Greenock lose opening Premiership match

Greenock 1st XI vs Clydesdale

Greenock 1st XI 155 (0 pts) (M Ali 3 for 30)
Clydesdale 157 for 3 (10 pts) (Z Shahid 82*, RO Hussain 48)



The pundits predicted it and the match played out much as expected, as Greenock went down by seven wickets at Glenpark on Saturday to Greaves Clydesdale in the opening SNCL Premiership fixture of season 2011. Without three key players: Richie Berrington on international duty, Alex Baum unavailable and Australian Professional Luke Butterworth injured , it was always going to be an uphill battle for the local team.

Glenpark, often considered one of Scotland’s finest and most picturesque cricket grounds, was looking in quite splendid shape on what was a gloriously, sunny afternoon. All credit for its appearance must go to groundsman Roger Hardie, who has put in a power of work in recent weeks. The wicket was firm and outfield fast, which suggested plenty of runs should be scored, and so when Greaves Clydesdale captain Kasim Farid called incorrectly at the toss, Ryan Begley, Greenock’s captain, did not hesitate to elect to bat.

Chris Bellwood and Andy Hislop opened for Greenock, but having made a satisfying start with six runs from the first over, disaster struck with the very first ball of the second when former Scottish international bowler Greg Williamson had Hislop caught behind by Omar Hussain. Bellwood then edged a sharp paced delivery from the visitors pro, Hussain, and he too was comfortably caught behind having scored 18 runs.

Greenock now needed to settle and ensure no further loss of wickets but, just ten runs later, Rowan and home skipper Ryan Begley mis-judged their running between the wickets and Begley needed no TV reviews to be given out by umpire Haggo. 45 for 3. Next to go was Rowan himself when he got an inside edge from a delivery from change bowler Afzal and played on having scored 23.

A sixth wicket partnership between Jonathan Hempsey and David Thomson was looking promising for the local side until Hempsey on 20 mis-timed his shot and sent an edge flying to Farid in the gully who made no mistake with the catch. 91 for 6. That dismissal then heralded one of Greenock’s better partnership of the afternoon. 17 year old Ben Peterson and the experienced Thomson added 27 runs before Thomson went down the wicket to slow bowler Ali, missed and was easily stumped by Hussain for 20. 118 for 7.

Greg McDougall joined Peterson and these two young players belied their inexperience at 1st XI level and fashioned some fine shots which once again gave some hope that Greenock might set a reasonably challenging total. However, Peterson perished having top scored with 25 when he smashed a ball from Kashif only to see it soar straight to deep mid off where the catch was well taken. McDougall and Dougie Wylie then defied the Clydesdale bowlers almost to the 50th over adding 18 runs for the last wicket before McDougall punched a shot to cover and was caught low down having contributed 15 runs which brought the Greenock innings to a close on 155 all out.

The Greaves Clydesdale reply did not get off to the best of starts as both Williamson (4) and Paige (2) fell having caused little trouble to the scorers. Zulfi Shahid and Omar Hussain however, took the game away from Greenock with some impressive stroke play for which the home team bowlers had no reply. Hussain (48) fell just short of his half century when he was well caught at mid-off by young Aidan Forrest in his maiden SNCL Premiership match, but by that time the result was in no doubt and Shahid remained unbeaten at the close on 82 not out.

Greenock CC wish to thank Match Sponsor Marco Mazzoni of Louis’ Fish and Chip Shop in Port Glasgow and Match Ball Sponsor John Kirk for their generous support.