Wicket washout

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Southside cricketers enter the last two weekends of the 2012 season still wondering how it has been possible for the past 20 weeks to have been so badly affected by the weather.

In the Cricket Scotland league, all but four Saturdays have seen matches abandoned, or decided by the Duckworth-Lewis calculations. Last Saturday was yet another washout for PSL team Sports Clydesdale, who have managed to play only six Premier Division games.

Skipper Zeeshan Bashir and his squad were top of the league just two weeks earlier, but in successive weeks have seen their closest rivals play and win to take them into first and second places.

In the first division, fifth place NVT Poloc, have also completed just six league games, although somehow, Weirs have managed eight and sit in fourth place.

Clydesdale, however, will also rue their missed opportunities in the various cup competitions. In every eligible event, the Titwood club have reached at least the quarter-finals, but have failed to win a trophy.

Last week, the club’s second team crashed out of the revamped Western Cup at the semi-final stage, losing to Kilmarnock. Previously, the first team had been beaten at home by Carlton in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup, and then surrendered the Rowan Cup to East Kilbride in the final at Titwood.

Last Sunday, in the final of the West League Cup at Ayr, Clydesdale’s poor fielding again allowed the opposition to add precious runs to their total in the closing overs of the first innings.

In a rain-interrupted game, Ayr posted an imposing 171 for the loss of just two wickets in their 20 overs. Clydesdale’s reply petered out at 136 for seven.

The pattern has been so consistently a losing one that some observers have wondered whether the earlier-than-usual fasting month of Ramadan might have contributed to the poor late-season performances of teams with a high proportion of Muslim players.

Or it might simply have been the weather