Skipper Bryan Clarke has faith in Uddingston firepower for Grand Final

Uddingston will today bid to become only the second Western Premier side to win Cricket Scotland’s Grand Final when they take on Eastern Premier champions Forfarshire at Titwood.

Forfarshire skipper Umair Mohammed will make his final appearance for the side in todays CSL Grand Final at Titwood. Picture: Toby Williams

The Bothwell side make their second appearance in the biggest match of the domestic season, having lost to Arbroath in 2013, while Shire appear for the first time.

It is only a week since Uddy clinched their title at the same venue with victory over Clydesdale but they return without two key all-rounders in Mo Awais and Ross Lyons, both of whom had overseas holidays booked prior to their team’s championship success.

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Their absence makes the task all the tougher for an Uddy team who start underdogs against Forfarshire, who could field as many as nine Caley Highlanders players.

However, upbeat Uddy skipper Bryan Clarke believes his team have enough firepower in both batting and bowling departments.

He said: “Anyone would miss guys of the calibre of Mo and Ross and it’s a wee bit disappointing for us as we ended up without a few guys in this fixture in 2013.

“But we have plenty players in our line-up who are capable of stepping up.”

In Niall Alexander, Abdul Sabri and Scotland star Gavin Main, Uddingston have one of the most potent pace attacks in the country, while spinner Amir Gul was the Western Premier’s second-top wicket-taker with 31 victims.

Clarke added: “Gav, Niall and Abdul have been formidable and complement one another while Amir is our leading wicket taker.

“I think plenty have looked at Amir and thought they fancy taking him on but his record speaks for itself. So, our attack is up there – even without Mo and Ross.

“Our batting is settled but clearly the fireworks Mo and Ross add give us a bit of an X-factor which will be missed.”

Forfarshire have had an extra week to bask in the glory of their first Eastern Premier title, having clinched it on the penultimate Saturday of the season. They showed no signs of easing up in their final match as a superb century by Michael Leask propelled them to a commanding win over Stewarts Melville.

The Scotland all-rounder finished the campaign as the Eastern Premier’s leading run scorer and, while Leask is unavailable today, the size of the task facing Uddingston is emphasised by the fact that the Forthill team also boasted the second and fourth most prolific batsmen in Craig Wallace and Chris Greaves while Brock Ditchmen was the league’s top bowler.

Forfarshire skipper Umair Mohammed, who makes his final appearance for the side after deciding to move to a club nearer his Edinburgh home, is determined to go out with a bang.

He said: “It’s been a memorable season for us but we’re not content simply with being the best team in the east – we want to be the best in the country. The only way for us to prove it is by beating Uddingston.”

Christian Robertson also misses out, while Glenn Carnegie and Graeme 
Garden come in.

Today’s encounter is the seventh playing of the Grand Final with Prestwick, in 2017, the only winners from 
the west.