Weekend round-up – 5th and 6th June
The weekend saw the return of league cricket to Williamfield for the first time since 2019. On Saturday, the 1st XI welcomed 2017 league winners Prestwick and were hoping to kick off their delayed league campaign with a convincing win. The Sunday XI, meanwhile, travelled to McKane Park looking to continue their winning start to the season!
Stirling County 1st XI vs Prestwick 1st XI
With the Glasgow area being stuck in Tier 3, teams in the WDCU had to wait until June before they could begin their 2021 league campaign. And it was with no small amount of anticipation that New Williamfield welcomed Prestwick for the first league match at the ground in nigh on 2 years!
Making his first league appearance for the visitors was recent acquisition Majid Haq and the Ayrshire outfit certainly needed all his experience as his patient half-century helped his team recover from three early wickets to post a more-than-respectable 214 for 8 from their 50 overs. Haq also found support in the shape of Prestwick keeper T Fleet who scored a well compiled 46.
Undoubtedly pick of the Stirling bowlers was the evergreen Rukman Hewage, who snared 3 wickets and was a constant threat throughout his spell.
At 84 for the loss of no wicket, and with both Stirling openers looking comfortable and scoring with apparent ease, one could be forgiven for suspecting that, on a seemingly flat deck and with a quick outfield, 214 was actually a below par score. However, the introduction of Haq to bowl in tandem with experienced twirler S Chaudhary completely changed the whole dynamic of the match.
From a position of relative strength, County suddenly found themselves deep in the mire at 95 for 5 and staring a heavy defeat in the face. In truth, the home side were never likely to recover from such a seismic shock and it took some impressive hitting from Stirling’s 10 and 11 (Rukman Hewage and Euan Smith) to drag the home side up to a somewhat respectable 191 all out, 24 runs short if their target.
Stirling County Sunday XI vs Dunfermline Wanderers
After convincing wins against St Modan’s and Alloa, the Sunday XI, with their new captain MJ Phillip, were hoping to make it three out of three when they travelled to the Kingdom of Fife to take on Dunfermline Wanderers. Unfortunately, the first innings total of 176 for 6 posted by the side from McKane Park ultimately proved to be too much for County’s Sunday team, who could ‘only’ muster 161 for 4 from their 30 overs, thanks largely to Tom Jones’s 100*.
Wickets were shared between the Stirling bowlers, with MJ and Fergus both taking 2 wickets apiece and Aaron Gairns and Ashay Mulik both getting 1 wicket.