Greenock score more runs ... but lose!

Greenock 1st XI vs Stenhousemuir
CSL Western First Division
Saturday 22nd June 2013

Stenhousemuir 158 for 4 R Jappie 45, C Black 39*
Greenock 1st XI 165 for 9 AJL Baum 77, FJ Colson 31; C Black 4 for 25


Greenock’s CSL Western First Division league match on Saturday at Glenpark finished in quite unusual fashion with the Glenparkers scoring more runs than their opponents Stenhousemuir, but still ending up losing the game. Rain delays and interruptions led to the Duckworth/Lewis (D/L) system being used to determine the outcome and Greenock were just eight runs short of the target they required in order to gain a win.

Overnight rain and a mid morning shower meant that the normal start time of 12noon was unable to be achieved but the game eventually did get under way at 1pm with Stenhousemuir invited to bat. However, further interruptions to play due to rain during the Stenhousemuir innings, eventually led to the match being reduced to just 25 overs per side. As Stenhousemuir batted first and could not have known at the outset of their innings that they would only have 25 overs to bat and not the usual 50 overs, the D/L system calculated that, with the visitors having scored 158 for the loss of 4 wickets, Greenock needed to score 174 runs in their 25 overs to gain a win.

Tim Doonan and Shazad Rafiq opened the innings for the visitors and gave their side a flying start by putting 27 runs on the board by the end of the fourth over. However, the partnership was broken with the second ball of the fifth over when Greenock’s opening bowler Tom Batters had Rafiq caught by Richie Berrington for 10 runs.

Amir Shahzad joined Doonan out at the middle and the brisk pace of scoring continued. Fifty runs were on the board by the tenth over however a long rain delay then interrupted play.

Shortly after the resumption of the game, with the game now reduced to just 25 overs per side, and at the beginning of the 12th over, Greenock gained a second breakthrough when, with just his first ball, Richie Berrington had Shazad caught by Tom Batters at mid wicket for 15 with the score on 54.

The fall of this wicket brought in South African Rushdi Jappie and he along with Doonan began to move the run rate along with some good shots but also with smart running between the wickets which Greenock were unable to stop.

On 82, Doonan smashed a short delivery from Berrington and was well caught at the bottom wall boundary by Jonathan Hempsey. He had scored 25.

At this point there were still just seven overs and four balls remaining and Greenock appeared to be in good control but Stenhousemuir got themselves into the game with Jappie and Craig Black taking some risks and putting their foot on the run scoring accelerator. In just seven overs together they added 67 runs to give their side a chance of winning the game that seemed much less likely when their partnership began. Jappie was bowled by Jamal in the very last over for a very valuable 45 runs and Black made use of getting back on strike by hitting Jamal for a six with just three balls left, the impact of which had a significant effect on the final outcome of the game some two hours later. Black was not out 39 at the end of the 25 overs with Stenhousemuir on 158 for the loss of four wickets.

For Greenock the wicket-takers were Richie Berrington who took 2 for 27 off 5 overs, Waleed Jamal 1 for 37 from 6 overs and Tom Batters 1 for 17 from 5 overs. A large number of extras resulted from the home bowling including eight wides and six no balls.

Knowing that the Duckworth/Lewis system computed Greenock to have to score 174 in their 25 overs, the home side needed to get off to a quick start from openers Chris Hempsey and Alex Baum, and after four overs had 27 runs on the board when Hempsey was first wicket to fall, caught by Rafiq from the bowling of Shahzad.

High scoring New Zealander, Fraser Colson, joined Baum who was already in free scoring mode and the two continued to carry Greenock along at just over the necessary run rate. Baum in particular was in great form scoring from almost every ball that he received and timing his shots beautifully. Colson too was going well and the two developed a good understanding with their running and picked up singles with some ease.

With the score on 84 in the 13th over Colson mis-timed a ball from Rafiq and sent it soaring skywards. Black, running backwards took an excellent catch and Colson was out for 31 runs.

Internationalist Richie Berrington joined Baum and the run scoring continued, and although the target was challenging, Greenock were looking good to achieve it until quite unexpectedly in the 18th over Berrington played defensively down the wrong line and was bowled by Rafiq for 18 with the total on 119.

Some seven and a bit overs remained for Greenock to get 54 runs. The required rate was still just between seven and eight runs per over and achievable. However, a spell of four overs from the Stenhousemuir bowlers, which captured three more Greenock wickets for the addition of just fifteen more runs, added pressure to the run chase.

Needing to increase the run tempo and with the focus now very largely on him, Alex Baum, who had played quite superbly throughout his innings, just failed to reach the Bedford Street end boundary and was caught by the well placed and waiting Black for 77 in the 22nd over with the score on 144. Baum had scored eight 4s and one 6 in his innings.

Three overs and three balls remained for Greenock to get the 29 runs needed. Neil Flack with three boundaries from Shahzad in one over brought hope that it might happen but he too was very well caught for 14 attempting another boundary and Greenock’s last chance had gone.

In the end, it was a fine attempt by Greenock and, although scoring more runs than Stenhousemuir, the ’system’ won, giving the visitors the victory. What became an exciting afternoon's cricket was really only possible thanks to the efforts of groundstaff prior to the game commencing, and also the Greenock players themselves who had covers on and off several times during the rain interruptions.

Ultimately, the fact that Greenock conceded 23 extras and their opponents only 1, was absolutely crucial. This is not the first time that Greenock have been so profligate in this area and is something that they must seek to eradicate if they are not to suffer a similar fate in future games.

Craig Black took 4 wickets for 25 runs for Stenhousemuir to round off a great display by him which also included two fine outfield catches and 39 not out. Amir Shahzad took 2 for 48 from 6 overs, Shazad Rafiq 2 for 40 from 6 overs and Rushdi Jappie 1 for 30 from 5 overs.

Greenock Cricket Club is grateful to acknowledge that Saturday’s match versus Stenhousemuir was kindly sponsored by  The MacFeate Family.