Like all the other leagues in the WDCU, Division 2 saw its game time curtailed by the Scotish summertime. Helensburgh were crowned as champions, although the tussle with Kilmarnock, which saw both sides leap frog each other at points throughout the season, went down to the wire before the weather intervened again, to cancel out a winner takes all match on the final Saturday.
In the batting stats both Helensburgh and Kilmarnock dominated with four out of the top five players coming from the two clubs. Jonathan Campbell (Helensburgh) top scored with 522 runs; followed by Paul Flanagan (Kilmarnock) 360, Munir Ahmed (Kilmarnock) 348, Fraser Conn (Galloway) 233 and Marc Christensen (Helensburgh) 209. Two centuries were scored, both by Kilmarnock players Munir Ahmed 101 and Paul Flanagan 100 and Umar Hameed (Hillhead) fell agonisingly 1 runs short when he finished with 99* against Motherwell.
On the bowling front Helensburgh saw two players in the top five wicket takers, with Galloway showing well with two as well. Jonathan Campbell (Helensburgh) with 24 wickets topped the list, then came Patrick Druce (Galloway) 18, Tommy McGrath (Galloway) 17, Duncan Stephens (Helensburgh) 15, and Wawas Ahmad (Victoria) 14.
As in all the other divisions, weather was to play a significant part in Division 3 with only around 40% of the matches being played. Whiteinch and East Renfrewshire were clear at the top of the table with the late season loss to Inverclyde by East Renfrewshire consigning them to second place. Whiteinch with nine wins out of eleven matches played were worthy winners. At the bottom end of the table, Gatehouse had a tough season without a win – their high point being a 40 overs tied match at home with Kirkstyle.
Statistically Zarak Ahad (Whiteinch) with 413 runs, Tariq Shabbir (East Renfrewshire) 401, and the evergreen Douglas Pilkington (Inverclyde) 277, were the top run scorers. The highest individual score of 204 was made by Zarak Ahad when Whiteinch met Alps. On the bowling front, Andy Fielding (Bute) and Gareth James (Inverclyde) were top wicket takers with 13 apiece. Zarak Ahad with ten was the top catcher although surprisingly, mid-table Inverclyde, headed by Captain David Cooke with 7 safe pouches, had five catchers named in the top eleven!
Player numbers and the ability to field a full side on a Saturday seems to be an ever increasing problem in Division 3. Concessions were limited to four over the season but it’s suspected that several more were prevented by the abysmally wet weather – there were four match days when no Division 3 cricket was played at all. The clubs in this division stretch from Gatehouse in the south to Helensburgh in the north – more than 130 miles, and this wide geographic area, and the resultant travelling time, does little to assist the situation.
In a very competitive league, Titwood once again took the title and were for the third year in a row undefeated. This was testimony to the strength and depth of the club as they only had one batter in the top ten run scorers. This was David Forsyth with 320 runs. They had no bowlers in the top ten wicket takers. However, they had a good squad of individuals, with every member of the squad chipping in and contributing. The rest of the teams were capable of beating all others on their day and there were several very close games played during the season. The star all rounder was Calum Henderson of Ayr. He was the leading wicket taker with 31 wickets. His “chinamen” proving a handful to most batsmen. He also finished third in the run scoring charts on 328 runs.
The best batsman in the league, with 530 runs was Gowtham Rai from Uddingtson . He was über consistent scoring five 50s in his ten innings, including a highest score of 96*.
Special mention must also go to Alan Stevenson, who at the age of 54 scored his first senior hundred for Drumpellier. Unfortunately, Drumpellier finished bottom of the league.
On the final Saturday of the season the weather had the last say when only one match at Kingholm survived the persistent rain which fell over a few days in the west of Scotland. The table stayed pretty much unchanged with the only top spot up for grabs, with both Deanpark (Renfrew) and Torrance House (East Kilbride) already promoted. Deanpark clinched the title with no play by a margin of 3.7% over Torrance House. Deanpark, won nine games out of the eleven played with a number of players having important contributions but without doubt their star performers were their 14 year old young guns, Rafay Khan (who finished with 20 wickets 2nd in the Division and also scored 157 runs) and Muhaymen Majeed (Deanpark) also scored 234 runs in nine innings.
It was a division where there were regular upsets, in particular from Marress and Williamfield, both teams who earlier in the season had to concede games to a lack of players. Well done to both teams in recovering by not only fielding sides but being competitive and winning a number of games, with Williamfield, at one point bottom, climbing to fifth spot.
Leading batsman in the division was 54 year old Ian Wilkinson of Williamfield, who showed there is no substitute for experience. Best bowler was Iftikhar Khan from Torrance House with an impressive 29 wickets, and the top all rounder was evergreen team mate Shahid Mahmood with 331 runs and 19 wickets. The highest score in the division was 152 not out by Chris Foster of AC Guitars Kingholm, in their match with Marress when they scored 393 for 7 in 50 overs.
An interesting statistic in the Division is that there were fourteen more games played in the First Reserve Division compared to the First Division.
Ayr 118 for 7 (N Smith 36, ST Khan 32*, LWB James 3-26) Poloc 103 all out (J Snyman 40, A McElnea 3-12)
Ricky Bawa reports on Ayr’s 15-run victory in the McCulloch Cup Final. “At a sun-kissed Bothwell Castle Policies Ayr took on Poloc in the final of the McCulloch Cup. Ayr batting first got off to an excellent start and were 50 for none after eight overs. When Neil Smith (36) and Michael Papps fell in quick succession, Taimooor Ahmad and Lewis James put the squeeze on Ayr to leave them 68 for 5. Shuja Khan (32*) then batted nicely with the tail, scurrying singles and hitting the odd boundary. Ayr ended up on a below par 118 for 7 off their twenty overs. Pick of the bowlers was James with 3 for 26.
“Poloc began their innings in much the same was as Ayr with, Owais Shah and Jutie Snyman looking in imperious form as they scored 50 off the first eight overs also. The introduction of spin however, changed things as skipper Andi McElnea (3-12), Papps (2-24) and Calum Leck (2-17) bowled intelligently to well set fields. The pressure began to tell on the Poloc batters as the the attempted big shots off the spinners failed. The run-rate required climbed and the pressure was too much for Poloc as they ended on 103 all out.”
Sai Majeed reports on the Ucare Asian Sports Gala T20 event. “The 2017 Scottish Asian Sports Gala T20 cricket match took place on Sunday 13th August at Titwood, the home of Clydesdale Cricket Club. The match, which was arranged by The Ucare Foundation to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan’s Independence, was contested by The Scottish Pakistani Pumas (‘Greens’) and The Scottish Pakistani Panthers (‘Blues’). (more…)
The Ucare Foundation have organised the above event on Sunday the 13th of August 2017 to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan Independence celebrations with the highlight being the cricket event at Titwood home of Clydesdale Cricket Club.
The day starts with an All Stars (All Stars mascot will be making an appearance) and Kwik Cricket Festival starting at 10am, this is followed by the main event which is a T20 game. The teams are Scottish Pakistani Pumas which comprises players who currently play in the West of Scotland or have played and guest Pakistani professional players and Scottish Pakistani Panthers which comprises players who currently play in the East and North of Scotland and guest Pakistani professional players. (more…)
The third series of the hugely successful BBC One quiz show !MPOSSIBLE is currently in production.
They are on the hunt for Scottish based contestants and they are really keen to try and reach out to people from communities who perhaps wouldn’t normally be approached about getting involved in something like this. There are loads of great characters involved in cricket who would be perfect for something like this. If you are interested then all details are in the attached flyer.
Victoria 100 all out (17.4 Overs) M Nadeem 24, E McBeth 3-13, F Rao 3-17, F McDonald 3-19 St. Ninian’s 104 for 0 (13.5 overs) ST Rafiq 52*, F Jawad 44*
Jim Hill reports from Albert Park, “St. Ninian’s beat Victoria by ten wickets last night in the Greenwood Trophy final. On winning the toss, Victoria had no hesitation in deciding to bat first. Initially they started out well, keeping the scoreboard ticking over however they couldn’t really break the shackles of some accurate spin bowling by St. Ninian’s. McDonald was the pick of the bowlers as Victoria were bowled out for 100 in the final over of their innings.
“When St. Ninian’s batted, it was the Jawad/Rafiq show, as they knocked the ball around confidently taking well judged runs and punishing any loose ball. Victoria will rue not taking the chances offered, but in the end St. Ninian’s were well worthy of their win, passing the Victoria total with plenty of overs to spare.
“Thanks to Weirs for hosting and Danny McPhail-Smith and Ronnie Gilliland for umpiring.”
St. Ninian’s 144 for 5 (20.0 overs) F Jawad 65, H Mahmood 2-16 Titwood 96/7 (20.0 Overs) D Forsyth 31, R Patterson 2-7, T Fleet 2-29
Prestwick extracted a degree of revenge over Clydesdale for their loss in the Rowan Cup last week when the respective second XIs fought out a rather one-sided final at Titwood. Batting first St. Ninian’s amassed a fine 144 for the loss of five wickets from their twenty overs. Fazal Jawad was the pick of the batters with an accomplished 65, supported by Ross Patterson and Bartsch with 24 and 24 not out respectively. Hamid Mahmood with 2 for 16 from his four overs being the pick of the bowlers.
In reply Titwood were always behind the 8-ball in their chase and despite a valiant 31 from David Forsyth, the tidy bowling of St. Ninian’s left them well adrift on 96 for 7 at the completion. Ross Patterson was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 7 from his three overs.