GREENOCK can get their promotion push back on track this Saturday after last weekend’s disappointing loss to Stenhousemuir.
The local side have a second successive home match, this time against Coatbridge side, Drumpellier who have made a good start to their league season.
The Coatbridge team easily beat Poloc in their opening match away at Shawholm and followed that up with another straightforward win at home against Irvine. However, that initial fine start was abruptly halted when they were soundly beaten by Stenhousemuir away at The Tryst.
Last Saturday, at Renfrew, a good batting performance got the Lanarkshire team back to winning ways against a side who made them work hard for the points.
Gordon Shaw and Chris Keltie were their two top run-scorers against Renfrew, each with half centuries as the team won by seven wickets. And with low scores which were easily chased against Poloc and Irvine in their first two matches, their full batting line-up has had only one chance to show what it can do.
That opportunity was a couple of weeks ago. But Drumpellier were easily brushed aside by Stenhousemuir. Only four of the top five batters got into double figures and the last six in the batting order could only manage 12 runs in total as the side slumped to 126 all-out, chasing Stenny’s 210 for 6.
It is perhaps the Drumpellier bowling about which Greenock must take most care. Nicolas Austin, Supeshala Jayathilake and Jordan Pryde have been their attack’s most dangerous bowlers. Between them the trio have accounted for 25 out of the total of 36 wickets which the team has taken in the four league matches so far.
Last Saturday, Greenock’s winning run in the league was halted when the team failed to chase down what to many would have seemed a total (157), at Glenpark, which was well within its capability to score in the second half of the match.
But following a good start to the innings, the Greenock batsmen became over defensive for a substantial period in the middle of the innings and runs dried up. So much so that the three runs per over run rate required at the start had risen to more than six runs needed per over with just ten remaining. The necessary run rate then grew to what became an impossible 12 runs per over with just one wicket and four overs of the innings to go.
A valiant last wicket stand led by team captain Greg McDougall took Greenock to within 15 runs of the Stenhousemuir total.
Aussie amateurs Tom Nicholson and Ryan Walker have been key players, gaining success with both bat and ball. Walker is top of the First Division bowling stats with 18 wickets. Nicholson is close behind in fourth top spot with 11 wickets. Nicholson is also second-top of the batting stats with 239 runs at an average of 79.67.
In most matches, Gregor Chambers and Sam Sanghera have opened the bowling for Greenock and generally have bowled tidily but with only a little success in terms of wickets. Chambers, with his pace, has been accurate and quite economical but only has two wickets to his credit. Sanghera has been more successful with five wickets to his name.
Walker and Nicholson have been used very successfully as the first change-bowlers and have regularly gained the wickets which have disrupted the innings’ of Greenock’s opponents and/or been instrumental in winning the match.
But cricket, many would argue, is a game about scoring runs. In the WDCU First Division, the team with most runs is the winner. So Greenock must focus on building large challenging totals if batting first and having the right tactics to chase down a total when batting second.
On Saturday, Greenock team captain Greg McDougall, will want to see his team bounce back. Glenpark supporters too will be keen to see a positive all-round performance that puts the team back on track to regain a top spot in the league.
Greenock’s team will be from: GJ McDougall, HR Briggs, GM Chambers, LC Fischer-Keogh, CJK Hempsey, JPC Hempsey, TJ Nicholson, JM Nowell, SS Prabhu, SS Sanghera, E Stewart, RA Walker. Scorer: R McGregor. The match starts at noon.
Greenock’s 2nd XI (Glenpark) play at Glenpark on Sunday at noon. in a league fixture against a Renfrew XI. The team will be from: J Janampally, PJ Bryceland, S Chaudhary, M Farrell, J Hutchinson, N Kuwar, N Lohan, U Mansoor, E Norris, CS Pandher, C Prabhu, PE Robertson, A Sanghera, E Stewart.
McCulloch Cup T20 — Greenock gained a win in the McCulloch Cup on Wednesday evening beating Renfrew at Glenpark. Greenock 137 for 5 (RA Walker 55, GM Chambers 33, TJ Nicholson 27), Renfrew 108 for 9 (RA Walker 3 for 9)
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U