Greenock too strong for Prestwick

Greenock 1st XI vs Prestwick
CSL Western First Division
Saturday 10th August 2013

Prestwick 155 JP Erasmus 47; FJ Colson 5 for 25
Greenock 1st XI 157 for 2 FJ Colson 61, TW Batters 58*


Greenock gained a second successive league win much as predicted against bottom side Prestwick at Glenpark on Saturday. The winning margin was by a very comfortable eight wickets as the visitors total of 155 runs was overtaken in just 23.4 overs very largely thanks to a fine 61 from Fraser Colson and 58 not out from Tom Batters.

The Ayrshire side now have the unenviable record of having lost every competitive Saturday match which they have played during this summer of 2013, and have only three more Saturday fixtures to obtain a change in their fortunes.

Greenock, with a number of first eleven regulars unavailable, coasted to this win and if the recent improved form can be maintained as the season moves towards its conclusion at the end of August, then a much more positive outlook will perhaps pervade the Clubhouse at Glenpark.

Prestwick won the toss on Saturday and made a most promising start to their innings with openers Kevin Lawlor and South African overseas amateur Jean-Pierre Erasmus putting on 72 runs for the first wicket. Both batsmen appeared comfortable and scored well, especially Erasmus, against Greenock’s opening pace bowling attack of Tom Batters and Richie Berrington.

After eight overs, with the visitors on 31 runs, Greenock skipper Shailesh Prabhu made his first bowling change and brought on Fraser Colson with his slow off spin. However little seemed to change with both Prestwick batsmen picking off runs with seemingly little trouble.

Then, in the seventeenth over, Colson made the breakthrough when he trapped Lawlor LBW for 22 runs. Just two balls later, Prestwick’s number three batsmen David Carlyle was returned to the clubhouse also LBW to Colson to give the New Zealander a double wicket maiden and put a different complexion on the match position with the visitors 72 for 2 in the seventeenth over.

Calum Rodger had a fairly short spell at the wicket scoring just six runs before being bowled by Colson and then, seven runs later with the score on 92, the prized wicket of Erasmus was captured when the South African skied a delivery from Colson and Richie Berrington running backwards at mid off took a quite brilliant diving catch to dismiss the opener who had scored 47 runs.

As the drinks break approached, Colson collected his fifth wicket of the afternoon when Calum Morrison was well held by youngster Louis Ware having scored five runs in a very brief stay at the wicket. The Prestwick total after 25 overs was 103 for 5 wickets.

With Colson’s spell of ten overs at an end, Prestwick might have been forgiven for sighing with relief but their batting difficulties simply continued. Tom Batters returned for a second spell and trapped Greg Phillips LBW for 11 before Greg McDougall picked up a further two wickets. Firstly, Nathan Calderwood gave Jonathan Hempsey a straightforward catch at mid off then Jacob Stafford chipped a simple catch to Richie Berrington. Neither of these two batsmen troubled the scorers as Prestwick showed signs of terminal decline at 120 for 8.

Philip Stafford and Archie McDonald then breathed some life into the innings adding 23 runs before Stafford was LBW to Sam Sanghera for 9 runs. The last wicket partnership of McDonald and Mitchell Rao contributed another fifteen runs before Greenock pace bowler Tom Batters ended the innings on 155 when he clean bowled McDonald for 15.

Fraser Colson returned fine bowling figures of ten overs, 5 wickets for 25 runs, Tom Batters was 9 overs 2 for 21, Greg McDougall was 5 overs, 2 for 18 and Sam Sanghera 4 overs, 1 wicket for 10 runs.

Chasing the modest Prestwick total of 155 runs, Greenock lost an early wicket when Neil Flack edged a delivery from Greg Phillips in the second over and was well caught at second slip by Calum Morrison. But this was to be only a momentary piece of joy for Prestwick as Tom Batters and Fraser Colson produced a fine partnership of 98 runs, which ended when Colson picked out JP Erasmus who was positioned under the large tree by the scoreboard, and he held on to the catching opportunity to dismiss Colson for 61 runs.

Jonathan Hempsey joined Batters in the middle and in just six overs the remaining 54 runs were notched up . The runs came mainly from Batters who scored very freely and with some fine shots including eight boundaries to finish 58 not out. Hempsey was unbeaten on 8 at the close.

Greenock have now consolidated a mid table position in the CSL West Division One.