Low scoring T20 match
By David Hinchliffe
West go through despite wobble.
Knockout games of cricket always add psychological pressure, and you could see evidence from both teams in this low scoring McCulloch Cup quarter final.
Prestwick batted first on a used wicket with the in-form Jawad looking to repeat his incredible hitting in this same fixture from 2017. He started well with batting partner Lord, getting Wick to 20 in 17 balls. However, he was wrapped on the pads by a quick delivery from Kleinveldt. The danger man was out LBW.
Kieran Chance was quickly brought into the attack by Young and continued his excellent run of form with four tight overs in a row (2-17). Smith snared a wicket at the other end and the runs slowed to 37-2 from seven overs. Chaudahury, Rafiq and Fleet used their experience to recover, but could not find the rope and rotated up to 53-3 at the halfway mark.
The West bowling was accurate and combined with clever fields to frustrate Prestwick. The push never got started as Fennah (2-16) returned with the canny Simon Brown (1-16) to take three wickets for eight runs at this key stage. Kleinveldt (3-16) returned to do the rest and Prestwick fizzled out to 82, bowled out in the 18th over.
It was certainly a below par score, especially on the short, quick outfield that everyone agreed was looking spectacular. Although the pitch was showing it’s age a little and Prestwick’s boundary count of seven told a story.
West lost Braithwaite early, but Young (9) and Kleinveldt (27) took The XI to 40 from six overs with five boundaries. Miller (19) took over where the pair left off, getting up to touching distance at 72 from 11.
However, Fraser Macdonald was in a rare mood to cause another upset. The part time spinner with a reputation for big wickets beat the bat regularly and took three in three overs as West went from 46-2 to 76-5.
Another wicket left West on 81-6 and some doubters turned their thought to the Greenock match last year. Finisher Rob Corner was undaunted by the scene and sprinted out to the crease to score a faultless 1*. A wide finished the game with West comfortable winners by 4 wickets, despite the wobble.
The semi-final beckons.