Today’s Cricket Scotland League prospects
EASTERN PREMIER DIVISION
Marc Petrie, the Arbroath captain, knows that his side will have to nullify the threat of Michael Leask today if they are to be sure of staying out in front, writes David Kelso.
Stoneywood-Dyce are the visitors to Lochlands, with Scotland player Leask having shown impressive form thus far this season. Indeed Petrie admitted that he has been an admirer of the youngster, who has been compelling with both with bat and ball.
“SD have been in pretty good shape this year,” said the Arbroath captain. “They are very difficult opponents, as we found out in the Scottish Cup a few weeks ago.
“Obviously, Leasky is the one we have to watch closest. He has probably been the best Scottish batsman over the past couple of months in all forms of cricket, so it is important that we attack him from the outset and make sure we take any chances he offers.
“If we don’t stick to our disciplines, he will punish us for sure. We will be looking for improvement in all aspects of our game, and if we can make these then we will be in a good place.”
Arbroath have been bolstered by the return of Calvin Burnett in place of Greg Peal, who has work commitments. In addition, the club’s rotation policy means that Craig Cameron takes Gavin Swan’s place in the side and Mark Fleming keeps his spot following a superb bowling performance in a tense victory over Watsonians at Myreside last weekend.
Forfarshire will hope to build on last weekend’s powerful display against Falkland when they make a trip to the capital to face an inconsistent Carlton. The Fifer side, meanwhile, will hope to make home advantage count in their quest to get back on track.
However, they will be up against a buoyant Aberdeenshire team which is on a high following their victory over Grange, who take on SMRH at Inverleith Heriot’s also play Watsonians.
In the Championship, Glenrothes and Freuchie should be too strong at home to Grange Seconds and Penicuik, respectively.
Arbroath United v StoneywoodDyce, Carlton v Autoecosse Forfarshire, Falkland v Aberdeenshire, Heriot’s v Watsonians, SMRH v Mazars Grange
WESTERN PREMIER DIVISION
Clydesdale, the favourites for the title, have the opportunity to put a dent in the aspirations of one of their closest rivals for the second week in a row, writes William Dick. Seven days ago Majid Haq’s side inflicted a first defeat of the season on Renfrew – albeit by only one wicket – and today Ayr travel to Titwood.
The Cambusdoon side have enjoyed an uplifting start to the campaign after several challenging seasons. Their form has certainly not gone unnoticed by Clydesdale, as their chairman of cricket Colin Mitchell acknowledged.
“Ayr are a team that on their day can compete with anyone,” he said. “We need to look after or own disciplines and make sure it’s our day.”
The visitors have benefited from the impressive performances of Sikander Raza, the Zimbabwe Test player, while excellent leadership has been provided by skipper Andi McElnea. Indeed, the pair are the leading run scorers in the division – McElnea’s 187 being 11 more than the professional – while both players have contributed nine wickets to their team’s cause.
However, there have been important contributions from others and McElnea is quick to note the team ethic. “The players are all playing with freedom and it is working well for us at the moment,”