Disappointing start to league season at Prestwick

Prestwick vs Greenock 1st XI
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 2nd May 2015

Greenock 1st XI 152 ND Flack 30; M Rao 5 for 30
Prestwick 154 for 4 A Prasad 73*, WJ Rowan 33


Greenock hopes of starting the 2015 league season with a win, when they travelled to Prestwick on Saturday, were dashed when the Ayrshire side proved too good and ran out winners by six wickets.

On an afternoon which had more of a February feel with a temperature in just single figures and a brisk wind blowing, Greenock batted first. Shailesh Prabhu and Neil Flack made a slow, but nevertheless sound start to the innings adding 42 runs before the skipper was bowled for 18 by Gavin Pitt with the third ball of the seventeenth over.

Aidan Forrest joined Flack and the two made steady progress. However a dreadful mix up led to Flack's dismissal in the twenty fourth over. Forrest played a fine off side drive which just failed to make the boundary and having completed two runs Flack set off for a third. As he turned, Forrest hesitated seeing the Prestwick fielder with the ball in hand and the momentary indecision left Flack stranded and run out for 30.

South African, Danico Philmon, was next at the crease and he was quick to show that he was in the mood to score runs with a boundary followed by a maximum six-hit. But having scored just a further four runs he misjudged the pace of a ball from Prestwick's overseas amateur Prasad and was bowled. Forrest very quickly thereafter became Prestwick's fourth victim when he too was bowled by the young Mitchell Rao for 20.

A decent fifth wicket partnership between Jonathan Hempsey and Australian overseas amateur Blake Taylor seemed to be developing well with over thirty runs accumulated between the two when Rao got a ball to rap Taylor's pads and he was adjudged LBW having scored 16.

Greenock batsmen were getting in but no one was building a big innings, and ,unfortunately for the Glenparkers, that continued with Hempsey (19) falling, stumped by wicketkeeper Miller off the bowling of Prasad. 130 for 6 in the 41st over.

Only a further twenty two runs were added from the last four wickets as Greenock slumped to 152 all out on the second last ball of the 50 over innings. So, from a reasonably promising start to the innings, Greenock failed to develop any meaningful partnerships and instead of scoring over two hundred runs, which must have been their target, their final total was well short.

Prestwick's young bowler Mitchell Rao had the impressive figures of 5 wickets for 30 runs from 12.5 overs.

Greenock made an early breakthrough after the tea interval when Darren Walker trapped Prestwick opener Jacob Stafford LBW with the score on 17 in the fifth over. Prasad joined Michael Miller and these two took the score along at a decent pace until Greenock pace bowler Blake Taylor clean bowled Miller (17) with the home score on 45 in the twelfth over.

Prasad and Willie Rowan then took complete control of the match with a 69 run partnership which only ended when Rowan (33) hoisted a delivery from Forrest towards the long on boundary which was held at the second attempt by Louis Ware.

Greenock did make one further breakthrough when Flack caught Tim Spence (11) off the bowling of Ware, but it was too little too late as Prestwick were within touching distance of the winning total when that fourth wicket fell. Prasad was unbeaten on 73 when Prestwick passed Greenock's score with 18 overs still remaining. It was a very comfortable win for the Ayrshire side and a disappointing afternoon for Greenock.