72 for the second wicket following the early loss of Carl Huyser.

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However, de Lange’s departure, run out following a mix-up with his partner, gave Ferguslie hope. But the champions held their nerve to send Ferguslie to a third consecutive defeat.

Earlier, the visitors made a steady start to see off Dale’s lauded new-ball attack.

Abdul Sabri and Basit Ali have rightly earned plaudits but Ramsaroop and Hannes Venter were relatively untroubled in posting 66 for the first wicket.

It took the introduction of Richie Berrington to induce a false shot from Ramsaroop who nicked behind for 21.

Ferguslie’s hopes relied to a large extent on Michael English and the Scotland prospect looked set to oblige with a series of classy strokes.

However, having made a top-score of 36 he was teased out of his crease by Haq and 14-year-old keeper Andrew Guy completed a fine stumping.

Haq, pictured, claimed a further two wickets and Ferguslie were restricted to 182-7 though it proved a little close for comfort in the end.

East Kilbride consolidated third place with an easy win over Stenhousemuir at Torrance House, first amassing 258-8, Moneeb Iqbal top-scoring with 66, and then dismissing their opponents for 106.

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Ross Lyons claimed four wickets while Rushdi Jappie was stranded on 70no for the visitors.

Gavin Bradley scored 87 and Niall MacLeod 66no as Uddingston secured a thrilling last-over win against Ayr.

Drumpellier remain in relegation bother after a 85-run loss at Prestwick.

Eastern Premier leaders Watsonians survived an early scare before staying on course for the title with victory over Falkland at Scroggie Park. The Myreside men were in trouble on 67-5 before recovering to reach 183-9 thanks to some stout resistance by the lower order. That proved more than enough as the Fifers slumped back into relegation trouble by tumbling to 35 all out.

Carlton remain the closest challengers after a hard-fought win over Forfarshire at Grange Loan. Chasing 192 for victory, they got home with five wickets to spare thanks mainly to Rory McCann who steered the chase with a polished 67.

Arbroath are still in contention thanks to a comfortable nine-wicket win over Glenrothes at Lochlands.

The clash between Aberdeenshire and Grange was abandoned due to a wet outfield at Mannofield.

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Heriot’s won by 92 runs at Stoneywood-Dyce after posting an impressive 255-6 in a match reduced to 28 overs.