Ferguslie chasing joy of six
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
LEADERS Ferguslie want to savour the joy of six when they head down the M74 to face Dumfries this afternoon.
The Paisley side, with five straight wins, start strong favourites against their joint-bottom hosts who have yet to break their duck.
Ferguslie have been forced to dig deep to achieve their flawless start, no more so than last Saturday when they recovered from a disastrous start against Poloc.
For once, an in-form top order failed to fire but that merely allowed others to demonstrate the side’s strength-in-depth as a superb century stand between cousins Omer Hussain and Taimoor Ahmad led the fightback.
Having returned to Ferguslie from neighbours Kelburne during the close-season, Hussain is beginning to rediscover the form that earned him 25 caps a decade ago and skipper Jamey Carrurthers clearly feels the left-hander could be a key figure in his team’s title bid.
Carruthers said: “Omer has looked better and better every week and last Saturday’s knock was a quality innings.
“His partnership with Taimoor was one of the best I have seen at Ferguslie. Taimoor, too, is beginning to show what a top quality cricketer he can be.
“It’s great to keep winning but, as I’ve said before, we are still looking to improve.”
For their part Dumfries will require more support for talismanic Scott Beveridge if they are to forge that elusive first win.
Beveridge is second in the batting averages but last week’s collapse to 116 all out at Uddingston summed-up a disappointing start to the campaign for the Nunholm side.
Elsewhere a couple of intriguing derbies stand out with West of Scotland welcoming back James Fennah for the visit of in-form Clydesdale.
West suffered a setback last week when they went down to champions Prestwick but victory today would see them leapfrog a Dale team who held off the challenge of Greenock to secure a third consecutive win.
Meanwhile Ayr will bid to repeat their midweek McCulloch Cup win over Prestwick at Cambusdoon.
Poloc draft in 17 year-old Ahmed-Raza Hanif as they bid to end a three-game losing streak when they entertain Stirling at Shawholm.
The visitors have made a bright start to life in the top flight and a Poloc spokesman said: “They have a good blend of youth and experience and are well led.
“We are looking to improve in all departments. Last week’s defeat at Ferguslie summed-up our early season form when we threw away promising positions in both innings.”
Greenock, for whom Neil Flack’s brilliant century was in vain at Clydesdale a week ago, entertain an Uddingston team who have their tails up after three consecutive wins.