Clydesdale 236 all out (25 points)
Greenock 127 all out (5 points)
GREENOCK made their fifth journey up the M8 within just a week, this time to play defending champions Clydesdale in a Premier Division match.
The journey did not prove successful, and so, at the end of the first half of the league programme Greenock occupy third bottom position having won just two out of seven completed Premier Division matches.
Opponents Clydesdale welcomed back into their side Scottish internationalists Con De Lange and Richie Berrington, both of whom had been unavailable on the two previous Saturdays because of international commitments
Clydesdale won the toss and made first use of the wicket at Titwood on a quite blustery afternoon, hardly typical of what might be expected in mid-summer.
Openers Mo Awais and Kasim Farid made a good start for the home side putting on 46 runs in the first ten overs but, with the second ball of the eleventh over, Neil Flack made a breakthrough for Greenock. Farid, who had been playing a very secondary role to his opening partner, had made just four scoring shots when he was bowled for 10 runs.
Former English county player and current Scottish international Con De Lange joined Awais, but it was to be a brief partnership lasting just four overs and adding 15 runs. With the fifth ball of his own first over, Greenock captain Jonathan Hempsey had De Lange (12) caught by his wicketkeeper brother Chris as the ‘Dale captain attempted to score a third consecutive boundary.
The fall of that second wicket brought former Greenock player Richie Berrington out to the middle and the Scottish internationalist, who is having a very fine season, was soon into his stride and scoring with ease.
The partnership blossomed as both batsmen scored runs at a very slick speed. In just 21 overs Awais and Berrington added 145 runs as the home side looked set to post a total in excess of 300.
But the dismissal of Mo Awais, caught by Harry Briggs off the bowling of Kyle Scrimegour for a very fine 110 with the score on 206, was the break Greenock had been searching for. And when Berrington was out caught by Neil Flack for 58 off the bowling of Greg McDougall just nine runs later, it was the beginning of a quite spectacular collapse by the Glasgow Southsiders.
From 215 for the loss of just 4 wickets in the 37th over, Clydesdale tumbled to being all out just six overs later with an innings total of 236. With the top four in the batting order removed, the remainder of the Titwood team simply capitulated one after another, giving Greenock a very considerable boost before the tea interval. Jonathan Hempsey, with 4 wickets for 47 runs from 8.3 overs, was Greenock’s most successful bowler with Greg McDougall picking up two wickets, and Kyle Scrimegour and Neil Flack one apiece.
Needing to score at a rate of five runs per over to win the match, Greenock required a good start to their innings. Unfortunately that did not happen. Instead, the Glenparkers were put onto the back foot very quickly as they lost three wickets in rapid succession between the ninth and tenth overs.
2017 Premier Division (after Saturday 24 June matches)
Two leg before wicket (LBW) decisions returned Neil Flack and Shailesh Prabhu to the dressing room in the space of just five balls bowled by Richie Berrington in the ninth over. And then Harry Briggs was clean-bowled by Pirzada just six balls later to leave Greenock reeling on 22 for the loss of three wickets and facing a massive task to overcome the Clydesdale total.
Kyle Scrimegour and Louis Ware produced Greenock’s best partnership of the innings, 43 runs. But both fell victim to Con De Lange’s bowling. In the twentieth, Scrimegour gave a catch to Scobie having scored 27. And, in De Lange’s next over, Ware was caught by Awais for 13.
These two wickets left the Glenparkers on 68 for the loss of 5 wickets and needing 169 runs from 27 overs. There was to be no miracle. Julien Hulbert and the Hempsey brothers were wickets six, seven and eight and Greenock remained just short of 100 runs showing on the Titwood electronic scoreboard.
A rearguard action of sorts was played out by Sam Sanghera and Greg McDougall. Seeking to reach 130 runs to gain a batting point, Sanghera and McDougall doggedly played out 16 overs adding 30 runs to take them to within four runs of their target. But then McDougall was bowled by Mahmood for just eight runs in the 48th over and moments later, with the second ball of the 49th over and just one more run added, Berrington clean-bowled Sanghera for 15.
For Clydesdale, Mahmood returned bowling figures of 3 wickets for 19 runs from 9 overs, with De Lange 2 for 21 and Berrington 2 for 26 the other main wicket-takers.
Greenock 2nd XI won a high-scoring Reserve League match at Glenpark on Saturday, defeating Glasgow Accies 2nd XI by 17 runs. Greenock 2nd XI were 254 for 7 wickets, Glasgow Accies 2nd XI were 237 al out.
In midweek, Greenock have two cup matches to play. On Tuesday evening they face Clydesdale in their final sectional match in the Western Cup at Titwood when a win for Greenock would take them into the semi-final of the competition. On Wednesday, it is another away tie, this time in the McCulloch West League Cup at Prestwick in a quarter final match. The winner of this tie will then be away to either Poloc or Drumpellier.
It is a season in which Greenock have had the misfortune to be drawn to play almost all of their cup competition fixtures away from home.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U