Greenock lose out narrowly to Dunfermline

Greenock 1st XI vs Dunfermline

Dunfermline 218 (10 pts) (COM Farrell 74*; W Jamal for 67, TG McIntosh 3 for 33)
Greenock 1st XI 207 (2 pts) (JPC Hempsey 54, SS Prabhu 41, AJL Baum 30; A Shahzad 4 for 46)


Greenock narrowly lost at McKane Park on Saturday when they went down by just eleven runs in an enthralling encounter against Dunfermline . Defeat however means that the local side find themselves in the bottom four as the Premiership split looms large.

Winning the toss and batting first, Dunfermline made a decent start with McLaren and Rai putting on 47 runs before Tim McIntosh trapped Rai leg before wicket for 26. McIntosh then picked up a second wicket just twelve runs later when McLaren was smartly caught at the wicket by Andy Hislop for 21. Three more wickets were picked up by the mid way point in the innings, with Smidt (0) and Sharif(12) both clean bowled by Greenock’s recent new pace bowling acquisition Waleed Jamal and then Reddy was ripped out by Richie Berrington for just 1 run. At 90 for 5 after 23 overs Greenock were on top.

Then when Dougie Wylie had Schmitt removed LBW for 24 with the score on just 103 Greenock really looked to be on top.

Colin Farrell coming in at number 8 in the Dunfermline batting line up had other ideas however and gradually the home side began to recover and the scoreboard climb. With initial assistance from Shahzad , runs were added until Shahzad became Jamal’s third victim of the afternoon trapped LBW for 26. Thereafter it was pretty well a one man recovery as Farrell piled on the runs and only in the 50th and final over of the innings did he run out of partners having scored 74 not out in a total of 218. In his innings of just 71 balls he hit five 4’s and two 6’s.

Waleed Jamal took 4 for 67 from 10 overs and Tim McIntosh 3 for 33 from 10 overs.

So from a position of dominance midway through the Dunfermline innings Greenock let slip their grip on the game and by the tea interval the home side were the team with the psychological advantage.

Further misfortune followed after the re-start when in just the fifth over Greenock’s Kiwi professional Tim McIntosh was very harshly adjudged LBW. On the front foot, McIntosh played late on the ball, bowler Reddy stifled an appeal with no other Dunfermline player remotely interested, and to everyone’s amazement the umpire raised his finger.

Shailesh Prabhu and Chris Bellwood had to dig deep after this blow and slowly got Greenock into the game with Prabhu in particular scoring well. Bellwood departed for just 7 when he got an edge to a good length ball from Shahzad and McLaren took a comfortable catch in the slips.

Richie Berrington joined Prabhu and these two were looking comfortable and scoring at a pace of around three runs an over until the 25th over when Prabhu mis-timed a shot and was caught by Schmitt off the bowling of Shahzad, who then hit ‘a purple patch’ as he picked up the wickets of Andy Hislop (1) and Berrington (16) in successive overs.

Greenock were now reeling on 83 for 5 with the match slipping away. The two new batsmen Alex Baum and Jonathan Hempsey quickly indicated that their intention was to take the game to Dunfermline and in the overs that followed good running between the wickets and regular boundaries particularly from Hempsey pushed the total along at a very sprightly rate and shifted the momentum to some extent in Greenock’s direction.

With nine overs remaining and 56 runs needed for victory Baum was adjudged LBW from the bowling of Sharif and he departed having scored a fine 30. Dougie Wylie joined Hempsey and the runs and pressure on Dunfermline continued but after an exciting little cameo Wylie skied a delivery from Sharif and was caught by wicket-keeper Schmitt for 11. 178 for 7 and 41 runs needed from seven overs.

A bad blow to the right elbow from a ‘beamer,’ not adjudged by the umpire to having been a no ball from Sharif, left Greenock’s main run scorer Jonathan Hempsey in some considerable pain and discomfort, and in the over following this injury, as he tried to keep forcing the pace, he was undone by a delivery from Smidt and bowled having scored 54 runs. 192 for 8 and 27 runs needed from four overs.

A further wicket two balls later left just Ryan Begley, operating with a runner, and last man Jamal to win the game. The Dunfermline total was just out of reach however as, despite a valiant effort from Begley (18) the game ended with a run out with just three balls of the last over remaining and Greenock still a tantalising eleven runs short of the target.

Shahzad took 4 for 46 from 10 overs, Sharif 2 for 34 from 10 overs and Smidt 2 for 40 from 10 overs.

For any neutrals watching it was a great game of cricket. For Dunfermline it was a hard fought win. For Greenock it was a very disappointing defeat yet one from which they also took considerable credit.