Watson believes West can hit the heights
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
GREGG Watson believes West of Scotland can hit the heights after they continued their promising return to the top flight with victory over Ayr at Cambusdoon.
The Hamilton Crescent outfit, traditionally one of the country’s leading clubs, spent two seasons rebuilding in the First Division but after claiming their third win in four starts, the signs are that West are back to stay.
Watson said: “It was a great win by the lads with a lot of good individual performances. We’ve made a really positive start and we’re certainly looking up rather than down.”
Ayr were given a solid start through a half-century stand between Anwar Hafeez and Mike Miller before the latter was trapped lbw by Trevor Garwe for 29.
In a keenly contested affair West’s bowlers continued to chip away while home professional Kenroy Peters provided the backbone of his team’s innings with 60.
The West Indian’s effort and 39 from Niall McCrossin helped push the total to 210-7 though two run-outs did not help the home cause while there were two wickets apiece for Garwe and James Fennah.
After a steady start from Watson and Fennah West appeared to be wobbling on 64-3 but they refused to press the panic button, instead rebuilding carefully through the efforts of Nick Boller and Simon Naitram.
The former anchored the innings with an unbeaten 31 while Naitram hit out to top-score with 66 from just 46 balls.
His departure, bowled by Andi McElnea, saw Jon Fearn arrive in the middle to steer West to a six-wicket win with a composed 46no.
Watson added: “It was a very good chase by the lads but we also did well to restrict them to 210 on what was a very good wicket.”
Elsewhere, teenager Zain Ashraf helped Clydesdale recover from the brink of defeat to record a remarkable two-wicket win at Dumfries.
Chasing 153 after Scott Beveridge’s 40 had helped Dumfries post 152-8, Dale looked out of it when they slumped to 52-6.
However, Ashraf showed immense composure to nudge his side towards the target with a brilliant 52 before Billy Prizada’s 17no completed the recovery.
Uddingston were another side who had to dig deep to record victory though this time it was the experienced Ross Lyons who came to their rescue at Poloc.
Needing 182, the visitors had slumped to 102-6 before Lyons played the decisive knock with 62 from 96 balls.
The left-hander stroked three boundaries and four maximums and received vital support from Gavin Bradley (21) and Niall MacLeod (20) as Uddingston won by two wickets.
Leaders Ferguslie maintained their 100% record with a 40-run win at Stirling while Prestwick’s 84-run win at Greenock owed most to Sachin Chaudhary who hit a half-century and took five wickets though the gloss was taken off the Ayrshire team’s weekend when they were unable to raise a team for yesterday’s Scottish Cup clash with Arbroath.