Greenock end season with disappointing loss

Stenhousemuir vs Greenock 1st XI
CSL Western First Division
Saturday 31st August 2013

Greenock 1st XI 95 CJK Hempsey 35; A Shahzad 3 for 17, C Black 3 for 18
Stenhousemuir 96 for 6 R Jappie 45; TW Batters 3 for 45


Greenock ended the 2013 league season with a disappointing performance against Stenhousemuir at The Tryst on Saturday afternoon. Batting first, Greenock could muster just 95 runs from their innings and the home side gained a fairly comfortable four wicket win, scoring 96 runs for the loss of six wickets. Had Greenock managed another thirty or forty runs then, perhaps, a different result may have been the outcome of this match.

Going into the fixture, Greenock had been on a three win roll and were seeking to finish the season with four straight victories. In the event, some less than good batting determined that the outcome was always going to be not what Greenock had hoped for prior to the start of the game.

In the absence of regular opener, Neil Flack, Greenock got their innings off to a start with Shailesh Prabhu and Tom Batters at the top of the order. However, it was not the start that the Glenparkers would have been hoping for. With just his sixth ball faced, Batters got an edge to a delivery from Craig Black and was comfortably caught by wicketkeeper Tom Doonan without having scored.

High scoring New Zealand amateur, Fraser Colson, then made his way out to the middle and quite quickly made his intentions known as he scored three boundaries off the bowling of Black with well timed shots which easily pierced the field and raced to the rope. Attempting to gain a fourth boundary, Colson perished as he mis-timed a shot intended to clear the inner ring of fielders and which instead lobbed up an easy chance which was grabbed in both hands by veteran player Bob Angus. Black had gained revenge for the boundaries he had conceded.

The early departure of the New Zealander brought to an end a season of quite outstanding innings by the Kiwi. In just 22 competitive matches for Greenock, Colson amassed 1085 runs at an average of 60.3 (not out 4 times).

At twenty one runs for the loss of two wickets in just the sixth over, Greenock needed to develop a sound third wicket partnership and work to build up a good score. It didn’t happen. Instead, new batsman Alex Baum edged the very first ball he received from Black and Rushdie Jappie, standing at first slip, took an excellent catch.

Chris Hempsey came in at number five in the Greenock batting line-up and joined skipper Prabhu but just eight runs later the Glenpark captain became Stenhousemuir’s fourth wicket as Gary Halcrow took a fairly straightforward catch at third slip to leave Greenock struggling on just 29 runs with their opening four batsmen all dismissed.

Youngster Aidan Forrest now joined Hempsey as the home side sought to rip through the Greenock batting. Gradually runs began to be added to the Greenock total as Hempsey and Forrest batted sensibly and picked off some ones and twos. However just as it looked as though a substantial partnership might be about to develop, Forrest (5) drove a ball from Robert Angus, but failed to keep it on the ground, and presented a catch to Craig Black at mid off. The pair had put on 25 runs to take Greenock to 54 for the loss of 5 wickets.

Jonathan Hempsey quickly became Stenhousemuir’s sixth wicket when he was beaten for pace by change bowler Amir Shahzad and bowled having faced just four balls. Greg McDougall fared little better, scoring two runs and then being bowled by Shahzad having faced only five balls. Greenock were now in disarray on 58 for 7.

Number nine batsman Waleed Jamal joined Chris Hempsey who was batting sensibly and steadily accumulating runs and these two formed the largest partnership of the Greenock innings. Thirty three runs had been added, and the two were batting well together, when Hempsey (35) attempted to hit a second successive boundary off the bowling of Gary Halcrow only to succeed in lofting his straight drive to a deepish mid on where he was well caught by Dan Smith. 91 for 8.

Only another four runs were added before Jamal (13) and Godsman were both bowled out by Shahzad and Halcrow respectively to leave Greenock 95 all out.

The Glenparkers made the best possible start to the defence of their rather meagre total by gaining a wicket with the very first ball of the Stenhousemuir innings. Tom Batters, bowling with the wind at his back, knocked back the stumps to dismiss Tim Doonan for a ‘Golden Duck’ then in just the second over Dave Sharma shaped an away swinging delivery which got an edge from opener John Owens and the catch was superbly taken by Alex Baum standing up at the stumps.

South African professional Rushdie Jappie quickly got into his stride and with an array of fine shots lifted the Tryst team’s total to 35 before wicket number three went down. Dan Smith (4) cut a ball from Tom Batters and was very well caught by Aidan Forrest at point.

A fourth wicket partnership of 46 runs from Jappie and Craig Black took Stenhousemuir to 81 and within touching distance of Greenock’s total when Tom Batters made the the breakthrough. He held on to a return catch from the South African to notch up his third wicket of the afternoon and Stenhousemuir were 81 for 4. Jappie scored 45.

Black followed ten runs later, caught for 25 by Jonathan Hempsey off the bowling of Fraser Colson and, with just two runs needed to win, a sixth wicket went down when Stuart Gardner (2) was bowled by Jonathan Hempsey.

It was too little too late for Greenock as Bob Angus scored the winning runs with the last ball of the same over to give Stenhousemuir a comfortable win by four wickets.

For Greenock, Tom Batters took 3 wickets for 45 from 10 overs, Dave Sharma 1 for 16 from 4 overs, Fraser Colson 1 for 12 from 3 overs and Jonathan Hempsey 1 for 5 from just one over. Tom Batters notched up his 50th competitive wicket for the season during the match, which was a fine return for the Australian amateur who has performed very well for Greenock throughout the season and been the Club’s leading wicket-taker.