Greenock well beaten by Poloc

Poloc vs Greenock 1st XI
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 7th May 2016

Poloc 217 CA Young 74*, J Snyman 51; PC McIntosh 3 for 46
Greenock 1st XI 124 JPC Hempsey 46; MA Ghaffar 6 for 37, I Malik 4 for 8


Greenock suffered a first defeat of the 2016 season at Shawholm in Glasgow on Saturday with opponents Poloc victors by 93 runs. It was one of those 'bad days at the office' for Greenock, for a significant part of the match, and yet there were also positives to be taken from the game.

Poloc won the toss and opted to bat with two of their younger players O Shah and U Shah at the top of their batting order. A decent start of 33 runs had been registered before Greenock's opening pace bowler Declan White gained a double wicket breakthrough. Firstly, he bowled O Shah for 17runs and then had U Shah trapped LBW for 12.

Home team captain Craig Young and South African professional Jurie Snyman then developed a fine partnership of exactly 80 runs with the pro, in particular, in charge. The powerfully built Snyman smashed a quickfire 51 runs, which included two 6s and six 4s, before being bowled by Phil McIntosh. His countryman Con Van Der Walt fared less well on this occasion being next out caught by Neil Flack off the bowling of McIntosh for just 1 run. 117 for 4 in the 26th over.

A fifth home wicket went down on 127 when Mohammad Ghaffar became McIntosh's third victim of the innings caught by Greg McDougall for 8. However, Craig Young, who had given a catching chance before getting off the mark, was bedding in and anchoring the Poloc innings. And with Lewis James, he helped to add a further 36 runs before a smart piece of fielding by Phil McIntosh led to James being run out for 13.

Aussie Damon Rootes, in his debut for Greenock, claimed his first wicket in Scotland by bowling Aliyan Qureshi for a 'duck', then Greg McDougall picked up the wickets of Calum James, bowled for just 3 runs, and Uwais Mohsin, caught by wicketkeeper Chris Hempsey, for 5 runs as Greenock worked hard to dismiss the home side for under 200. However a final wicket 19 run partnership between Young and last man Ihtisham Malik took Poloc to 217 before Malik was bowled by Neil Flack. Craig Young was unbeaten on 74, a real captain's innings which ensured that Poloc would set Greenock a stiff target.

Greenock used seven bowlers during the Poloc innings with Phil McIntosh once again top wicket-taker with 3 wickets for 46 runs from 10 overs. Declan White had a very tidy 10 overs taking 2 wickets for 29 runs. Greg McDougall picked up 2 wickets for 46 runs from 7 overs.

The Glenparkers reply after the tea interval got off to the worst possible start when Neil Flack completely mis-judged opening bowler Ihtisham Malik's third delivery and was comprehensively bowled. Phil McIntosh followed Flack back to the pavilion just a few overs later having played a quite cavalier short innings, which included one 6 and one 4, before attempting to hit Malik over mid off only to be caught by Aliyan Qureshi for 12.

The fall of this second Greenock wicket, with the score on just seventeen, signalled a period of carnage as opening bowler Mohammad Ghaffar ripped though the Glenparkers batting line-up claiming 5 wickets in his own fourth, fifth and sixth over. A further wicket was also picked up by Malik during this calamitous collapse which left Greenock on 27 for the loss of 8 wickets and poised for a humiliating defeat.

A courageous fightback was then mounted by Greenock captain Jonathan Hempsey and number ten batsman Greg McDougall. Batting very sensibly, the two gradually raised the score to fifty, and then to seventy five, and by the 30th over had posted the team total to one hundred. Hempsey, in particular, was the run scorer, with McDougall playing a stalwart part to progress the partnership. However, just four runs short of a much deserved half century, Hempsey was caught by Poloc captain Craig Young off the bowling of Malik for 46 with the score on 117. The face-saving partnership had produced 89 runs for the ninth wicket.

When last man Sam Sanghera was adjudged LBW to Ghaffar, Greenock were all out for 124 with Greg McDougall undefeated on 14.

For Poloc, Ghaffar returned the fine figures of 6 wickets for 37 runs from ten overs and Malik equally fine figures of 4 wickets for 8 runs from six overs.

Greenock can take some consolation from a decent bowling performance from a number of their players and also the excellent batting fightback from Jonathan Hempsey and Greg McDougall. From disappointing results often come good learning experiences, and Greenock will surely gain much about themselves from this encounter at Shawholm.