Greenock well beaten by league leaders East Kilbride

Greenock 1st XI v East Kilbride
CSL Western First Division
Saturday 20th July 2013

East Kilbride 277 for 9 P Bocock 73, G Kleinveldt 57; JPC Hempsey 3 for 37, W Jamal 3 for 73
Greenock 1st XI 131 AJL Baum 39; J Johnston 3 for 21


Greenock were well beaten by league leaders East Kilbride at Glenpark on Saturday afternoon in front of a sizeable home crowd who at least were able to enjoy the warm sunshine, if not the result, as the hosts went down by 146 runs.

Not a lot went right for the Greenock team from the moment the visitors’ captain called correctly at the toss, elected to bat and subjected the Glenparkers to a very long afternoon in the field under the blazing sun.

Two weeks of hot, dry weather had baked the ground, and the wicket prepared for Saturday’s match looked likely to offer the opportunity to the side batting first to rack up a very high score, and East Kilbride took full advantage and did just that.

South African, Garon Kleinveldt, and Craig Smith got the innings off to a bright, brisk start and after ten overs 63 runs were on the board without any loss, but the introduction of Greg McDougall as second change bowler in the 11th over paid immediate dividend when Smith was caught by Aidan Forrest for 21.

Stewart Kampman joined Kleinveldt and the run-a-ball run rate was maintained and, if anything, slightly increased as these two added 48 runs before Kleinveldt was caught by Richie Berrington for 57 off the bowling of Jonathan Hempsey in the seventeenth over. New batsman Peter Bocock needed little time to get into his stride and a number of boundaries interspersed with some singles got him quickly under way.

Jonathan Hempsey picked up his second wicket when he trapped Kampman LBW for 27 in the twenty third over, but the East Kilbride team seemed unflappable as a further good partnership between Bocock and Harmanjit Singh took the visitors to 200 in the forty second over. Greg McDougall then had Singh caught by Jonathan Hempsey for 17 as the visitors looked to up the tempo of their run scoring with a target of 300 very probably in their game plan. However, as often happens as a team attempts to score more quickly, batsmen make errors and wickets fall.

Number six batsman Umair Saeed scored 13 runs before Waleed Jamal, in his second spell, had him caught by wicketkeeper Alex Baum. Just seven more runs were added to the score before Bocock was given out LBW to Jamal for a very fine 73 runs with the score on 235 for 4. Aftab Talbur was then LBW to Tom Batters for 11, Joshua Johnston who had scored a quickfire 21, was caught off the bowling of Waleed Jamal and last wicket to fall was Tom Richards who was bowled by Jonathan Hempsey for 9.

At the close of the innings, after their allotted 50 overs, East Kilbride had amassed 277 for the loss of nine wickets leaving Greenock, after a tiring afternoon in the hot sunshine, with a major task on their hands.

Jonathan Hempsey 3 for 37 from 10 overs and Waleed Jamal 3 for 73 from 13 overs were Greenock’s principal wicket-takers with Greg McDougall 2 for 58 from 10 overs and Tom Batters 1 for 58 from 10 overs, the other bowlers who were successful.

Needing to make a sound start to their innings with such a large total to reel in, Greenock were soon on the back foot when both opening batsmen Chris Hempsey and Shailesh Prabhu were back in the clubhouse with only 23 runs on the board. Hempsey was first to go, bowled by Stewart Kampman for 9 and then Prabhu (8) was caught by wicketkeeper Smith having edged a delivery from Tom Richards.

Internationalist Richie Berrington and New Zealand overseas amateur Fraser Colson then had the opportunity of batting together and developing a strong partnership, but having scored just 19 runs Berrington got an edge to a delivery from Umair Saeed and wicketkeeper Smith took a fairly straightforward catch to put Greenock on 44 for 3.

Under 19 Scotland player Alex Baum joined Colson for the 4th wicket partnership and these two looked to be in good form and scoring well, although not up to the required run rate. Having added 66 runs in the partnership and looking set to launch Greenock towards the visitors' sizeable target, Baum was undone by a ball from Shahid Mahmood which kept low and was bowled for 39. Worse followed with the very next ball when Colson was run out for 24 going for a second run, in a dreadful mix up with his new batting partner Jonathan Hempsey.

As so frequently happens in the game of cricket, one ball and/or one false shot can dramatically change the way in which a match is moving. So it was on Saturday in Greenock’s innings. The home side was moving along quite comfortably, then calamity ! Baum’s dismissal so quickly followed by Colson’s run out effectively ended the game as Greenock collapsed from 110 for 3 in the 23rd over to being all out for 131 in just the 32nd over.

The last six batsmen in the Greenock line-up could muster just nine runs among them as the visitors mopped up the middle and lower order with very little resistance. Not for the first time in recent seasons, Greenock were unable to bat for their full 50 overs. To do so regularly must be the aim for the players representing the Glenpark side, and significant emphasis on this aspect of the game must be worked on at practice.

Greenock have six league matches remaining before the season ends and wins in as many of these games as possible must be the target for the team. Promotion prospects are well in the past.... now it is personal pride which players must play for.