Greenock lose first league game to Dumfries

Greenock 1st XI vs Dumfries
CSL Western Premier Division
Saturday 12th May 2012

Dumfries 199 (10 pts) J Clarke 54, JP Geary 50; MI Robertson 3 for 34
Greenock 1st XI 88 (0 pts) AK Davidson 4 for 32, P Druce 4 for 33


On an afternoon when most of the Cricket Scotland League fixtures fell victim to waterlogged grounds due to the heavy rainfall which affected much of central Scotland, Greenock defied the elements and for once, while other areas were wet, Glenpark, on Saturday afternoon, was dry with lengthy spells of sunshine. Unfortunately, Greenock’s performance did not match the bright sunny weather and the local side was well beaten by APD Dumfries.

The match started well enough for Greenock. Ryan Begley won the toss, invited APD Dumfries to bat and within four overs had the visitors in trouble at 4 runs for the loss of two wickets. Chris Bellwood, who played at Greenock during the last two seasons but who returned to play for his home town team at the end of the 2011 season, was well caught by Shailesh Prabhu from the bowling of Waleed Jamal for no runs in just the second over. Just a few balls later, in the third over, Richie Berrington clean bowled the new batsman Tom McBride, also for no runs, to put the Dumfries side in a major spot of bother.

The visitors rallied however, and a fine 72 runs partnership steadied the ship for Dumfries as Scott Beveridge and Josh Geary gradually brought their side back into the game before Greenock pro Mpho Sekhoto had Beveridge caught by Ryan Begley for 24. Geary and incoming batsman Joe Clarke kept the momentum going and the 100 runs came up in the 24th over. Then, having just reached his fifty, Geary was bowled by Mark Robertson, who picked up a further two quick wickets and Sekhoto one wicket, as APD Dumfries slid to 143 for 7.

Clarke and Patrick Druce then procuced an excellent eighth wicket partnership of 55 runs, taking the visitors to 198 runs on the board, before Clarke was run out for a very fine innings of 54. With no further addition to the score Druce, too, was run out for 20 and the innings ended when Waleed Jamal bowled Jeremy Goodin with only one more run added to the total, to give APD Dumfries a final score of 199 all out after 45.4 overs.

Mark Robertson with 3 for 34 from 9 overs was Greenock’s most successful bowler, while pro Mpho Sekhoto and Waleed Jamal picked up two wickets apiece.

Set 200 runs to win with the ball running quickly across the Glenpark outfield, Greenock might have thought that they had a strong chance to gain a positive result. The difference between thought and reality was quickly brought home to Greenock players and supporters when within the space of the first five overs, Shailesh Prabhu, Alex Baum and Richie Berrington were all back in the dressing room with just thirteen runs scored.

Where Dumfries recovered from a poor start, Greenock were unable to do so and when pro Mpho Sekhoto was unfortunately given out LBW for 15, to make the local side 40 for the loss of 5 wickets in the eleventh over, there was little likelihood of the Dumfries total being reached. Jonathan Hempsey with 18 runs, which included two 4s and a mighty 6 into Fox Street, and Greg McDougall with 10, were the only other home batsmen to reach double figures in what was a hugely disappointing batting display.

For APD Dumfries, Patrick Druce 4 wickets for 33 runs and Alan Davidson 4 wickets for 32 runs were the visitors' top performers with the ball.

All out in just 20.4 overs for 88 runs indicates where Greenock’s focus has to be in the weeks ahead. Much greater application and willingness to occupy the crease and weather opposition bowling in order to create a base from which to build an innings, must be the Glenpark plan. When this is able to be achieved, significant runs often flow and batsmen in the middle and lower order come to the middle with confidence and are usually able to add to the tally. Where there is no platform to launch, a crash is all too often the outcome as was witnessed on Saturday.

Greenock will put this match aside, and when the team travels to New Cambusdoon next weekend to meet Ayr, it will be a new day and an opportunity to get back on the winning track.

Greenock CC wish to thank Match Sponsor, Duncan MacKenzie (Craft Butcher) Inverkip Street, Greenock for his generous support of Saturday’s game with APD Dumfries.