Ferguslie 238 all out (49.3 overs) 25 Points
Greenock 126 all out (39.4 overs) 0 Points
GREENOCK lost to Renfrewshire rivals Ferguslie at Glenpark.
The team fell to its third successive league defeat, at the hands of 2022 Scottish Champions of Champions, Ferguslie.
It would have been an unlikely win had the Glenpark team managed to turn over their opposition and, in the end, the difference in the overall abilities of the two teams was clear to see.
But despite winning by the handsome margin of 112 runs, Ferguslie did not have it all their own way. Greenock showed that they have a team which is not a long way off being able to compete closely with a top team such as Ferguslie.
On the warmest Saturday afternoon of the season so far, Greenock won the pre-match toss and invited Ferguslie to bat.
With only the fifth ball of the first over, the visitors’ professional Mo Mayat was removed thanks to a brilliant catch taken by Greenock’s pro Rahul Dalal.
Mayat drove a good length delivery from Gregor Chambers into the cover area and it looked to be heading for the boundary until Dalal dived full length to his left and took a magnificent catch just inches from the ground.
The visitors quickly got over this setback as Gregor Preston-Jones and Bahadar Esakhiel built a fine partnership. After ten overs the two batters had taken their team’s score to 51.
It was then that Greenock captain Greg McDougall brought himself on to bowl and it very nearly paid dividends. With his first ball, Preston-Jones played a full drive straight back which McDougall almost held.
The Ferguslie pair continued to score well and took the score to 97 in the 24th over. But Esakhiel was then caught and bowled by Rahul Dalal having scored 37 runs.
Greenock picked up a further four Ferguslie wickets quite quickly, including Preston-Jones who was dismissed for 61 runs. He was caught by wicketkeeper Lukas Fischer-Keogh from the bowling of Dalal. The visitors’ total when the sixth wicket fell was 133.
At this point, Greenock were very much in the match. But once again Ferguslie managed to get a partnership working thanks to Mo Ghaffar and Uzair Ahmad and the score moved on to 173 before Ghaffar was bowled by Nagendra Nagaraju for 16.
Ahmad was next to go just two runs later. He fell to a fine catch deep in the field by Harry Briggs having scored 35 runs. And with just six overs remaining, Ferguslie had scored 175 for the loss of eight wickets.
Had Greenock managed to finish off the Ferguslie innings quickly they would have been in a good position. But those last six overs yielded 63 runs thanks to a combination of loose bowling and some fine shot-making by Haroon and Daoud Tahir.
Ferguslie were all out for 238 with just three balls of the 50th over remaining. Top bowlers for Greenock were Rahul Dalal with four wickets for 39 runs from 10 overs and Greg McDougall with two for 18 from 7.3 overs.
Greenock’s reply began badly with the loss of both opening batsmen within the first nine overs and with only 18 runs scored. And when the team’s Indian professional Dalal was removed cheaply in the 10th over, Greenock’s prospects of winning the match had all but disappeared.
Wickets continued to tumble as the Glenparkers could not get a decent partnership going. At the mid-point in the innings Greenock had slumped to 77 for the loss of seven wickets
With only bonus points to play for, Greenock needed to score a minimum of 60 per cent of the Ferguslie score and so there remained a target to aim for: 144.
Gregor Chambers, who had come in at number five, and Chirag Pandher at number nine developed a good partnership and, for a while, it seemed that Greenock might well manage to reach the first bonus point target.
Both players were scoring well and seemed to be getting confident with their batting. But in the 35th over, Pandher was adjudged leg before wicket to Taimoor Ahmad immediately after having hit the Ferguslie bowler back over his head and out into Fox Street. Pandher had scored 18.
Chambers was the last man out in the 40th over having scored a fine innings of 45 runs as Greenock ended on 126 all out. Hartoon Tahir was the Paisley side’s most successful bowler returning stats of three for 23 from 10 overs.
Cup Fixtures: Greenock take on Ferguslie once again on Wednesday evening in the McCulloch Cup at Glenpark. The competition is a 20-overs-a-side format and the match against Ferguslie is the first in a small group with Kelburne and Renfrew. The sides play each other home and away with the top two teams progressing to the next stage. And on Thursday, Greenock 1st XI travel to East Kilbride for a first round knockout match in the Rowan Cup.
Greenock 2nd XI: Greenock 2nd XI (Glenpark XI) lost to Glasgow Accies 2nd XI (Anniesland) in Glasgow on Saturday. Anniesland scored 169 all out and Glenpark XI, with 153 all out, failed to reach their target.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U