FOLLOWING last weekend’s Premier Division washout, Greenock, along with other teams in the league, will be hoping to get their match played with better weather this Saturday.
The Glenpark side travel to Lanarkshire to meet current joint top-of-the-table team Tunnock’s Uddingston at Bothwell Policies. Saturday’s opponents have started the season very well and have a 100 per cent record from the three matches they have played in the Premier Division.
The cancellation of last Saturday’s match at Glenpark because of wet weather was a great disappointment for the Greenock side whose confidence was up following a midweek win at Renfrew. It was also doubly disappointing as Greenock had arguably their strongest eleven of the season available and ready to play Clydesdale.
It was at Uddingston last season that Greenock recorded one its best and most important results. Greenock made a massive move towards survival in the Premier Division with the fine eight-wicket win.
While Greenock have remained largely unchanged in terms of 1st XI personnel since that match last summer, Uddingston have had their side strengthened by the arrival of a number of players.
Anwar Hafeez, opening batsman from Ayr, Niall Alexander opening pace bowler from Dumfries and Abdul Sabri, middle-order bat and change bowler from Glenrothes have all made an immediate impact within the Lanarkshire team. And returned to the Uddingston ranks after a spell playing First Class cricket for Durham County is Scottish internationalist Gavin Main who partners Alexander as the head of the bowling attack.
Another key player is former Greenockian Ross Lyons who moved to Glasgow when he was just a young teenager. He gained international recognition at various age group levels with Clydesdale.
A left-handed batsman and a slow left-arm orthodox spin bowler, Lyons made his debut for the Scottish senior international team in 2005 and played 61 times for Scotland in all formats. After a spell out of the international scene, Lyons was once again chosen to represent Scotland ‘A’ in a number of matches during the 2018 season.
Now aged 33, Lyons joined Uddingston in April 2017 following a spell with East Kilbride where he was their Player of the Year in 2016. He is a player who is well known to the Greenock side and his performances with both bat and ball could well have an important bearing upon the outcome of the game on Saturday. Others in the Uddingston side who Greenock will need to keep in check include team captain Bryan Clarke, Amir Gul, Mo Awais and Harmanjit ‘Harry’ Singh.
The Greenock team will be without one of its most experienced players as Jonathan Hempsey is side-lined by a badly bruised foot, an injury gained two weeks ago in the match against Prestwick. It is likely to lead to him missing the next two or three Premier Division matches.
Also missing will be former 1st XI captain Shailesh Prabhu and Chirag Pandher whose work commitments rule them out. Prabhu’s omission, in particular, will be a further blow as he brings considerable experience to the batting line-up.
But the enforced break last weekend, and in midweek, has at least provided an opportunity for some players who have been carrying injuries a few extra days to regain their fitness and be in better condition for Saturday’s encounter.
Greenock’s team for the match which will start at noon is expected to be be from: S Bandekar, Z Barrenechea, S Fischer-Keogh, ND Flack, T Forrest, CJK Hempsey, GJ McDougall, RP Mountford, J Nowell, SS Pandher, SS Sanghera, E Stewart.
The Greenock 2nd XI (Glenpark) welcome Bute County CC to Glenpark on Saturday. The team for this match will be from : Al Calder, PJ Bryceland, C Calder, S Chaudhary, M Farrell, L Fischer Keogh, K Flack, P Hempsey, L McCahill, E Norris, J Nowell, PE Robertson, A Sanghera, DC Sharma.
On Sunday afternoon, Greenock’s Sunday XI are set to play a ‘friendly’ against a West of Scotland XI at Glenpark with the match starting at 1pm.
In midweek, weather once again led to cricket being cancelled. Greenock’s home match with Ferguslie in the McCulloch (West League) Cup at Glenpark was washed out. So after the first three scheduled matches in this year’s group stage of the competition, Greenock have one win and one loss recorded along with one cancellation.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U