Jul 6 2011 by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Asad Mohammed of Drumpellier Cricket Club
DRUMPELLIER’S cricketers suffered a five-wicket defeat after their journey to face Arbroath last Saturday.
The Coatbridge side were bidding for their first win since the opening day of the SNCL Premiership season, but quickly saw their 110 total outstripped thanks to the contribution of home batsman Harry Byrnes Howe.
Langloan player Stevie Allison said: “It was a pretty disappointing result for us; the bowlers did a good job and the fielders were excellent, but we just didn’t get enough runs on the board.
“We’ve been struggling with batting form and nobody has much confidence at the crease at the moment, so we need to improve that and start fulfilling our potential.”
Batting first at Lochlands, Allison opened Drumpellier’s account with six runs before being caught by Bryce Carnegie, the first of three wickets for bowler Benny McGill.
However, the visitors then lost three batters for the addition of just eight runs; first, Asad Mohammed’s 12 took the total to 20 before he was out to bowler Calvin Burnett and fielder Ross McLean.
Just one run later, he was followed to the pavilion by Zaheer Mohammed, out for a duck to the same bowler and fielder Byrnes Howe; then Chris Keltie went LBW to McGill for two runs.
However, the fifth-wicket partnership of Drumpellier professional Jeevantha Kulatunga and Dan Stevenson steadied the ship as they added 19 and 12 respectively.
The visitors’ total had reached 59 for six by the time the pair were bowled by McGill and caught by Marc Petrie from Byrnes Howe.
Gordon Shaw was only able to add one run for the visitors before being bowled by Byrnes Howe and caught by McLean – but C McDonald then came to the crease and was Drumpellier’s top scorer with 25.
His eighth-wicket partnership with John Hutton, who finished on 14 not out , was the most productive of the day, taking the side’s total to 107.
Abdul Sabri was also out for a duck after being stumped by Petrie, while J Allison was dismissed for one run, caught and bowled by Greig Peal as he completed an impressive hat-trick of wickets for just three runs.
Defending their total of 110, the Coatbridge side made a promising start when Arbroath went in to bat and lost three early batsmen for a combined total of just two runs.
Kulatunga had Petrie out LBW for one, and Hutton took out McLean and home professional Harsha Vithana, caught in turn by Stevie Allison and Kulatunga, the latter for a duck.
However, not-out Byrnes Howe racked up more than half of his team’s total single-handedly, making 66 as partners Calvin Burnett and Peal went LBW for 10 and 18 to Sabri and Stevenson respectively.
Seventh batsman McGill only had to add one run to take Arbroath past the winning post for a five-wicket victory.
It leaves Drumpellier – who have endured a series of weather-related postponements this season – joint-bottom of the table, ahead of Saturday’s trip to fourth-placed Heriot’s.
Allison said: “We had a bit of a struggle with the pitch, which was difficult to bat on, but we’re not criticising the facilities; we did well and took five wickets but then the best batsman on the day got 60-plus runs.
“The game plan was to take a few early wickets and we did that and built up the pressure, but couldn’t keep it going.
“We’ve had a number of postponements in the past month and some of the games we’ve missed were ones where we fancied our chances to win, or were rained off when we were in good positions.
“However, we’ll keep working hard and show confidence in our ability, and we can only improve during the rest of the season.”