Greenock make winning start to 2017 season

Greenock 1st XI vs Hillhead
Saturday 15th April 2017

Greenock 1st XI 180 for 9 LPJ Ware 51, SS Prabhu 43; S Mehmood 6 for 32
Hillhead 88 for 8



Cricket made its 2017 debut at Glenpark on Saturday afternoon when Greenock hosted Glasgow side Hillhead for a friendly pre-season opener.

On an afternoon which provided typical early season weather conditions, cool and with rain showers around, the two sides managed to serve up a decent match for the spectators who came out to watch.

Both Greenock and Hillhead fielded teams which contained a mix of players who will play 1st and 2nd XI cricket during the coming summer, and, after the toss of a coin to decide who would bat first, it was Greenock who did so.

Shailesh Prabhu and Phil McIntosh lead the way for the Glenpark side and made a confident start. The two opening batsmen each gained a boundary in the first couple of overs and then proceeded to add runs at a good pace until McIntosh was adjudged LBW to Keeshav Soni in the ninth over, having scored 25 with the total on 46.

Under-17 Scottish international, Louis Ware, joined Prabhu and runs continued to flow as Greenock's innings developed positively.

However, a very fine return catch taken by Shehroz Mehmood sent Prabhu packing in the seventeenth over with the opening bat having scored 43. And then just four balls later Chris Hempsey became Mehmood's second victim when he was caught for 4 fending off a fast, full delivery.

Sehmat Pandher scored a quick twelve runs, but was then clean bowled by Mehmood who collected his third wicket of the afternoon as Greenock showed some signs of faltering at 106 for the loss of 4 wickets in the nineteenth over.

Young Louis Ware was in good form, however, and he dominated the visitors' bowling attack for a period of time taking the Glenpark side's total to 149 in the 25th over. But having just gained his first '50' of the season, Ware was bowled by Khan for 51.

Greenock were in a good position to build a very high total with ten overs remaining of their innings but with the exception of veteran Peter Robertson, who scored an unbeaten 21, the tail-end batsmen failed to fire.

At the end of the thirty five over innings, Greenock were 180 for the loss of 9 wickets.

For the visitors, S Mehmood was easily the best bowler with a splendid haul of 6 wickets for 32 runs from eight overs bowled.

After the tea interval, Hillhead were quickly in trouble when their top three batsmen were back in the 'hutch' with only seven runs on the board. And the Glasgow team never really recovered from this and managed just 86 runs for the loss of eight wickets at the end of their 35 overs.

Particularly pleasing for the Glenpark side was the good early season fielding form. A number of very fine catches were taken and two batsmen were run out due to direct hits on the stumps. Two catches stood out .. firstly, Phil McIntosh took a diving one handed catch at first slip to dismiss Hillhead's Jack Holland and then Shailesh Prabhu made an excellent catch running backwards to hold on to a towering ball.

Greenock used a variety of bowlers, and the wickets were spread across a number of these, with Louis Ware picking up two. The young internationalist also held on to a good catch, and at the end of the Hillhead innings, which left Greenock clear winners by almost one hundred runs, he was an easy choice to be nominated Man of the Match for his fine all round performance.