Greenock unable to halt losing run

Greenock 1st XI vs Uddingston

Greenock 1st XI (0 pts) 131 (AHJ Hislop 43, PJC Hoffmann 4 for 27, A Gul 3 for 18)
Uddingston (10 pts) 133 for 2
(S Zia 70*, R Priyadarshana 31*)

Scorecard       Photos

Depleted Greenock slumped to an eight defeat in nine league outings when they suffered an eight wicket reverse at the hands of Uddingston on Saturday. The home team were without Berrington, McIntosh, Wylie and Prabhu for various and well documented reasons but they did welcome back Willie Rowan into the fold after his recent spell on the sidelines due to injury.

Greenock won the toss yet again when visiting skipper Bawa called incorrectly and the locals chose to bat first on what looked like, despite the recent months of great weather, and ultimately proved to be, a rather green and sporty Glenpark track. And so it proved to be as the experienced opening new ball pair of Bawa and Hoffmann demonstrated the art of accurate bowling in helpful conditions with miserly and very productive returns. In fact Bawa’s figures of 1 for 5 off his ten overs, including five maidens, is the most economical in SNCL history. At the interval Bawa said: “I wish I could carry this wicket around the country with me and bowl on it every week.” His partner Hoffmann who posted figures of 4 for 27 echoed his skipper’s comments when he stated that: “The ball moved so much off the wicket that at times I just couldn’t control it.”

To say that batting was a challenge would be to minimise just how difficult it was. An opening Hoffmann maiden was followed immediately by a Bawa wicket as he clean bowled Rowan (0) with the total stuck on zero. The big Queenslander was determined not to miss out on this fun in the sun as he dismissed Bellwood (4) caught by Bradley and then disturbed Kruger’s timbers (0) in the same over. At 17 for 3 trouble was in the air but Hislop had knuckled down as he and McLaren added 40 before the latter’s marathon and unequal struggle against the ball was finally brought to an end when he was harshly adjudged LBW for just 6 as the ‘keeper’s solitary appeal was upheld in the affirmative.

Begley looked to be aggressive with the bat as he had obviously decided that survival on this particular wicket would ultimately prove fruitless and he and Hislop took the score to 84 before Hislop mistimed a half tracker and his skier was caught behind by Clarke. His hard fought 43 was a great effort under very difficult circumstances. Begley’s demise was the cue to begin the almost statutory Enron-like collapse as 84 for 4 quickly turned into 98 for 9 as five wickets fell for just 14 runs. With the home team looking like it might fail once more to register three figures it was left to veteran David Thomson and Kieran Begley to take the score to 131 all out with a last wicket partnership of 33. Thomson was left stranded on 24 as the innings concluded with just 8 balls remaining.

As the sun continued to shine and the wicket began to behave itself, the task of defending 131 was never going to be an easy one. Pinch hitter Hoffmann looked as though he wanted to get home early as he quite literally threw his bat at anything that looked remotely round and red but his inventive cameo was cut short when he was caught at long off by the younger Begley off the bowling of McLaren for 19. Clarke (7) fell soon after, caught by Kruger off Rowan, but that was to prove to be the last success Greenock enjoyed with the ball.

UAE star Zia batted sensibly for his 70* off 74 balls which included eight boundaries and two huge maximums and he was ably backed up by Sri Lankan professional Priyadarshana who finished up 31* as the last rites were administered in the 28th over.

Greenock never gave up though and despite the score line this was a gutsier performance than those of late allowing for the fact that the home team were missing so many important contributors. Team spirit remains high which is testament to the players’ desire to fight through this difficult period. Good on ‘em.

GCC would like to thank Ball Sponsor – Brian Roberts, Match Sponsor – BPI plc and Presidential Suite Sponsor – David Campbell.