West of Scotland 275 for 9 wickets (25 Points)
Greenock 81 all out (0 points)
GREENOCK were heavily defeated by West of Scotland, sealing relegation.
The margin of the loss at Hamilton Crescent was almost 200 runs as the Glenparkers, once again, were unable to field a team which could meet the challenges of Premier Division cricket.
When the sides met at Glenpark, Greenock came out on top. But on that occasion the team contained five players who were unavailable on Saturday. Without their experience and abilities, the gulf in standard between the sides was all too apparent.
The win in July has been the Glenparkers only ray of sunshine in what has been a dismal campaign.
With First Division cricket now a certainty, Greenock must plan to rebuild and form a team which will be able to make a swift return to the top table of cricket in the west.
West captain James Fennah won the toss and chose to bat first. Greenock opened up with their usual pace bowling attack of Sean Fischer-Keogh and Gregor Chambers. The duo have been the one consistent highlight in the team’s performances throughout the summer, and once more their opening salvos provided an early breakthrough.
With the last ball of the third over, West opening bat Benedict Cole was beaten by the pace of Sean Fischer-Keogh and he edged the ball through to Lukas Fischer-Keogh keeping wicket, who took the catch.
Despite their best efforts, and some good tight bowling, the two pacemen were unable to get another wicket as Sam Page and John Oliver showed determination in seeing them off.
The West batsmen built a fine century partnership which was eventually broken in the 28th over when Chirag Pandher took a good return catch off his own bowling to dismiss Oliver for 47 with the score on 124.
David Braithwaite joined Page and scored a very brisk 26 runs before he too was caught and bowled, this time by Sam Sanghera. And Sanghera then trapped incoming batsman Sam Jacobsen for just four runs in his very next over to make the score 166 for 4 in the 36th over.
Having batted themselves into a very commanding position, West continued to pile on the runs with James Fennah and opening bat Page taking the score past 200.
Greenock captain Greg McDougall made various changes to the bowling attack to try and get some wickets, and, when teenager Aryan Sanghera was brought on, he picked up the prize wicket of Page.
The West opener had just reached his century when he presented a catching opportunity to Sam Sanghera who held on to take the applause of his son and the rest of the team. Page was out for 101.
New batsman Michael Miller was only briefly at the crease before being given out leg-before-wicket to the bowling of McDougall himself.
In the closing stages of the innings, with Fischer-Keogh and Chambers both brought back into the attack, Greenock picked up three more wickets. Chambers had Fennah (29) caught by Chirag Pandher before Fischer-Keogh in his tenth and final over had Dave McNulty (9) caught behind and Gavin Smith cleaned bowled without troubling the scorers.
Number 8 batsman Tom Spensley was not out 29 when the West innings closed on 275 for the loss of nine wickets.
Fischer Keogh was Greenock’s top bowler with three wickets. The other wicket-takers were Sam Sanghera (2) and Chambers, McDougall, Pandher and Aryan Sanghera each with one.
Greenock’s reply to West’s mammoth total needed to get off to a quickfire, sound start if the run chase was going to have any chance of success. It did not, as with just 15 runs on the board and ten overs bowled, the Glenparkers were already three wickets down.
First to go was Shailesh Prabhu with the second ball of the innings. He was caught behind the wicket by David Braithwaite off the bowling of West’s top wicket-taker, pace bowler Gavin Smith.
Smith and Braithwaite combined again for the second wicket when Chirag Pandher (4) edged the ball to the wicket-keeper in the seventh over. And just three overs later, Gregor Chambers (3) was bowled by Smith’s opening partner John Oliver.
Greenock badly needed a good partnership to develop to try and get back into the game. Lukas Fischer-Keogh and Ewan Stewart did put together the biggest partnership of the innings for the fourth wicket. They added 33 runs to take the score to 48 before Stewart (14) was bowled by Dave McNulty.
However, when the partnership was eventually broken, the required run rate was way above what Greenock had any hope of achieving. And the team’s position was only worsened by the loss of two more quick wickets when Aryan Sanghera and then Fischer-Keogh (14) were dismissed with the score on just 50.
The last four Greenock wickets added another 31 runs before the game ended with Greenock trailing West’s total by 194 runs.
Benedict Cole made up for his lack of runs at the top of the batting order for West by running through the Greenock tail-end batsmen. In a spell of a little under four overs he picked up three wickets for just nine runs to end up as the home side’s top bowler in the match.
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