A captain’s innings of 106 by Ferguslie’s Riyaad Henry at Nunholm on Saturday set up his side’s 123-run victory over Dumfries and enabled them to keep pace with Scottish Western Premier Division leaders Clydesdale.
Henry’s effort was close to being a lone hand, as Ferguslie’s next highest scorer was Rana Hussain with 23, while Chris McCutcheon was the pick of the Dumfries bowlers with four for 53.
Then Henry took a hand with the ball as well, picking up the first two wickets as Dumfries collapsed to 99 all out. There were two apiece for Mohammad Ghaffar and Hamid Mahmood too, and Qasim Khan cleaned up the tail to finish with three for 9.
Clydesdale, meanwhile, were visiting Southside neighbours Poloc, whom they dismissed for 131, Zeeshan Bashir taking four for 15 and Shahan Raja three for 29.
Imran Adrees led a Poloc fightback with three quick wickets at a cost of 14 runs, and at 51 for five Clydesdale were in danger of a shock defeat.
But then Imran Mughal and Kasim Farid took charge, and they knocked off the runs without further damage, Mughal ending with an unbeaten 53 and Farid with 33 as the leaders won with 11.4 overs to spare.
The briefest game was at Glenpark, where third-placed Prestwick shot out relegation candidates Greenock for a paltry 64, the new-ball pairing of Azeem Akbar and Inderjit Singh taking three for 16 and three for 13 respectively.
Gregor Chambers did his best to bowl his side back into the game with four for 22, but captain Fraser Macdonald and Sachin Chaudhary were equal to the task, and aw their side to a six-wicket victory with almost 30 overs remaining.
In a mid-table clash at New Williamfield Uddingston proved top strong for hosts Stirling County, who could only manage 144 for eight in their 50 overs, Aamir Gul taking four for 18, including County’s top scorer Brandon McMullen (39).
Opener Muhammad Awais set Uddingston on the path to victory with 56, and then Gul (33 not out) and Fergus Clarke (30 not out) completed the job as Uddingston won by seven wickets.
In contrast with these generally low-scoring and somewhat one-sided games, the meeting between West of Scotland and Langside at Hamilton Crescent turned out to be a real thriller.
Batting first after winning the toss, West of Scotland posted 221 for eight, Andy Hislop leading the way with 45 and John Oliver (48) and Tom Spensley (53) piling on the runs in the middle order; Muhammad Khan was the most successful of the Langside bowlers with four for 33.
Keeper Asa Khan’s 93 then gave Langside a great chance of reaching their target, well supported by 57 from Mohammed Kamran, but with Gavin Smith claiming six for 44 for West the chase fell just two runs short.
Rain played havoc with the programme in the Eastern Premier League, with the matches between Watsonians and RH Corstorphine and Stewarts Melville and Grange abandoned without a ball being bowled, and the vital top-of-the-table clash between Carlton and Heriots lasting just 14.4 overs, in the course of which Carlton had reached 43 for three.
Outside Edinburgh the weather was more co-operative, and third-placed Forfarshire were able to close the gap on the leaders slightly with a 126-run win against Meigle at Victory Park.
The county’s 269 for five was built around a splendid 132 not out from Craig Wallace, with support from Scott Cameron’s 52, the pair adding 108 for the fourth wicket.
Meigle could only manage 143 in reply, 67 of them from the bat of Peter Drummond junior, with Aman Bailwal taking three for 12 for Forfarshire and Graeme Black three for 31.
Ross McLean’s unbeaten 97 guided Arbroath United to the highest total of the day in either top division, as they ran up 280 for five against Stoneywood-Dyce at Peoples Park; Blair Carnegie made 67 and Bryce Carnegie 45.
The Arbroath bowlers, led by Daniel Salmond, quickly snatched six of the home side’s wickets, but then Jan Stander and Jack Lambley mounted a spirited fightback, Stander reaching 105 before falling to McLean.
Lambley and Jamie King then continued the battle to the end, but with Lambley left not out on 95 and King making 22, the innings ended on a heart-breakingly close 270 for eight.
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