Farid stars as Clydesdale live up to the hype
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
TWO weeks ago pessimism hung heavy around Titwood following Clydesdale’s humiliating defeat at Dumfries.
This morning optimism abounds that the Glasgow south-side club can live up to their billing as favourites to lift the inaugural CS Western Premier Division title.
Having rehabilitated against Ayr a week ago, Clydesdale flexed their muscles in the most convincing way with a comprehensive win at the home Uddingston, the team expected to be their closest rivals.
The common denominator in these two victories has been the form of Kasim Farid, a player who significantly missed that humbling defeat at Dumfries.
A frustratingly unfulfilled cricketer, having hovered on the fringes of senior representative honours, Farid top-scored with a half-century against Ayr.
The former Scotland U19 skipper went even better on Saturday, hitting a brilliant 83 that propelled Dale to a winning 249-9 and had club chairman Colin Mitchell purring in delight.
“Kasim stroked the ball as fluently as any batsman I’ve seen at this level for a long time,” said Mitchell.
“There were some really impressive shots in an innings that I thought turned the match our way.”
It was a match which needed turning for the visitors after they lost two early wickets and Farid obliged with significant help from Majid Haq and Zeeshan Bashir.
Haq played the anchor role with a resolute 74 while Bashir, enjoying the captaincy role he has taken from Farid this season, notched an important 36.
However, Farid stole the show, reaching his 83 from just 71 deliveries and hitting ten fours.
Having scored in excess of 300 the previous week, Uddingston may have been confident as they embarked on their run-chase.
Instead they quickly became bogged-down and were dismissed for just 89 as the Clydesdale bowlers applied the pressure impressively, Haq, Nian Iqbal and Mo Ali each claiming three wickets.
Mitchell added: “Let’s face it, at 20-2, we were up against it but there was no panic and the guys dug in well.
“I think this is an important result in the context of our season.”
Clydesdale, though, still have some catching-up to do on a Dumfries side who continue to defy the odds, the Nunholm men racking-up their fourth straight victory with their second substantial run-chase in a row.
They looked second favourites when Neil Smith, with 105, and Craig Thyssen, 61, carried Ayr to 234-5 at Cambusdoon.
However, having chased 266 at Stirling the previous week, Dumfries were undaunted and reached their target with five balls to spare, avoiding the last-ball drama of seven days earlier.
The match was a personal triumph for the Australian Josh Geary who blazed his way to a brilliant unbeaten 130, Scotland U19 batsman Tom McBride having set the platform with 51.
Dumfries enjoy top spot on their own after West of Scotland suffered their first defeat of the season as Stirling recorded a maiden success of the campaign at Hamilton Crescent.
Dougie Lockhart and Andrew Umeed continued their consistent form with half-centuries for the home side.
However, West were kept in check especially by Abbi Shakoor and Scotland under-age bowler George Buchanan-Smith who claimed three wickets apiece to restrict the hosts to 217-7.
Josh Edwards then played the innings of the day with 68 while Gavin Anderson was undefeated on 47 as Stirling completed a three-wicket win in the final over.
There was relief for Greenock and disappointment for Drumpellier as the basement battle went in favour of the hosts at Glenpark.
Alex Baum (53) and Sailesh Prabhu (41) were the major contributors to Greenock’s 212 before Mpho Sekhoto claimed 5-27 to seal a 64-run success.