Greenock still winless after league defeat at Uddingston

Uddingston vs Greenock 1st XI
CSL Western Premier Division
Saturday 26th May 2012

Uddingston 310 for 5 (10 pts) CS MacLeod 127, AAC MacLeod 46, BARS Priyadarshana 41, A Gul 36
Greenock 1st XI 143 (0 pts)  


Greenock lost heavily to Tunnocks Uddingston at Bothwell Policies on Saturday and as a result have still to record their first league win of the 2012 season. The local side went down by the margin of 167 runs having been asked by the Villagers to chase 311 runs to win.

Tunnocks Uddingston won the toss and not surprisingly elected to bat on an afternoon when the sun shone from a cloudless sky and the mercury indicated a temperature in the high 20s. Alan MacLeod and Amir Gul made a sound start for the home team putting on 66 runs for the first wicket before Greenock pro Mpho Sekhoto bowled Gul for 36. MacLeod (46) became Sekhoto’s second victim, also bowled, when the score had reached 115 in the 29th over.

At this stage Greenock had managed to hold the Villagers reasonably well in check and a score of around 250 might have been expected from the 50 overs as the wicket was a good one for batting and the home side still had eight wickets in hand.

What followed in the remaining 21 overs, however, was a run feast for Uddy. In particular young Scottish internationalist Calum MacLeod piled on the runs, helping himself to a fine century before finally being caught by Greenock captain Ryan Begley from the bowling of Greg McDougall for 127. His innings of almost exactly two hours comprised 14 fours and 2 sixes as he almost single-handedly took apart the Greenock bowling.

Uddy professional BARS Priyadarshana (41) shared a third wicket partnership of 115 runs, which exactly doubled the home score, before being well caught by Jonathan Hempsey off the bowling of Waleed Jamal.

Jamal captured Priyadarshana’s wicket with the last ball of his eighth over and at that time had conceded just 36 runs. In his final two overs, a further 37 runs were smashed as the home batsmen, particularly MacLeod, went on a run spree and his analysis were badly dented.

The final ten overs of the innings saw the Tunnocks Uddingston total race from 193 to 310 as the home batsmen scored at just over eleven runs an over to create a huge total for Greenock to chase. Gavin Bradley, batting at number 5, joined the run fest when MacLeod was out with just three overs to go, and he then played a fine little cameo innings hitting 25 not out from just ten scoring shots.

Set over a run a ball to win, Greenock faced a very challenging task and when opener Shailesh Prabhu was adjudged LBW in the seventh over with the total on 29, the omens were not good. Prabhu reckoned he had clearly played the ball on to his pads, and a couple of Uddingston players later agreed, but once again this season, fortune was not with Greenock and the decision was an early setback to the team.

Two further LBW decisions, about which neither Alex Baum (18) nor pro Mpho Sekhoto (12) had any issue, reduced the Glenparkers to 51 for 3 at the start of the eleventh over and the task of scoring 300 plus runs was becoming a major mountain to climb. The run rate was fine but the loss of three top batsman so early in the innings was a huge setback.

Greenock now needed a very significant partnership from internationalist Richie Berrington and team captain Ryan Begley to steady the innings. Unfortunately no such partnership developed and when Begley (15) gave a simple chance to MacLeod in the nineteenth over to make the score 76 for 4 the run rate had crept up to seven runs required from each of the 31 overs remaining.

When Richie Berrington holed out to a straightforward catch by Priyadarshana deep on the legside for 29 and became the sixth wicket down, the match was all but finished. Uddingston were in to the last few Greenock batsmen who lacked the experience to be able to take up the massive challenge which they faced.

Chris Hempsey and Greg McDougall put together a brief partnership which was beginning to show some promise until McDougall (9) presented Neil MacLeod with a simple catch at mid off. Then, having compiled 22 runs with some fine shots to the boundary, Hempsey was bowled by Bradley as he tried to keep up a brisk pace of scoring.

The end was now near and the final two wickets fell when firstly Neil Flack was unfortunately not given the benefit of the doubt in what was a very tight run out decision, and then Waleed Jamal gave a skied return catch to David Bill after a very brief but highly entertaining innings of 17 runs.

Greenock’s innings of 143 runs came to an end after just 36.2 overs, once again demonstrating the local side's inability to bat through their allotted 50 overs. The batting element of the Greenock game is without doubt their Achilles heel at present and must be worked on in order to being about a change in fortune for this season.