1st XI really need to defeat league leaders Kelburne

The 1st XI travel up the M8 once again this Saturday, this time to play the Western Premiership Two league leaders Kelburne at their Whitehaugh ground not far from Glasgow Road in Paisley. The league leaders are unbeaten having played six matches and won all six, while the 1st XI have won just two out of their five matches completed.

The statistics would suggest this will be another win for the Paisley side, but the team can look back at each of their three losses and consider themselves, to some extent, unfortunate not to have gained a win on each occasion.

At Dumfries on week two of the league campaign, they were close to bowling out the home side, now in second position, in a low scoring match. Then two weeks ago at Kilmarnock, the home team's opening bat Adrian Maritz with 95 runs single-handedly got his team to a win while no other batter made any real impression. And last week, at Glenpark, wet weather intervened and visitors East Renfrewshire gained a win thanks to the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) system while still some distance from overtaking their target.

However, those results are now history and the team must focus on taking down league leaders Kelburne on Saturday. It will be no easy task.

Kelburne have batted first on three occasions and scored 187 for 9 (Langside), 207 for 7 (Irvine) and 265 for 4 (Glasgow Accies) and then bowled out their opposition for a low score.

When bowling / fielding first the Paisley side has been just as clinical. Renfrew were bowled out for 110, Hillhead were 55 all out and in the top of the table clash two weeks ago Dumfries were dismissed for just 78.

Top batter Sheldon Van Wyk sits second top of the Western Premiership Two batting stats with a top score of 97 and with a total of 235 runs scored. His South African compatriot Juan Steyn is second top of the bowling stats with 16 wickets and a best of 4 for 14.

Kelburne are also a very useful bowling side as their results clearly show. Steyn along with Ahmed Raza-Hanif (formerly Renfrew CC), Lucas Farndale (formerly Hillhead CC), Joseph Silvin, Mohammad Zain and the evergreen former Greenock player Dougie Wylie provide an attack which has torn through opposition teams in the first six weeks of the league programme.

So the team must go into this match with a clear game plan and with each player ready to contribute with bat and/or ball in the knowledge that Kelburne will be in confident mood due to the excellent form displayed in the opening third of the season.

The team's batting last Saturday had to show some resilience after a poor start to the innings. For once, both of the Club's overseas amateurs failed to be the mainstay of the batting line-up and it was Shailesh Prabhu, in particular, who stepped up with a patiently constructed half century to enable a reasonably competitive score of 172 for 7 to be achieved after having been 24 for 4.

Prabhu was well supported by Sam Sanghera (18) and Ewan Stewart (26 not out) while Usman Mansoor also had a quickfire 12 not out at the end of the innings.

It will be important that they make a good start to their innings on Saturday whether batting first or chasing Kelburne's total. However, in doing so, the team will have to do without Shailesh Prabhu who is unavailable due to work commitments. But back into the side come Harry Briggs and Cammy Calder both of whom who have shown ability with the bat earlier in the season.

An interesting fact which they will be aware of, is that of the five league matches played, they have batted first four times and on three of these occasions have lost the matches when they have failed to bowl out the opposition. What will Saturday bring?

The Glenpark XI are at home on Saturday with Galloway 2nd XI as their opponents. After the disappointment of last week's match with Bute County & Cowal being called off, Eddie Ahmad's team will be hoping for better luck with the weather this time and the selected team, which is a good mix of youth and experience, should be well capable of winning the match.

Both games will start as usual at 12 noon.

The Club is grateful for the continued sponsorship from Cleaning Supplies 4U.