AN EXTRAORDINARILY young team of PSL Clydesdale cricketers has reversed the setbacks of recent weeks with a resounding defeat of West Lothian in the latest round of the Scottish Cup.
With skipper Majid Haq away on Scotland business, it was former ‘Dale captain Kasim Farid who was put in charge of the squad, which included seven players under the age of 25.
Batting first at the Boghall ground, Anjum Luthra (61) and Safyaan Sharif (36) provided the first of three quickfire half-century partnerships.
Coaching professional Shoaib Khan personally added exactly 50 to the tally. And another former captain, Zeeshan Bashir, blasted 61 of his own as the busy pharmacist made his first-team debut this season.
Greatly aided by an extraordinary gift of 40 wides by the home team’s bowlers, Clydesdale posted an astonishing total of 313 for the loss of eight wickets.
It was all far too much for West Lothian’s batters, who struggled to master the spin bowlers in particular.
Left-armer Mo Ali captured two victims, while off-spinner Bashir — the sixth bowler to be introduced to the attack — demonstrated his all-round value to the team by taking an incredible five wickets.
West Lothian slumped to 149 for nine by the close, and Clydesdale cemented their place at the top of the initial round-robin table, with one more must-win match to play this coming weekend to reach the knockout quarter-final stage.
Elsewhere, NVT Poloc travelled to Aberdeen to play Stoneywood-Dyce, and were all out for 155. It was never going to be enough to trouble the home side, who reached their target in the 23rd over.
Weirs continued to suffer a nightmare of a season, all out for 95 to Watsonians, who raced to victory by nine wickets — the whole match lasting just 39 overs.
Majid Haq, on international duty, helped Scotland’s cause as the 20/20 side defeated Kenya.
The home side led by 260 runs with six wickets remaining at the start of play on Tuesday.
Their second innings saw them extend that lead to 341 with Ewan Chalmers making it to 106 before falling to the Hiren Varaiya and Irfan Karim combination which took four Scottish wickets.
Kenya could reached 189 all out and the Scots claimed all 20 points as they wrapped up victory on the third day.
Goudie, Ali Evans and Majid Haq all took two wickets apiece for the home side.