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Match Report – Prestwick vs Stirling County 1st XI (7/8/21)

Prestwick 146 for 7 in 34 overs (M Haq 60)

Stirling County 108 for 9 in 34 overs (B McMullen 43; M Haq 3-14)

Prestwick win by 49 runs (D/L)

 

Prestwick’s bowlers had the Stirling batsmen in a spin for the second time this season, as Chaudhary and Haq put on a spinning masterclass to subject the Doggies to their fourth defeat in the last five matches.

Choosing to bowl first on a deck that looked as if it could pose difficulties for batsmen, and with dark and ominous rain clouds circling the ground, Stirling got off to a fast start. Two wickets in two balls for South African ace Brandon McMullen (for the second time in successive matches) reduced the home side to 18 for 2. With the ball swinging and seaming and the home batsmen struggling to even get bat on the ball (never mind scoring runs), Stirling were on a roll and looking to use the momentum they had created in the opening overs to make further inroads into the Ayrshire team’s batting line up.

Unfortunately, just as the Stirling bowlers were looking to press home their advantage, the rain that that had been threatening to fall finally came, putting the breaks on the Stirling charge. When the teams emerged after the weather-enforced break, some of the wind had gone out of Stirling’s sails and Haq’s determination and patience with the bat allowed Prestwick to rebuild their innings. And, once the batting effort had been suitably stabilised, Haq (ably supported by several other Prestwick batters) went on the attack and, in a flurry of boundaries, managed to haul the home side up to 146 for 7 from their 34 overs.

For their reply, Stirling were set the somewhat daunting D/L-adjusted total of 158. With the Prestwick pitch offering its usual copious amounts of spin, and with the hosts boasting an impressive battery of spinners, such a total was always going to be a challenge. So much depended on Stirling both getting off to a solid start and their batsmen’s ability to support star batsmen Brandon McMullen.

Stirling failed on both counts and, with both openers removed relatively early on and its middle order struggling to amply support Brandon, the Doggies soon found themselves in deep trouble. Unfortunately, with Scotland’s highest ever wicket-taker bowling from one end and the wily old fox Chaudhary from the other, Stirling found themselves fighting for every run and the question quickly ceased to be whether or not they could win, but simply if they could avoid being bowled out.

County did manage to avoid the ignominy of losing all their wickets inside 34 overs but could only reach 108 for 9 from their allotted overs and fell to a sizeable 49 runs.

The defeat in Ayrshire see Stirling slip further down the table to fifth. They get another chance to arrest the slide this Saturday when they face strugglers Langside (formerly Weirs) at New Williamfield. As always, the game starts at 12noon.     

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