Scotland: Clydesdale squeak home as Ferguslie challenge

Scotland international Matthew Cross finishes the season with incredible numbers, while in the West the title race is hotting up.

Scotland Matthew Cross

Ferguslie ended Prestwick’s challenge for the Western Premier Divistion title at Meikleriggs on Saturday, taking another step towards a final-round showdown with leaders Clydesdale at the same ground on 18 September.

Opener Omar Hussain’s 98 was the foundation of Ferguslie’s total of 228 after Riyaad Henry had won the toss and elected to bat, Fraser MacDonald taking five for 47 for Prestwick.

The Ayrshire side were never really in the hunt after Mohammad Ghaffar grabbed two early wickets, and although Tom Fleet made 32 they were bowled out for 149, Hamid Mahmood cleaning up the lower order for figures of four for 36.

Clydesdale nearly came unstuck against Langside at Titwood, overtaking the visitors’ modest 150 for six with just one wicket in hand.

Langside could thank young Asad Khan’s unbeaten 60 for the fact that they posted even that total, while Daniel Cairns with three for 22 and Zeeshan Bashir with two for 25 maintained the pressure on the batters.

Clydesdale looked to be in charge while Fazal Jawad (34) and Richie Berrington (46) were at the crease, but once they had gone the rest of the batting struggled against Muhammad Khan (three for 26), Farhan Shah (three for 37) and Muhammad Adnan (two for 30), and it took a dogged last-wicket stand between Bashir and Calum Drummond to get the leaders over the line.

Uddingston further consolidated their position in the top half of the table with an 83-run victory over Poloc at the Bothwell Castle Policies.

Opener Zaighum Ahmad made 51, but it was Ross Lyons’ 77 which enabled them to progress from 149 for six to a total of 240, and then the Scottish international claimed three for 35 as Poloc were all out for 157, Kess Sajjad top-scoring with 45.

Dumfries dispelled any lingering fears of relegation with a thumping nine-wicket victory over Stirling County at Nunholm, with Chris Brockwell taking six for 25, backed up by Scott Beveridge’s three for 21, as County were shot out for 84.

Adam Malik then dominated the Dumfries reply with an unbeaten 46, only 13.1 overs being needed to knock off the runs.

At Hamilton Crescent West of Scotland were equally untroubled in defeating Greenock, confirming that the Glenpark side would drop down a division next season.

Opener Sam Page’s 101, supported by John Oliver with 47, saw West to an imposing 275 for nine, and Greenock then batted 41.5 overs for 81 before Ben Cole put them out of their misery, taking the last three wickets for nine runs in 23 deliveries.

Rain again took a hand in the Eastern Premier League, with the match between Arbroath United and RH Corstorphine at Lochlands abandoned without a ball being bowled and the remaining four fixtures all curtailed to some degree.

With Heriots already confirmed as champions the most significant match was the relegation battle between Meigle and Stewarts Melville at Victory Park, which saw a gallant home side defeated by just 8 runs in a game reduced to 44 overs.

The Edinburgh side made 195 before they were all out one over before the end of their quota, one run being added by a DLS adjustment, and with Kyle McCallum taking four for 26 Meigle could only manage 188 in reply, despite fighting knocks from Alan Neave (47) and Peter Drummond (43).

The bowlers had a lean time at Portgower Place, where Heriots finished off their league campaign with a comprehensive win against Grange.

An unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 138 between Dylan Budge (73 not out) and Preston Mommsen (68 not out) took Grange to a solid 265 for three, but Heriots hit back with an opening partnership of 142 between Matthew Cross with a knock of 84 which took his league aggregate to 809 at an average of 134.83, and Lloyd Brown (74).

Jamie Cairns and Tom Foulds picked up a couple of wickets each to give Grange a chance, but Michael Shean and Ryan Brown promptly snuffed that out, adding 85 for the sixth wicket to ensure that Heriots finished on a winning note.

Runners-up Carlton were much too strong for Stoneywood-Dyce at Grange Loan, dismissing the Aberdonians for 155 and going on to win by five wickets, Arun Pillain their top-scorer with 50.

Mid-table rivals Forfarshire and Watsonians had a good tussle in a 43-over match at Forthill: Watsonians posted 206 for eight, opener Zach Place making 61, but with Craig Wallace responding with an unbeaten 74 and sharing a sixth-wicket partnership of 87 with Scott Cameron (59), the county reached their target with four wickets in hand and two overs to spare.

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