Sharif strives for cap

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Two outstanding all-round performances by Safyaan Sharif were the key to PSL Team Sports Clydesdale’s almost effortless Cricket Scotland League and Cup victories over APD Dumfries at Nunholm on Saturday and over Ferguslie at Meikleriggs on Sunday.

The Scotland internationalist, who has also starred for Scotland Under-15s, Scotland Under-17 and Scotland Under-19s, has been struggling for the best part of 18 months to recover full fitness from an injury sustained in his country’s cause in Dubai last year.

Now, following his 4-40 bowling performance on Saturday, and an unbeaten innings of 111 on another glorious day of this cricketing summer on Sunday, Sharif looks set for a recall to international duty.

Speaking to The Extra this week, the 22-year-old said: “I feel ready and fit. I am just waiting for my chance to get back in the Scotland squad.”

In Saturday’s league game, Dumfries were dismissed for just 153 as Clydesdale’s trio of spinners cleaned up the rest of the home batting line-up.

Led by another fine half-century by former captain Kasim Farid, their batsmen raced to a six-wicket win with more than 15 overs to spare, to settle them in third place in the league table.

In Sunday’s quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup, Clydesdale put the Ferguslie bowlers to the sword as Sharif’s ton was supported by a superb half-century from Zeeshan bashir to accelerate the final total to 220 for seven.

In reply, Ferguslie slumped to 90 all out as Clydesdale skipper Majid Haq, Scotland’s most experienced internationalist, grabbed 5-23 against his former club.

Glasgow’s other southside teams, competing in the first division, have for different reasons not been enjoying a vintage summer, with only Prestwick below them in the league.

On Saturday, Weirs were at home to NVT Poloc and the game was completed in less than 50 overs as Poloc routed the home side for 91 and raced to only their second win of the league season.

Meanwhile, Clydesdale’s Lyle Hill has been selected in the Scotland U19 squad that will compete in the International Cricket Council U19 European Qualifier in Holland this August has been announced.

The European qualifier takes place between 2- 8 August 2013, and also features the Netherlands, Denmark, Guernsey, Jersey and Ireland.

Scotland U19 coach Craig Wright said: There is no margin for error given the changes to the qualifying process”.