Battle lines are drawn

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After a rare Saturday washout for this cricket season, there are now just two more domestic league Saturdays in which to settle the final league places.

Clydesdale are just two points behind leaders Uddingston, challenging for the Western Premier League title.

The Lanarkshire club will lift the trophy if they win both their remaining fixtures; if they lose either of them, the Glasgow southsiders will achieve a last-gasp triumph if they win both their games.

Meanwhile, Clydesdale ensured they will have the West League Cup trophy in their possession over the close season, after defeating Ayr at Hamilton Crescent.

On a drizzly evening, the game was reduced to 16 overs a side, and Majid Haq’s men batted first, and runs were difficult to find in the conditions against some accurate bowling in the first six overs.

But when Haq joined coach-pro Shoaib Khan, Khan launched a barrage of fine shots to and over the boundary rope, and was still there at the end, having scored 73.

Haq himself contributed 42 as the pair shared a century partnership, and when Ayr went into bat, he led the way with the ball, his mesmerising off-breaks yielding three wickets.

Clydesdale’s 15-run victory takes the trophy to Titwood for the 15th time in 63 years of the competition.

It’s been a good year for Clydesdale’s juniors, too. Following their U18s success in winning the Frank Smith Trophy a week earlier, it was the turn of the club’s younger players to shine, bringing back the U13 Scottish Cup.

Clydesdale moved into the final against Arbroath. This time it was skipper Zain Ashraf who starred with the ball, taking three wickets, while a superb fielding effort by the entire team kept the northern champions to 89 for the loss of eight wickets.

It was a fitting sign of the stock of future talent in the club that the winning runs came confidently from the two 10-year-olds in the Clydesdale team.

Somehow, all three of the historic final Scottish Saltires matches against English Counties were played to a conclusion at Glasgow’s Titwood ground in Pollokshields last week.

The Scots - including Clydesdale captain Majid Haq - were at home to Durham, Hampshire and Lancashire over the space of five days, and the first and last of this trio of games were rain-affected. A total of nearly 1,000 spectators attended the games, though Scotland lost all three contests.