Greenock gain first Scottish Cup sectional win

Poloc vs Greenock 1st XI
Scottish Cup
Saturday 5th May 2012

Greenock 1st XI 228 for 9 (2 pts) C Schlebusch 108*, AJL Baum 44; CW Huyser 4 for 54
Poloc 142 (0 pts) CW Huyser 43; JPC Hempsey 3 for 33


Greenock gained their first Scottish Cup sectional win of the 2012 season with a convincing victory over NVT Poloc at Shawholm on Saturday, thanks to a fine all round team performance but with an unbeaten century from overseas amateur Craig Schlebusch the outstanding contribution.

Having been asked to bat first on what was likely to be a fairly slow and low wicket, Shailesh Prabhu, captaining the side in the absence of Ryan Begley, opened the innings for the fourth time this season, and also for the fourth time, had a different opening partner. Alex Baum, promoted from his more regular middle order position, assumed the role on Saturday and the two made a useful start to the innings by putting on 37 runs before Prabhu was easily caught by Glenton Stuurman from the bowling of Carl Huyser for 18

Huyser picked up his second wicket of the afternoon when he clean bowled Greenock’s new professional Mpho Sekhoto for 7 runs with just 14 more runs on the board. And when Chris Hempsey was given out LBW to make the score 70 for 3 the prospect of a large total was receding over by over.

Enter overseas amateur Craig Schlebusch who, along with Alex Baum steadied the ship with some sensible batting and took the Greenock score past the hundred mark in the 27 th over before Baum was judged LBW to the bowling of Matt Coyle for a fine 44. Thereafter it was Schlebusch who dominated proceedings, with an array of well placed shots around the ground which gave the home side no real hint of a chance of getting him out. He batted with sensible aggression mixed with a constant search for singles and the run tally was always being added to at a good pace. Schlebusch was unbeaten on 108 at the end of the innings having scored four 6s and 8 4s in a sparkling display of batting.

For the Shawholm side, professional Carl Huyser, a South African now living in Christchurch, New Zealand, was their top bowler. He returned figures of 4 wickets for 54 runs. Glenton Stuurman their overseas amateur from South Africa picked up two wickets as did the Poloc perennial Keith Sheridan.

After the tea interval, Greenock made the best possible start picking up the wickets of both Poloc openers in the first two overs of the home side’s innings. Waleed Jamal bowled Stuurman with his fifth delivery which scattered the stumps and then Jonathan Hempsey trapped Matt Coyle LBW with the third delivery of the second over.

Poloc never really recovered from this dreadful start although Huyser did look for a time as though he could be a threat if others around him could stay with him in the middle. With wickets continuing to tumble and the pressure on Huyser to keep the score ticking, a false shot was almost certain to come and it did in the thirteenth over when Jonathan Hempsey got his wicket when he skied a shot to mid on which was comfortably held by Greg McDougall. He had scored 43 runs out of the home side’s total of 64.

Thereafter it was really only how long could Poloc hang on. Greenock’s acting captain Shailesh Prabhu cleverly changed his bowlers keeping the home side from getting settled and wickets fell regularly until with the score on 142, the final wicket was captured when Jayaratne was a second victim of Waleed Jamal’s pace and had his stumps knocked back. Paul Flanagan 27 not out and Scott Millen with 22 were the only other Poloc batsmen to give the scorers much to do as the match moved to its inevitable conclusion.

Jonathan Hempsey returned the top bowling figures of 3 for 33, while Mpho Sekhoto picked up two wickets on his Greenock debut with his off spin, Greg McDougall one wicket and Man of the Match Craig Schlebuch 2 for 29.

Greenock therefore gained their first Scottish Cup win at the end of the first round of sectional matches with the remaining three games to take place in late June and early July before the knock out stage commences with the quarter finals played later in July.

The joy of the win was tempered by the news that Craig Schlebusch was having to return to South Africa for personal reasons. In his two matches for Greenock he had shown himself to be a top player who would have been a tremendous addition to the local side in their 150th Anniversary Season.