Greenock 188 all out (5 points)
East Kilbride 189 for 5 wickets (25 points)
GREENOCK slipped to their second successive Premier Division defeat on Saturday, losing away to East Kilbride by five wickets.
Once again it was a disappointing batting performance which led to the team’s downfall.
The afternoon got off to a positive start with Greenock winning the toss and opting to bat and, after four overs, it seemed as though the Glenpark side were doing well. In just the fourth over, Neil Flack launched a blistering attack on Zaighum Ahmad hitting him for 20 runs by way of two boundaries and two maximums.
But it was a false dawn. In the space of just three balls at the end of the fifth over and start of the sixth over, Greenock lost both of their opening batsmen. First to go, bowled by Kess Sajjad, was Harry Briggs, and then Flack was trapped leg before by Stewart Kampman for 22 in his first over, having replaced Ahmed, making it 27 for 2.
The third wicket partnership between Kyle Scrimegour and Louis Ware showed promise as Greenock moved on to 60 after 10 overs, but the re-introduction of Ahmed into the East Kilbride attack quickly paid dividends. With just the second ball of his new spell, Ware was bowled for 14. The pattern of bowling changes bringing a quick wicket continued when Umair Saeed came on to bowl the 16th over and immediately had Scrimegour caught by Clark for 33. It also broke a promising partnership between Scrimegour and Shailesh Prabhu.
Greenock’s scoring rate was almost six runs per over at this point, but the loss of four wickets while less than a third of the way through the innings meant that the team’s position was not as comfortable as it might have been. Prabhu and Chris Hempsey shared Greenock’s highest partnership of the innings when they added 38 runs for the fifth wicket. But, once again, a promising partnership failed to blossom when Hempsey was leg before wicket (LBW) to Saeed. Prabhu became wicket number six when he too was adjudged LBW, this time to Iqbal with the last ball of the 32nd over. Prabhu was on 41 when dismissed with the score on 149.
With the exception of Julien Hulbert, the remainder of the Greenock batting line-up failed to show any real resistance to the East Kilbride bowling and, just 11 overs later, the innings ended on 188 when the last two wickets fell in successive balls from Sajjad. Hulbert scored 36.
Greenock had a number of batsmen who made a decent start to their innings but none was able to push on to a really sizeable score. Neither was there a partnership which lasted any significant time. The team’s total was well short of what it might have been and was not a highly challenging one on a perfect afternoon for scoring runs.
East Kilbride’s opening bowler Kess Sajjad was principal wicket-taker with figures of 4 for 30 from 7.5 overs.
Greenock made a good start after the tea interval. With the very first ball of the innings, Julien Hulbert dismissed East Kilbride’s Aussie overseas player Jack Clark when the opener edged the ball through to wicketkeeper Chris Hempsey who took a good catch. Hulbert picked up a second wicket in the ninth over when he trapped Craig Smith for 14 with the score on 34.
But it was a further 17 overs before Greenock managed to make a third breakthrough and, by then the home side had moved on to 104. Saif Sajjad was the batsman to go, caught by Shailesh Prabhu for 35 from the bowling of Kyle Scrimegour.
When East Kilbride’s second overseas player, Petrus Coetzee from South Africa, was dismissed for 10 runs, LBW to Neil Flack with the score on 115 for the loss of 4 wickets, Greenock may have sensed a glimmer of hope for gaining a win. But former Greenock and Scotland international Mo Iqbal had other ideas and his innings of 84 not out put paid to the Glenpark side’s hopes.
Although Greenock did gain a fifth wicket, the match was ended in the 44th over when East Kilbride scored the winning runs.
GHK 249 for 7 wickets
Greenock 251 for 2 wickets
A youthful Greenock side, which included six under-18 players, gained an impressive first-round WDCU40 Cup win over GHK at Old Anniesland, Glasgow on Sunday. GHK scored 249 runs from their 40 overs to set Greenock challenging target, with opening batsman Mo Kamran dominating the innings with 124 before he was caught by Neil Flack from the bowling of Julien Hulbert.
In reply, Neil Flack was in sparkling form smashing an unbeaten 132 as Greenock raced past the GHK total after just 31.2 overs. Flack’s century took him to more than 2,000 career runs for Greenock. And with three wickets in the GHK innings, he also now has 90 career wickets for the club.
Harry Briggs, 36, Kyle Scrimegour, 37, and Louis Ware, 19 not out, were the other Greenock batsmen who contributed runs to the cup win. Next up in the competition is an away tie to Ferguslie on Sunday 4 June.
Greenock Cricket Club is sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U