Positive signs for Greenock in defeat

Greenock 1st XI vs Carlton

Greenock (0 pts) 232 for 7 (KA McLaren 67, AJL Baum 60*,CK Kruger 32)
Carlton (10 pts) 235 for 2 (PL Mommsen 97, CV English 73*, DF Watts 52)


Greenock’s visit to Auld Reekie on Saturday ended in defeat as they succumbed to the powerful Carlton batting machine in a game which was not a total disaster as a number of positives were derived for the local lads.

Greenock won the toss and yet again elected to bat on a good track and fast outfield at the well appointed Grange Loan ground. Openers Hislop and McIntosh moved serenely and untroubled onto 22 before the former was bowled for just 2 by Cedric English in the third over. Mcintosh continued in belligerent form with a series of boundaries but his cameo ended abruptly with the total on 30 when he was caught by Gilmour off the bowling of Elder for 22 going for one lusty blow too many. Prabhu (12) looked in good nick but again fell short of what could and should have been when he lobbed a simple catch off the experienced English and at 50-3 the visitors were in the mire.

Overseas amateur Kruger and Greenock skipper McLaren set about repairing the damage with a great partnership of 78 but just as things appeared to be looking up, the Springbok walked past a straight one from local boy Ross Lyons, released from the victorious Saltires side which travelled to Leicester on Saturday, as he looked round in horror to confirm his worst fears as he heard the dreaded death rattle of ball on stumps. A fine battling innings of 32 had come to a somewhat muted ending. Bellwood (8) came and went, run out for a second time this season, and this allowed 16 year old youngster Alex Baum to come to the wicket to demonstrate his undoubted skill and nerve.

McLaren perished for a well earned 67 with the total on 165 and then Baum went to work by setting about the home attack with a bravado and gusto reminiscent of a young Thomas McMillan Black in his full pomp and glory. The youngster, nicknamed A-Bomb, tucked into the bowling gorging himself with no fewer than 3 sixes and 5 boundary fours to reach his maiden 1st XI half century off just 35 balls. Even some colourful and encouraging chat from the home fielders failed to disturb the young man as the more he was encouraged, the further he hit it. To be fair Greenock and Carlton enjoy a good relationship and the Carlton lads were first to offer their hands in congratulation to Baum (60no) at the end of an innings which had progressed to 232-7 after the fall of Rowan for 10.

Defending 232 against the Carlton batting lineup was never going to be easy and so it proved as former Greenock man Watts and surely soon to be capped Mommsen began the reply in fine fettle. The score had moved quickly onto 90 before Watts’ contribution for the day was ended when he was out-wiled by the wily Wylie and bowled for a punchy 52. This brought the immensely talented English to the crease and he and Mommsen looked ever so comfortable as they gradually wore down the Greenock bowlers, mixing good running with hard hitting adding 133 for the second wicket. Just as they were about to apply the coup de grace Mommsen holed to McIntosh off Rowan for a well compiled 97 leaving English (73no) and Gilmour (2no) to end the job in the 44th over.

An 8 wicket defeat looks bad but in all honesty the local boys fought hard throughout the contest and they can take a great deal of credit out of the match with Baum playing the innings of the day in what one hopes is the start of a very long and very successful career with Greenock Cricket Club.

In keeping with the seemingly unending run of bad luck the Club is enjoying this season Kruger was taken to casualty in Edinburgh at the end of the game and it was confirmed that he had dislocated his finger and also chipped a bone which may prevent him from playing for a good few weeks. Something about raining and pouring springs immediately to mind.