Greenock at home to PSL Team Sports Clydesdale

Weather permitting, Greenock will play host to PSL Team Sports Clydesdale at Glenpark this Saturday in a Cricket Scotland League Western Premier Division match. This will be the last of the league matches for a few weeks as the second phase of the newly reorganised Scottish Cup sectional matches begins next weekend. With just one win in the league to date, Greenock will be very keen to register a second success and try to put some distance between themselves and Drumpellier who occupy the bottom position in the division.

Greenock should be at pretty much full strength for the Clydesdale match, with wicketkeeper/batsman Alex Baum once again available after his Scottish Universities commitment last weekend. This means that the opening batting partnership with Shailesh Prabhu, which has begun to look good in recent matches, will once again be able to be used at the top of the Greenock order.

Richie Berrington too, will be back for the Glenpark side after recovering from an injured finger sustained while playing for the Scottish Saltires against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl in Southampton a few weeks ago. His inclusion in the team is of huge importance as he has the ability to turn the match with either bat or ball. He has threatened to get a big score on a number of occasions for Greenock this season and against Clydesdale, with concentration and determination, Richie could easily come good with a major innings which both he and Greenock supporters would be delighted to see.

South African pro Mpho Sekhoto is another accomplished player who has yet to achieve the sizeable innings which his batting talents so obviously indicate will happen soon. In the matches played to date, some decisions have not gone Sekhoto’s way and his time at the crease has been limited. If he can survive the first ten overs after he gets to the middle, then there is every likelihood that he will get into gear and build a significant innings.

Greenock will almost certainly require a large innings total when the team plays Clydesdale on Saturday whether batting first or chasing the visitors’ total and the first four in the home team line-up will be crucial to achieving that goal. With a good base established, then the likes of 1st XI captain Ryan Begley and Chris and Jonathan Hempsey can then push on and a total well in excess of 200 runs can be posted.

PSL Team Sports Clydesdale have only managed to play three out of six league fixtures to date due to the wet weather in the first part of this season. Of these, the team from Titwood have won two and lost one. In mid-May, APD Dumfries defeated Clydesdale by 98 runs at Nunholm in Dumfries, but since then, two wins have allowed the Glasgow side to move up the table into third top place with 67%. Local Life Ayr were defeated by 127 runs and Tunnocks Uddingston by 160 runs.

Clydesdale captain, Zeeshan Bashir, wicketkeeper/batsman Kasim Farid and the very talented Scottish Saltires regular, Majid Haq, are the key players for the Titwood team. Each is a danger man, and for Greenock to entertain success on Saturday, each must be kept in check when they come to the middle. Haq, of course, is also a hugely talented bowler and he has impressed not just for his club, for whom he takes regular wickets, but also for the Scottish Saltires against English county and major international opposition such as England and Australia.

So for Greenock this is a big match. With a more or less full strength side available, Greenock should go into this match with confidence that a positive result can be achieved. Clydesdale rely heavily on three players.... Bashir, Farid and Haq. If Greenock can curtail these three, then, as Dumfries showed when they bowled Clydesdale out for just 70 runs in May, their batting line-up is brittle.

Captain Ryan Begley and 1st team coach Richie Berrington know that Greenock have a side capable of winning against most of the league sides if the players can all come good. This Saturday is an opportunity for that to happen.

Decent weather has deserted much of the UK so far this year and it can only be hoped that the second half of the summer improves. The forecast for Saturday is not promising and it would be very disappointing if there was a second successive Saturday without league cricket.

Greenock Cricket Club wish to thank Match Sponsor, Reid Mackellar Opticians, West Blackhall Street, Greenock for their generous support.

The Glenpark XI has played five WDCU Western Premier Division Reserve League matches this season, winning two and losing three. Two weeks ago a very inexperienced team was no match for a strong Partick eleven and succumbed by ten wickets. This Saturday, the team to travel to Titwood is a much stronger and experienced eleven and should give their opponents, Titwood XI, a good match. This match starts at 1.00pm.

The Hillend XI were disappointed to have last Sunday's fixture against Prestwick cancelled due to the weather, which was the team's second match to be called off in successive weeks. On Sunday, the team travel to play Kilmarnock at the Ayrshire side’s new ground, Scott Ellis Fields, and will be hoping to register a second win of the season against their opponents, having already gained a success at Glenpark in May. They have announced a team which as ever contains a good mix of young and old and which is well capable of bringing off another victory.