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Greenock start the season with a win

Greenock 1st XI vs Drumpellier

Greenock 1st XI 211 (C Bellwood 68, WJ Rowan 33, RD Berrington 32, RG Begley 31, A Mohammed 5 for 24)
Drumpellier 202 for 6 (A Mohammed 66, Z Mohammed 47, S Allison 42)

Scorecard       

Greenock got the 2011 cricket season off to a winning start with a nine run victory over visitors Drumpellier in a friendly at Glenpark on Saturday. Despite a slow, soft wicket due to the recent wet weather and lack of warmth, over 400 runs were scored on this first day of the ‘summer’ game.

Batting first, the local side made a steady start with openers Chris Bellwood and Andy Hislop looking comfortable against the Drumpellier bowling attack. Thirty four runs were scored from the first nine overs before Hislop was dismissed for 11. Richie Berrington and Bellwood then added 76 for the second wicket until the impressive Bellwood’s innings came to an end in the 21st over for a confidence building 68 runs.

Berrington and Willie Rowan continued to provide some brisk run scoring with Rowan, in particular, hitting some lusty blows including a towering six off Rawlinson into Bedford Street. However just as it seemed likely that these two would take the game away from the Lanarkshire visitors, Rowan was caught at the wicket off one of the slowest balls of the afternoon for 33.

By that time, Berrington had retired undefeated, having scored 32 runs, in order to allow some others to get a bat out in the middle. This gesture probably caused Greenock to score many fewer runs than would otherwise have been the case but did give opportunity for time in the middle for others. Ryan Begley took his chance and played some excellent shots, including three boundaries in a well constructed innings of 31 runs before being run out.

In the final four overs of the innings and with four wickets in hand, Greenock failed to take advantage of their position. Instead of accelerating towards 250, they lost their last four wickets for just 15 runs to close on 211 all out. For the visitors, Asad Mohammed claimed 5 wickets for just 24 runs from 5.3 overs to get his season off to a fine start.

After the tea interval, Drumpellier set about chasing Greenock’s challenging total and Zaheer Mohammed quickly indicated his intent with four boundaries from Bellwood’s first over. Despite Mohammed’s attacking play, the visitors were rarely up with the required run rate and when Greenock’s best bowler on the day, Jonathan Hempsey, had him caught in the deep through a brilliant diving catch by Ryan Begley, the game had swung very much in Greenock’s favour. Although Asad Mohammed with 66 and Stevie Allison, 42, put on 92 for the third wicket Greenock were able to maintain control of the run rate and also give a number of players a first bowling workout for the season. In his second spell of the afternoon Willie Rowan picked up two wickets, both victims caught behind by Hislop, to put an end to any lingering hopes that Drumpellier might have of winning the game while Chris Bellwood and Greg McDougall each bagged a wicket towards the end.

It was a good opening game for Greenock and in the end a well judged and reasonably comfortable win. One disappointing note, and not for the first time either, was the concession of far too many extras, 24 in total, including 20 wides. On another day, this could have been the difference between a win and a defeat and is something that Club Coach, Tom Black, needs to work on in the coming weeks.

GCC would like to thank the Ball Sponsor for the day, John Kirk.