Greenock 165 for 7 wickets (30 overs) 25 points
Andersons East Kilbride 109 all out 29.4 overs
(Target under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system: 174 in 30 overs)
GREENOCK made the perfect start to their league programme with an emphatic 65-run win over Andersons East Kilbride on Saturday.
Batting first, Greenock compiled 165 for the loss of 7 wickets. But this was from just 30 overs. The innings was interrupted by a downpour which resulted in the curtailment of what should have been a 50-over innings.
The localised rain interruption came early in the inning; Greenock had batted for just 5.2 overs. Although the heavy rainfall was brief, a stoppage of almost three hours was required to allow for drying out of the ground.
When play recommenced, the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) calculation indicated that the Greenock innings would be reduced to just 30 overs. So batting tactics needed altering. With a little under 25 overs remaining, it now became essential that the Glenpark side’s batsmen scored at a brisk pace immediately from the restart.
Resuming on seven runs without loss, Greenock had an early setback when opening batsman Harry Briggs was caught by Adil Hussain off the bowling of first change bowler David Doyle with the score on just 19.
This brought Ryan Walker out into the middle to join Tom Nicholson and the two young Australians quickly got to grips with the host’s bowling. They put on 52 runs before Nicholson, who had been the aggressor in the partnership, was bowled by Muhammad Ramzan for 42.
Walker and Gregor Chambers kept the runs flowing by adding 28 in just six overs before Doyle picked up his second wicket. Chambers was stumped by Gavin Meikle for 16.
At this stage, with 20 overs bowled, Greenock’s score was 99 for the loss of three wickets. The incoming batsmen now knew that quick runs were needed to take the team’s score to as high a number as possible.
In the next two overs, 16 runs were scored but two more wickets were lost. Shailesh Prabhu and Chirag Pandher were the batsmen out. Pandher hit a quickfire 10 runs from just half a dozen balls, which included a massive six, before he was caught by Kampman off the bowling of Doyle.
But Walker was still at the crease and batting well, and when he was joined by teenager Lukas Fischer-Keogh, a fine sixth-wicket partnership was built. The pair put on 31 runs in just six overs as they sought to maximise the last overs.
With just two overs remaining, Walker (44) was out when he was caught off the bowling of Pieterson by Sahil Kakar. Fischer-Keogh (27) became the seventh wicket when he was bowled by Mo Khan with the score on 158. With seven runs scored from the final over, Greenock finished on 165 for 7.
Doyle returned the best bowling figures with three for 48 from six overs.
The Lanarkshire side were set a DLS target of 174 from 30 overs and got off to the worst possible start. With the very first ball of the innings, Gavin Meikle was run out thanks to a sharp piece of fielding by Tom Nicholson.
Then, with just 15 runs on the scoreboard, Stewart Kampman was caught by wicketkeeper Lukas Fischer-Keogh off the bowling of Cammy Calder.
Greenock picked up a third wicket with the score on 25 and East Kilbride were in some trouble. A fourth-wicket partnership of 29 runs by Ramzan and Aziz steadied the East Kilbride innings but they were unable to lift the run rate to the required level.
So with just 12 overs, remaining East Kilbride needed a further 114 runs at a rate of almost ten runs per over.
Only the middle-order trio of Ramzan (43), Izaz (15) and Kakar (14) were able to keep some runs flowing for the home side. But with the latter two removed, to leave the home side on 96 for six, it was left to Ramzan to put up any final resistance.
The introduction of Walker into the Greenock bowling attack by team captain Greg McDougall was the key decision in finishing off the Lanarkshire side’s batting. Firstly he had Ramzan caught by ‘keeper Fischer-Keogh in the 28th over, then in the final over, Walker removed Pieterson, Hawkes and Carton in the space of just the first four balls. East Kilbride were all out for 109.
Wicket-keeper Lukas Fischer-Keogh had a fine afternoon with 27 runs and then three catches and two stumpings. But it was Ryan Walker with 44 runs and 4 wickets for 22 runs who was the man of the match.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U