Greenock's losing run continues

Greenock 1st XI vs Dunfermline

Dunfermline (10 pts) 265 for 7 (S Reddy 79, A Shahzad 50, S Sharif 39)
Greenock 1st XI (0 pts) 200 (KA McLaren 62, CK Kruger 53, A Singh 4 for 21, Y Arfat 4 for 31)

Scorecard       Photos

Greenock completed their last home league fixture of the season when they lost to Dunfermline by 65 runs in an entertaining contest on Saturday at Glenpark.

Visiting skipper Gray won the toss and elected to bat first as the game commenced at the earlier time of midday in good overhead conditions. Opening bowlers Rowan and Bellwood lost their collective bearings as they each conceded 5 wides in the first couple of overs to start proceedings on the wrong note. Bellwood was to gain an element of revenge though when with the last ball of the sixth over he had Rai (10) well caught by McLaren with the score on 40. He was also to account for the prized wicket of Gray (3) when with the total on 57 he popped one up to a relieved Rowan who pouched the catch with ease.

Campbell (23) was next to fall four runs later in the fifteenth over when Baum held on to a loose shot off the bowling of Hempsey. Reddy was now joined by Shahzad in what was to prove to be the pivotal partnership and one that ultimately was to win the game for the visitors. Without ever looking like they were murdering the attack these two moved comfortably along at five runs per over, milking the spin of Wylie and McLaren for 99 runs off their collective twenty overs and a huge total beckoned with both batsmen well set. These two added 132 runs in 27 overs before Reddy was caught by Wylie off Hempsey for a well compiled 79 made from 99 balls.

Sharif joined the fray and he and Shahzad took the score to 226 only for the former to be undone for a round fifty by a beauty from Rowan which just clipped the top of the off stump to dislodge a rather reluctant bail. Bunting (5) came and went but Sharif continued his assault hitting Hempsey into Fox Street for a couple of maximums on his way to a belligerent 39 off just 18 balls. Arfat (8*) and Sullivan (8*) saw it through to a final total of 265 for 7 which included 40 extras. Rowan 2 for 53, Bellwood 2 for 35 and Hempsey 2 for 47 were the successful home bowlers.

Greenock set about chasing down a second consecutive score of over 260 in positive mood. Begley (2) was desperately unlucky to see his miss-hit carve drop down the throat of the only bloke patrolling the outfield with the score on just 7 but this brought McLaren in to join Rowan in the pursuit. 36 was added before Rowan’s attempted cross bat slog proved his undoing and he was well and truly done for, out bowled for 26. Kruger came to the wicket for his last home knock and he and McLaren knuckled down to the task at hand with some purpose. At drinks the home side were on a competitive, if not potentially match-winning, 124 for 2 as an increasingly worried looking set of visiting players congregated for the obligatory huddle.

With the score on 143 Arfat was to make the breakthrough when McLaren (62) nibbled at one and was caught behind by the eager Shakoor. Bellwood was next to go six runs later caught by Shazad off Arfat for an eight ball blob as the old failings of losing wickets in batches came back to haunt Greenock. Hislop (9) was Shakoor’s second victim before the crucial wicket of Kruger (53) saw Shakoor take a third catch as the score slid from 143 for 2 to 182 for 6. Hempsey (2) was out bowled by Singh and then the same bowler held on to a fine return catch to take care of Baum (13) as the youngster chased runs whilst simultaneously trying to protect the tail. By now the end was nigh and Kelso (2) was quickly followed by Wylie (7) leaving Begley the Younger on 1* and that was well and truly that. Greenock at 200 all out had lost their last 8 wickets for a mere 58 runs in just 13 overs. Singh with 4 for 21 and Arfat 4 for 31 were the destroyers in chief for the visitors.

So Greenock complete an entire league program without winning a single home game for the first time since well, ever but they can now take stock and look back at four or five fixtures where the result could have been and indeed should have been very different. I have dispensed with my well worn and overly used broken vinyl 45 and have now moved into the 21 st century with what I am reliably led to believe is called an eight track cassette tape. The message is still the same though. Could have been, should have been.

GCC would like to thank Ball Sponsor – Gordon McQuat, Match Sponsor – Duncan MacKenzie Quality Butchers and Presidential Suite Sponsor – ECL Group