It's just not cricket
David Kelso (CricketMedia Scotland)
One of Scotland's best known and longest serving cricket stars was at the centre of a row yesterday after he played an important league match in FOOTBALL boots.
Veteran Kelburne wicketkeeper Sandy Strang incurred the wrath of rivals East Kilbride, who claimed his choice of footwear left parts of their closely-mown square a mess.
And Strang's actions will be highlighted in EK's official report to SNCL Championship chiefs, which will be submitted early this week.
The damp conditions prompted Strang to leave his normal cricket shoes in the changing room - and he later insisted he was wearing the same type of boots used my many leading Australian players.
In the wake of East Kilbride's dramatic final-over victory, their president Brian Kampman said: "We first saw Sandy in his studded football boots when he came in to bat at No11 for them.
"He kept them on when our innings started and he was behind the stumps for Kelburne - it was just not acceptable.
"He was walking over the pitch in them. We have photographs to prove it and our groundsman was blowing a fuse."
Strang declared: "I was wearing Adidas superlight football boots which the Aussies wear for their cricket.
"They make a bigger mark than conventional studs if conditions are wet and you stomp down the wicket - and i was not doing that.
"Anyway, when I heard the mumping (from the East Kilbride team) I had a word with the umpires and offered to change if they wanted me to, which they didn't!
"East Kilbride should just be glad of an unlikely win aided by two horror umpiring decisions which went in their favour later in their innings.
"But I have to give full marks to Craig Smith who batted really well for them."
Strang and Co had reached 171 for nine, with David Harper top scoring on 32 not out.
Scotland spinner Ross Lyons proved the pick of the home attack. picking up three for 41.
As the weather began to worsen, EK were set an amended target of 150 from 37 overs and in a tense finish, they scraped home with two balls and one wicket to spare - last man Matthew Kellett finding the gap for two runs.
Kampman added: "It was a tremendous team effort and the rain just held off long enough for us.
"We had been in a lot of trouble at one stage when we were at 67 for seven, with our batsmen numbers three to seven only making 12 runs among them."
The win kept SNCL newcomers East Kilbride at the top of the table on a weekend when the rain washed out the bulk of the fixtures.
Performances of the weekend came from Penicuik pro Ryan Nurse, who blasted 72 from 44 deliveries against Edinburgh Accies at Kirkhill, and SMRH bowler Robin Crouch, whose cheap five wicket haul inspired them to victory over Renfrew at Inverleith.
Nurse, cousin of West Indies star Ashley, also cost Accies four cricket balls as he kept thumping them out of the ground.
His fireworks - combined with Syed Hassan's rapid 49, made a mockery of the target of 161 from 33 overs as they got there in the 21st.
Crouch's demolition job at a cost of only 11 runs curbed the visitors to 139 all out in the 45th over before the capital outfit were given a revised target of 131 from 43 overs.
Skipper Greg Bissett led by example, making 47 to guide them to glory by seven wickets with almost 10 overs in hand.