Greenock pipped at the post by Prestwick

Greenock 1st XI vs Prestwick
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 18th July 2015

Greenock 1st XI 104 for 5 TR Keep 49
Prestwick 105 for 6 T Spence 40*


In this fourth place playing second place league encounter, Greenock narrowly lost out as Prestwick gained an important win with runs from the second last ball of the match.

A delayed start due to heavy overnight rain meant that the match did not start until 4pm and instead of 50 overs per side the game was reduced to just 24 overs per side.

Prestwick gained an important advantage by winning the toss and not surprisingly inserted Greenock on a slow, damp track and made an early breakthrough when makeshift opener Jonathan Hempsey was bowled by Rafiq for 9 in just the third over. Aidan Forrest was then adjudged LBW in the seventh over also from the bowling of Rafiq with the score on 34.

A run rate of five an over at this stage was quite acceptable in the conditions and augured well for a total well in excess of 100 however Greenock became somewhat becalmed after the fall of this second wicket and as the score failed to push on the run rate began to drop to around four runs per over. Only Australian overseas player Trent Keep seemed able to deal with the conditions and slowly the total moved along.

Keep received only minimal support from his batting partners as the Prestwick bowlers and fielders reined back Greenock's ability to make runs. Greg McDougall with 13 runs from 24 balls faced was Keep's best supporter in an innings best partnership of 32 runs in slightly more than seven overs.

The Australian was eventually dismissed for 49 runs, just one run short of a very deserved half century, when he was caught off the bowling of Thakur with just eight balls of the innings remaining and thereafter Greenock managed to add just four more runs to their total to finish on 104 for the loss of 5 wickets. Rafiq with 2 wickets for 25 runs from 7 overs was Prestwick's most successful wicket-taker.

With the advantage of knowing the total needed to win, Prestwick made a steady, if unadventurous start to their innings and had moved on to thirty in the ninth over before Prasad (13) was caught at mid off by Greenock captain Shailesh Prabhu from the bowling of first change bowler Greg McDougall. A second visitors' wicket was then picked up when Darren Walker clean bowled new batsman Stafford without any addition to the Prestwick total.

McDougall then collected his own second wicket, and Prestwick's third, when he bowled Miller for 17 and the Ayrshire side were 36 for 3 in the 11th over and when a fourth wicket was captured in the sixteenth over with the dismissal of Rafiq LBW to Jonathan Hempsey, Greenock had a reasonable control of the match. A bit more than eight overs to play and 46 runs needed.

South African pro Tim Spence was Prestwick's saviour however as he battled the difficult conditions and gained support in particular from former Greenock player Willie Rowan batting at number six. The two put on 36 invaluable runs to take the visitors to within fifteen runs of victory before Darren Walker removed Rowan for 16. Two overs and four balls remaining now and fifteen runs required.

At the start of the final over Prestwick needed 8 runs to win and had five wickets in hand. Left arm slow bowler Trent Keep was given the task of taking the last over and three runs came from the first two balls. Then new batsman Patterson was LBW for 1 and three balls remained with five runs still needed. Former Scotland player Andy Tennant scrambled a single to get pro Tim Spence on strike and he dispatched the penultimate ball to the boundary to bring loud cheers from the Prestwick dressing room.

Spence was unbeaten on 40 with Darren Walker and Greg McDougall both picking up two wickets apiece.

Greenock will look back on this match as one which got away and will no doubt reflect on some runs which might have been scored and catches not taken which may ultimately have assisted Prestwick in their important win.

The match v Prestwick was kindly sponsored by Neill, Clerk and Murray, Solicitors, Ardgowan Square, Greenock.