To­day’s Cricket Scot­land League prospects

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FORMULA ONE, CRICKET -

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,”

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