Uddingston and Clydesdale look to get season back on track
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
TUNNOCK’S UDDINGSTON v PSL TEAM SPORTS CLYDESDALE
These two were among the pre-season favourites to lift the inaugural Western Premier title but it has not all gone to plan for either, Uddingston having gone down to West two weeks ago on the same day that Clydesdale suffered a shock defeat at Dumfries. They both got back on the rails last Saturday with convincing wins over Greenock and Ayr respectively and today’s victors will stay firmly in touch at the top. Uddingston will continue with the opening partnership of Alan MacLeod and Amir Gul which has provided a couple of solid starts so far this season though the home side will look to in-form skipper Calum MacLeod to continue the destructive form which saw him plunder 127 runs against Greenock. Uddy, though, will miss the pace of teenage Durham Academy bowler Gavin Main from their attack. Clydesdale are also missing an influential bowler in the shape of injured Saltires star Safy Sharif.
LOCAL LIFE AYR v APD DUMFRIES
It is Ayr’s turn to attempt to burst the bubble of a Dumfries side who have already claimed three notable scalps. The home side have managed just one win to date but they will be boosted by the arrival of South African professional Craig Thyssen who will make his league debut. Scott McElnea, who took six wickets last week, will aim to add to that tally and will target Scotland U19 team-mate Tom McBride just hours after the pair were team-mates as Western Warriors faced Caley Highlanders last night. With a century and a half-century in his last two outings, Chris Bellwood is another potential danger man in the Dumfries batting line-up.
GREENOCK v DRUMPELLIER
Both sides are bidding to break their duck in what looks like being a long hard season. Greenock’s brittle bowling attack suffered last week at the hands of Uddingston who plundered more than 100 runs in the last ten overs and skipper Ryan Begley is looking for improvement in that department. However, Begley also knows his batsmen must convert starts into major contributions. Drumpellier, meanwhile, are still trying to trying to shake off the rust after being harder hit by the weather than all their rivals. They must do so without skipper Graeme McLaren and top order batsman Asid Mohammed who have work commitments.
McCREA FS WEST OF SCOTLAND v STIRLING COUNTY
High-flying West are aiming for their fourth straight win but will take nothing for granted against a Stirling side who pushed Dumfries to the final ball a week ago. Hamilton Crescent player-coach John Blain said: “Stirling are a useful side and I think it could be our toughest game of the season and we will have to battle if we want anything from it.” Blain must do without Stewart Legget who is unavailable so young off-spinner Craig Brown is drafted in. Stirling will stick with the side who came so close last week.