All-rounder Batters too much for Weirs

Greenock 1st XI v Weirs
CSL Western First Division
Saturday 24th August 2013

Weirs 65 TW Batters 5 for 21, W Jamal 3 for 20
Greenock 1st XI 69 for 0 TW Batters 32*


Greenock completed their home league fixtures for season 2013 with an emphatic 10 wicket win over Glasgow side Weirs. It was an uneven contest from first over to last as Greenock went about their business in clinical style. The win places Greenock in fourth place in the CSL Western Division One with just one match remaining, which is against third placed Stenhousemuir at The Tryst next Saturday .

The day had not started so well for the Glenparkers, as early on Saturday morning news came through that internationalist Richie Berrington had declared himself unfit to play and only a short time afterwards further bad news was received when high scoring New Zealand overseas amateur Fraser Colson also pulled out through illness.

Greenock had already had skipper Shailesh Prabhu and Ben Peterson unavailable for the Weirs game and losing Berrington and Colson came as a considerable blow. On Saturday morning replacements Dave Sharma and Harry Briggs were hurriedly contacted and diverted to Glenpark to fill the positions created by the late call offs.

As events turned out there need have been little cause for concern as, despite the number of players down, Greenock were still much too strong for the visitors.

Weirs won the toss and elected to bat but with just the sixth ball of the match Tom Batters had claimed the first of what was to become five wickets in a fine bowling spell. Opener David McCaig was the Aussie amateur’s first victim bowled by a good length ball which simply beat him for speed. Then in over number five, Batters had Chris Smith (4) caught by Harry Briggs at cover.

Runs were proving difficult for Weirs to score and in the seventh over with just eleven runs on the board a third wicket went down when danger man, Scottish internationalist Mohammed Iqbal was dismissed without scoring. He was very well caught by wicketkeeper Alex Baum edging a leg side delivery from Batters.

Dave Sharma, drafted in to the 1st XI only on Saturday morning, opened the bowling along with Tom Batters and gained reward for a fine spell by picking up the wicket of Sean Friel when the Weirs batsman edged a ball to Baum behind the stumps. At 23 runs for 4 wickets in the fourteenth over Weirs were in some difficulty.

Greenock continued to apply pressure and were rewarded with a fifth wicket in the seventeenth over when change bowler Walid Jamal had opening batsman, Richard ‘Siggy’ Young caught at gully by Aidan Forrest. Young had provided quite dogged resistance to the Greenock bowlers as he accumulated just ten runs but he was beaten for pace by Jamal, who is possibly the fastest bowler in the CSL West Division One, and his thick edged shot was well taken by Forrest. The visitors were 37 for 5.

A much needed partnership for the Glasgow side failed to materialise as further wickets continued to fall. Derek Pettigrew (8) was clean bowled by Jamal having scored a couple of boundaries in a brief appearance out in the middle, then Jamal repeated his accurate bowling feat by once again hitting the timbers to remove Alistair Gibson (4). The wheels were now coming off the bogie for Weirs and without another run being scored Derek McIntyre departed LBW to Jonathan Hempsey to leave Weirs on 45 for 8 in the twentieth over.

A ninth wicket fell four runs later when Hussnain Ashraf attempted a pull shot off the bowling of Tom Batters but only succeeded in presenting a straightforward catch to Aidan Forrest at mid wicket.

Weirs’ best partnership of the afternoon arrived as their last two batsmen threw any caution to the wind and attempted to give the home bowlers some stick. Number ten batsman Blair Dryden became the visitors’ top scoring player as he whacked three boundaries on his way to a personal 15 run tally before Tom Batters brought the Weirs’ innings to a close by knocking back Dryden’s middle stump with the last ball of the twenty sixth over.

Batters returned excellent bowling figures of 10 overs 5 wickets for 21 runs. Sharma had 1 for 23 off 8 overs, Jamal 3 for 20 off 6 overs and Jonathan Hempsey 1 for 0 from two overs.

Greenock’s reply was formed by opening batsmen Neil Flack and Tom Batters. The Australian retained his recent opening slot in league competition following a number of fine performances with the bat at the top of the order and on Saturday he continued his run scoring with an excellent innings of 32 not out. Batters innings was complimented by Neil Flack who scored 22 runs before the visitors total was overtaken after just 10.4 overs.

This result elevates Greenock into fourth position in the league table and next Saturday the Glenparkers face Stenhousemuir who are currently third. A win at The Tryst would see Greenock move up into third top spot in the final league positions.