Greenock's batting fails again

Stenhousemuir vs Greenock 1st XI
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 5th July 2014

Stenhousemuir 141 I Philip 37; TW Batters 4 for 27, BR Peterson 3 for 31
Greenock 1st XI 73 R Jappie 3 for 15, A Shahzad 3 for 33


Greenock’s miserable run of form continued at The Tryst on Saturday when another poor batting display allowed a potential winning position to slip away.

At the mid-point in the match, Greenock had appeared on top after a very fine bowling and fielding performance had reduced hosts Stenhousemuir to 141 all out. But the wheels came off the cart once again for the Glenparkers after the break, as early wickets were lost and no partnerships of any significance were able to be built as the innings stumbled along and finally ended with just 73 runs on the scoreboard.

Stenhousemuir batted first and made a decent, but not rapid, start to their innings with thirty runs scored without loss at the end of the first ten overs. Three wickets in the next five overs gave Greenock a real boost with the home side’s top three batsmen all removed.

First to go was the dangerous high scoring South African amateur Soysile Pono (20) caught by wicketkeeper Kevin Flack from the bowling of first change bowler Ben Peterson. Tom Batters then claimed two wickets in one over with Amir Shahzad (5) caught by Greg McDougall and Brian Arkley (10) trapped LBW.

A good middle order partnership of 45 runs from South African professional Rushdie Jappie and former Scotland international opening bat Ian Philip brought Stenny back into the game.

However, with Greenock regularly ringing the bowling changes, neither batsmen was allowed to properly settle and Neil Flack’s off spin captured both Jappie and Philip in close succession. Jappie was well caught in slip by Chris Hempsey for 12 with the score on 92 and then Philip was caught on the long on boundary by Aidan Forrest for 37 with only seven more runs added.

Bain (4) and Moses (6) lasted only for brief spells in the middle as Tom Batters picked up both wickets courtesy of further catches by Kevin Flack and Aidan Forrest. Thirty four overs completed and 114 for 7.

Tail-enders Yasir, Lister and Reid scored just four runs from the cumulation of their three innings, but each did support, for a time, home side captain and number 8 batsman Ian McDonald, who provided an important innings of 24 runs before being last man out caught by Greg McDougall from the bowling of Ben Peterson. Final score 141 all out in the forty fourth over.

Tom Batters was once again Greenock’s top bowler with 4 wickets for 27 runs from 10 overs. Ben Peterson also put in a fine spell of bowling and picked up 3 wickets for 31 runs from 7.4 overs while Neil Flack with 2 for 22 from 7 overs and Jonathan Hempsey 1 wicket for 10 runs from 6 overs were the other wicket-takers.

Greenock, with a required run rate of just under three runs per over for their innings, needed to get off to a sound start and then steadily reel in the Stenhousemuir total. What happened in reality was just the opposite. With only one run on the scoreboard, Greenock’s West Indian amateur Dwight Thomas got a bat edge to the second ball of Amir Shahzad’s first over and ‘keeper Pono took the catch.

Aidan Forrest joined Neil Flack in the middle and the two teenagers who enjoyed a 186 run partnership a couple of weeks back against Stirling County were being willed by their team-mates to provide a repeat performance. Sadly it did not happen, as Forrest was adjudged LBW to Lister without scoring, having faced only six balls and with the total still on just two runs.

Chris Hempsey and Flack added fifteen runs before the former was caught by Reid off the bowling of Lister for seven runs which brought Neil’s dad Kevin to the middle. Father and son doubled the team score before dad Kevin (2) was clean bowled by Amir Shahzad and only one run later Neil (17) lofted a ball from the same bowler to Jappie who comfortably took the catch.

Greenock at 37 for 5 were in considerable difficulty.

Acting captain Jonathan Hempsey and teenager Harry Briggs had the job of batting Greenock out of a very difficult position. However, with eleven runs from ten balls faced, Hempsey was sent packing, judged to have been LBW from a ball from Jappie.

Aussie amateur Tom Batters (3) went the same way as his team captain, LBW to Jappie, and was replaced out in the middle by Greg McDougall. A mini partnership ensued between Harry Briggs and McDougall which took the score along to 73 before McDonald had Briggs (10) caught and bowled.

No more runs had been added when Greenock’s ninth wicket went down with McDougall (11) becoming Jappie’s third wicket when he was caught by Iain McDonald. The batting collapse was complete just three balls later when young Louis Ware was run out with score still stuck on just 73 runs.

It was a very disappointing end to what, at the tea interval, had looked like being a turning point in the team’s fortunes for this season’s league campaign.

Maybe next Saturday will bring the victory which all connected with Greenock are eagerly awaiting?