Ferguslie ready for Ayr clash
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
HIGH-FLYING Ferguslie will today bid to ‘home-in’ on another victory when they host Ayr in the Western Premier’s top match.
The Paisley side played in front of their own supporters during the first two weeks of the campaign and with another game at Meikleriggs they have the chance to make it three-in-a-row.
However, skipper Jamey Carruthers believes the best is yet to come from his team who survived a middle order collapse to beat Uddingston a week ago.
He said: “Two wins without playing our best is promising but we are looking for a more complete performance and we will need it against an Ayr team who are always tough.
“They have a strong bowling attack so we can’t afford any more ‘iffy’ shows from our middle order.”
That area of the team should be strengthened by the return of former Scotland batsman Omer Hussain who makes his first appearance following several seasons with derby rivals Kelburne. Dave Stafford also returns to bolster the batting.
Meanwhile Ayr skipper Andi McElnea, who almost single-handedly destroyed Greenock a week ago, is looking for his team to display their credentials during a demanding weekend which also sees them host Grange in the Scottish Cup.
McElnea, who has named an unchanged side, said: “We’re in good shape after last week and are looking forward to the challenge of a big weekend.”
Meanwhile Greenock, who visit West of Scotland, are looking for a much more solid batting display than the one which saw them skittled for just 84 at Ayr.
However, they face a buoyant West team who celebrated their first win of the campaign at Dumfries seven days ago.
The home side are without experienced opening bowler Dave McNulty who is injured while Greenock’s Harry Briggs is replaced by Sehmat Pandher.
Elsewhere, Clydesdale will bid to kickstart their campaign when they host Poloc in an eagerly anticipated southside derby.
Both sides were idle last week, meaning Dale were denied the chance to bounce back from their opening day defeat at Ferguslie while Poloc missed the opportunity to build on their win at West.
Much interest will focus on the performances of young left-arm seamers Ihtisham Malik and Ihtesham Ul Haq who swapped clubs during the close-season, the former joining Clydesdale from Poloc while Ul Haq moved in the opposite direction.
Uddingston are looking to open their account but are wary of their Bothwell Castle visitors Stirling who upset champions Prestwick on the opening day of the season while either Prestwick or Dumfries will break their duck when they meet at the Henry Thow Oval.