The WDCU XI was hit by three late call offs on game day morning which resulted in three replacements being called in at short notice. Nkosana Mpofu, Moneeb Iqbal and Fazal Jawad all missed out due to injuries sustained in Scottish cup ties. Haroon Tahir (Ferguslie), Fergus Clarke (Uddingston) and Muhaymen Majeed (Renfrew) all came into the team at very short notice to face the strong touring Emus side from Australia for their first game. The touring team consisted of players aged up to 24 with a number having played Grade cricket and were accompanied by Pete Clifford the former Greenock professional and a group of enthusiastic supporters.
On a glorious sunny, warm summers day in June, yes we are talking about Scotland, at Meikleriggs WDCU XI captain Aamir Gul won the toss and elected to bowl on a green wicket in a 50 over a side game with ODI rules and pink balls.
The opening bowlers for the WDCU team, Umair Khan and Gavin Smith, utilised the conditions well and made early in-roads with the Emus rocking at 33 for 4 after 9 overs, with Khan and Smith taking two wickets apiece including a caught and bowled for both. As is the Australian way the Emus fought back with James Psarakis and Alec Baldwin taking the total to 102 before a sharp piece of fielding by Haroon Tahir resulted in Psarakis being run out. This brought Ben McMahon to the crease who shared a stand of 42 with Baldwin before he was caught by Lucas Farndale at slip of the bowling of skipper Gul. The Emu’s total had reached 144 for six with overs in hand and there was still a chance to add substantially to the total as the dangerous Baldwin was still at the crease. Unfortunately for the Emus this did not materialise as they only added a further 18 runs after the reintroduction of Khan into the attack finishing on 162 all out in 37 over. Baldwin was stranded on 52 not out of 86 ball including seven boundaries. Umair Khan was leading wicket taker for the WDCU XI with figures of seven overs, three maidens, 4 for 16 , closely followed by Aamir Gul whose figures were, six overs, 3 for 20, and Gavin Smith was the only other bowler to pick up wickets ending with five overs, one maiden, 2 for 23. The WDCU team fielded well restricting the singles but took the foot of the gas in the middle of the innings where the Emus batters took advantage of some loose bowling.
WDCU openers Imran Mughal and Muhaymen Majeed were given the task of getting their team of to a decent start, Mughal was hitting his shots well but perished LBW to Dan Cranitch who was bowling at a pace not often experienced by WDCU batters. Mughal departed for a run-a-ball 27. The WDCU batters were struggling in the face of some tight bowling from the Emus’ bowlers, and there was a lack of intent in taking singles and the strike rotation was just not there with the batters getting bogged down. The WDCU team limped along losing wickets until the arrival to the crease of Lucas Farndale and Chris Brockwell brought a bit of urgency to the game and increase in the run rate. Just when it looked like the WDCU team was back in with a shout Brockwell holed out with the score on 102 but at 6 down and 18.5 overs still remaining there was still hope. Unfortunately that did not last long, when Tom Lord, the seventh wicket, fell on 110, only 1 further run was added for the last three wickets. The WDCU XI team all out 111 in 34.4 overs, top scorer was Mughal on 27 closely followed by Farndale who scored 24.
A disappointing batting performance.
Spinner Scott Brennan was the pick of the Emus’ bowlers with figures of six overs, two maidens, 4 for 14, with seamers Dan Cranitch, Angus MacNeil and Ben McMahon all picking up two wickets apiece.
Man of the match went to Alec Baldwin for his 52 not out and Umair Khan was man of the match for the WDCU XI team for his bowling efforts of 4 for 16 and he was presented with an Emus tie from the Emus management team. Pete Clifford also presented Ferguslie Vice President Iain Glassford with a plaque to thank Ferguslie for hosting the game and their excellent hospitality. Finally a big thanks to the players of both teams and the individuals who played a part in the organisation of the game.
Sai Majeed, WDCU
Pictures courtesy of Bill Wilson