Greenock gain comfortable win over Irvine

Greenock 1st XI vs Irvine
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 28th May 2016

Irvine 175 S Chaudhary 67; DOD White 5 for 29
Greenock 1st XI 176 for 3 DB Rootes 63*, PC McIntosh 38, SS Prabhu 30*


Greenock maintained their challenge towards the top of the WDCU Division One with a resounding win over Irvine in front of a very sizeable crowd at Glenpark on Saturday afternoon. Chasing the visitor's total of 175, Greenock won comfortably with just three wickets down and with more than seventeen overs still to be bowled.

Irvine elected to bat first having won the toss and in the knowledge that their batting line-up had posted well in excess of two hundred runs in each of their league matches so far this season.

After just two overs bowled, spectators could easily have thought that another high score was on the cards for the Ayrshire side. Twenty four runs were very quickly on the scoreboard as opening batsman Inderjit Singh showed early intent smashing four boundaries in the first two overs.

Greenock then got back some of that early initiative as, firstly, Singh's opening partner Abdul Ashraf was caught behind by wicketkeeper Chris Hempsey, when he edged an express delivery from pace bowler Declan White. Then, with just seven more runs added, the brakes were put on the Irvine runaway start when Jonathan Hempsey had new batsman Mo Alam caught behind by his brother Chris, and the wicketkeeper collected his third catch behind the stumps when Singh was outdone by the pace of Declan White and edged the ball into the 'keeper's gloves. 31 for 3 after 5 overs.

Former Indian professional Sachin Chaudhary, coming in at number four in the Irvine batting order tried to bring some steadying robustness to the Ayrshire side's run scoring but still he needed someone to stay with him as three more wickets tumbled as his side lurched to 68 for the loss of 6 wickets in just the seventeenth over of the fifty over innings.

Josh Conway failed to deal with the pace of Declan White and was comprehensively bowled by the young Australian for just eight runs. Bhaumik Nayak scored a quickfire twenty runs before being caught and bowled by Neil Flack and just two balls later Flack trapped new batsman Gurupreet Singh LBW for nought.

The support which Chaudhary needed came with the arrival to the middle of the experienced Stuart McCallum and these two, over by over, brought Irvine right back into the match. What resulted was a very fine 87 run partnership with Chaudhary the dominant batsman, playing a very professional innings throughout, with McCallum concentrating on not losing his wicket.

Chaudhary cleverly farmed the bowling ensuring that he faced most balls in each over as the partnership frustrated the Greenock team and took the Irvine score past one hundred and fifty runs. However, the introduction of paceman Declan White back into the home attack quickly paid dividends as, with just the second ball of his new spell, McCallum was clean bowled for a very patiently compiled 14 runs.

The loss of his batting partner clearly changed Chaudhary's concentration and tactics, as he immediately adopted a more aggressive approach, and that led to his downfall, as, after posting one boundary from the bowling of off spinner Damon Rootes, he went for another big hit and was caught close to the bottom wall boundary by Declan White. His innings of 67 runs included nine boundaries and was invaluable to his side's total. On Chaudhary's dismissal, Irvine were 159 for the loss of 8 wickets.

Pashtoon Mohiagha, coming in at number nine for Irvine, briefly entertained with three boundaries but his desire to hit a fourth ended with a straightforward catch taken by Phil McIntosh from the bowling of Damon Rootes, and he was returned to the clubhouse having scored 15.

Declan White then rounded off an excellent bowling performance, and ended the Irvine innings, when his pace was too much for Joshua Roy and the tail-ender's stumps were knocked back. White returned the excellent figures of 9.5 overs, 2 maidens, 5 wickets for 28 runs.

Greenock's reply did not get off to the start for which the large crowd had hoped when Neil Flack was easily caught for just two runs at square leg by Inderjit Singh as he glanced a delivery from Bhaumik Nayak.

Phil McIntosh, however, was in very positive mood and took the game to the visitors. He scored an entertaining 38 runs, which included seven boundaries, before mistiming another intended boundary and was caught by Pashtoon Mohiagha off the bowling of Nayak.

Damon Rootes and Chris Hempsey put together a fifty one run partnership which took Greenock to exactly 100 runs before Hempsey was bowled for 19 by Gurupreet Singh.

Shailesh Prabhu joined Rootes out in the middle and the two batsmen guided Greenock to victory in just the thirty third over. Rootes played a very fine innings of 63 not out which included nine boundaries, with Prabhu also showing fine form with 30 not out.

The victory moves Greenock into fourth top position only a few percentage points behind second and third placed West of Scotland and Poloc, while the early front runners, Queensberry St Michaels from Dumfries, maintained their 100% record with an excellent win over Stirling County.


Saturday's match against Irvine was kindly sponsored by Cleaning Supplies 4U.