Tim Hart reports, “The Western Warriors Under 15s (pictured) got their 2017 Cricket Scotland Inter-Regional Championship campaign off to a winning start, by defeating the Caledonian Highlanders by 87 runs, at Lochside Park (Strathmore CC).
“The Highlanders decision to field first looked to be a good one when the Warriors were reduced to 51 for 4. However, vice-captain David Sturgess (Clydesdale CC) and Sohaib Shah (Poloc CC) built a very important partnership for the fifth wicket. Neither was as fluent as they might normally be – but the situation required a very patient and risk-free approach. With the partnership approaching 100, Shah (37) was caught trying to go over the top – but Sturgess would go on to complete a match-winning half century. In the end the Warriors were 208 all out, with Sturgess making 60 and the total being helped by 55 extras (including 48 wides).
“In reply, Shahzad Ahmad (Ferguslie CC) struck twice early on and his opening spell was backed up by six tight overs from Fletcher Rao (Prestwick CC). The seam and spin combination was continued with spinners Daniel Cairns (Clydesdale CC), Rafay Khan (Renfrew CC) and Zakki Tariq (Clydesdale CC), and seamers Tarun Koteeswaran, Humza Zulfiqar and skipper Asad Khan (all Clydesdale CC), maintaining the pressure effectively. Rafay Khan was the pick of the bowlers and deservedly finished with 3 for 22, with Zulfiqar (two) and Asad Khan (one) also picking up wickets. The win was completed when Rao picked up two wickets in the 43rd over. Highlanders 121 all out (including 36 extras and 29 wides).
“As the season progresses, the batters will want to make the most of getting ‘in’ and the bowlers will want to cut down on the number of extras. However, it was a great start to the 2017 season – with the difference between the sides being the Shah and Sturgess partnership, and the man-of-the-match half century from the latter.”
The scorecard is online.