CRICKET — Greenock Aiming For Sixth League Win

23 June, 2022 | Sport

GREENOCK travel to play Hillhead on Saturday keen to hold on to second-top spot in the Western District Cricket Union (WDCU) First Division.

With five wins from the six league matches completed, the Glenpark team is on track to make a quick return to the Premier Division. The only loss so far was to league leaders Stenhousemuir at the end of May.

Hillhead have won only a single match out of seven but, despite Hillhead’s lowly position, New Zealander Ben Ward occupies the fourth-top position in the First Division batting statistics. He has scored 234 runs at an average of 39 runs per innings with his highest score being 81 against Kilmarnock in mid-May.

While Ward may be Greenock’s main target, Hasan Azhar, James Lindley-Dawe, Jack Holland and Ross Jones have all shown ability with the bat in the four most recent matches. And although only winning one of these matches, Hillhead have scored more than 150 runs in each one.

The Glasgow side’s bowling attack, like its batting line-up, has had little consistency over recent weeks and is perhaps one of the least threatening in the league. In the last two matches against Drumpellier and Stenhousemuir a total of only eight wickets have been captured from 91 overs bowled and 351 runs conceded.

Greenock will need to ensure that its team is fully focused in order to bring back the points. And the team to play Hillhead will be without Jamie Nowell, Shailesh Prabhu, Aryan Sanghera, and Chris Hempsey all of whom are unavailable this weekend. But back into the side come Lukas Fischer-Keogh and Cammy Calder.

With Nowell missing it is likely that Harry Briggs will move up a place in the batting order and open alongside Tom Nicholson and these two will be followed by Gregor Chambers and Ryan Walker. If their good form continues then another sound platform can be produced from which the lower middle order of Fischer-Keogh, Calder and Greg McDougall can capitalise.

Nicholson scored his second century of the league season last Saturday in the win over GHK at Glenpark and was well supported by Harry Briggs and Ryan Walker who both scored into the sixties.

Greenock’s bowling attack has been a huge strength in the team’s success so far this season. In the six matches completed, each opposition has been bowled out within 40 overs whether batting first or chasing Greenock’s total. The highest total achieved against Greenock was the 156 scored by league leaders Stenhousemuir and that, apart from the 141 scored by GHK last Saturday, was the only other innings which was higher than 130.

Gregor Chambers will lead the Greenock attack alongside team captain Greg McDougall and they will be followed by Ryan Walker and Tom Nicholson. The latter two have both been tearing apart opposition batsmen in the matches played. Walker is the First Division’s top wicket-taker with 28 wickets and Nicholson is in fourth position with 17 wickets.

Also available to bowl if needed will be Cammy Calder and Ewan Stewart each of whom have a growing experience bowling in 1st XI matches.

On paper, Greenock should be too strong for Hillhead but the Glasgow side will be going all out to win and move out of the relegation zone and so the Glenpark side must produce another good all-round performance to ensure their winning form continues.

Greenock’s team will be: GJ McDougall, HR Briggs, CS Calder, GM Chambers, LC Fischer-Keogh, P Hempsey, PJ Ranampally, RP Moiuntford, TJ Nicholson, , EA Stewart, RA Walker, AN Other. Scorer: R McGregor

The match at Hughenden will start at noon.

Greenock’s 2nd XI, Glenpark, are at home on Saturday with their opposition Galloway 2nd XI making the long journey from Gatehouse of Fleet. The team for the match will be from: M Farrell, E Ahmad, A Calder, S Chaudhary, A. Fielding, N Kuwar, F MacFeate, L McCahill, N Nagaraju, E Norris, C Prabhu, AN Other. It will start at noon.

McCulloch Cup — On Wednesday evening, Greenock travelled up to Renfrew for the last sectional match in the McCulloch Cup. Batting first Greenock scored 140 for the loss of three wickets from their 20 overs with Ryan Walker on 91. In reply, Renfrew won the match scoring 141 for the loss of eight wickets. Despite Kelburne losing to Ferguslie in their last sectional match on Wednesday night, it will be Kelburne and not Greenock who will progress from the group along with Ferguslie to the quarter-final knockout stage.

Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U

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