Stenhousemuir 156 all out (37.1 overs)…..25 Points
Greenock 141 for 9 (50 overs)……7 Points
THE First Division top-of-the table clash between Greenock and Stenhousemuir ended in disappointment for the Glenpark side as they lost by fifteen runs.
It was a missed opportunity as a win would have made Greenock the league leaders.
It was a match in which leg before wicket (LBW) decisions featured large. It was also a match which the Greenock players and supporters would have considered very winnable at the tea interval after the visitors had been dismissed for 156 after just 37.1 overs.
But Greenock’s batting frailties of recent seasons returned and a mid-innings collapse in the run-rate left too much to do in the closing stages.
Stenhousemuir chose to bat first having won the toss. But it was Greenock who got off to the best start by capturing the wicket of opening batsman Nikhil Kadyan with only nine runs on the board.
Kadyan was LBW to Sam Sanghera and was the first of a remarkable six LBW decisions which were to be given by the umpires against the visiting team.
A second-wicket partnership between Dennico Hollis and John Vaughan-Davies began to lay a decent foundation. But the introduction of Ryan Walker into the Greenock bowling attack quickly paid off. With just his second delivery, Walker trapped Hollis LBW. He had scored 20 runs and the total had moved on to 45.
Greenock made further inroads into the Stenhousemuir batting with two very quick wickets when the visitors reached 69. Firstly, Vaughan-Davies was removed LBW by Tom Nicholson with just the second ball of his first over and, with the fifth ball, new batsman Emile Streicher was sent packing having been dismissed LBW for a ‘duck’.
The Stenhousemuir innings was in some difficulty and the position worsened when Rodgers, Grant, Hunter and Pinnamaneni all departed from the middle to leave the visitors on 112 for the loss of eight wickets after 26 overs.
But South African professional Danie Roussouw, who had come in at the fall of the second wicket, was still at the crease and he used his experience to be the batsman facing most of the bowling. He did this supremely well for eight overs during which time 37 very important runs were added.
However, Roussouw became the sixth LBW ‘victim’ when Nicholson captured his wicket when he was on 76. Then, just seven runs later, Atif was last man out with the total standing at 156 after 37.1 overs.
Tom Nicholson and Ryan Walker each took four wickets for 42 runs
Needing just a little over three runs per over, Greenock began their reply with a sound opening spell thanks to the top order batsmen Tom Nicholson and Jamie Nowell. The pair put on 39 runs in the opening ten overs before Nowell (10) was bowled by Nick Lister.
Then just three overs later, Stenhousemuir captured the key wicket of Tom Nicholson caught by wicketkeeper Roussouw for 26 from the bowling of Callum Grant.
Ryan Walker and Harry Briggs added another 19 runs before Walker was adjudged LBW in the 20th over having scored 14. Greenock were 66 for 3 and still well on target scoring at the required rate of just slightly more than three runs per over.
However, just 14 more runs were added in the nine overs which followed before Briggs was removed as a result of a good catch by Lister from the bowling of Vaughan-Davies.
The bowlers were now on top and the Greenock run rate had slowed dramatically. By midway through the 41st over the score had only moved on to 94 and a further three wickets had fallen. Only 28 runs had been scored in almost 22 overs leaving the Glenpark side in serious trouble chasing the Stenny score.
With just a little more than eight overs remaining, Greenock needed 63 runs to win and had only three wickets remaining.
The wickets of PJ Bryceland (6) and Gregor Chambers (20) soon followed to put Stenhousemuir on the very edge of victory with Greenock down but not quite out on 107 for 9 towards the end of the 46th over.
A late onslaught of the Stenhousemuir bowling by Greenock captain Greg McDougall took the score to 141 when the innings closed at the end of the 50th over.
McDougall hit three boundaries in his 17 not-out but it was an effort which was too late and Greenock ended just 15 runs short.
Praveen Pinnamaneni was the Larbert side’s top bowler with four wickets for 21 runs.
Next up is Drumpellier at Glenpark next Saturday.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U