Greenock suffer disappointing defeat to Ayr

Ayr vs Greenock 1st XI
WDCU CSL Premier Division
Saturday 5th May 2018

Greenock 1st XI 84 A McElnea 4 for 2
Ayr 85 for 1 A McElnea 37*


Greenock got their Premier Division programme under way with a trip to Ayr on Saturday afternoon, but it was not a happy one, as the New Cambusdoon team had the upper hand from the moment that they won the toss. When the coin landed, Ayr captain Scott McElnea had no hesitation in inviting the Glenpark side to bat first on the damp but drying wicket and with cloudy conditions overhead.

The decision quickly bore fruit as with just the third ball of the Greenock innings, McElnea himself took a sharp catch at second slip off the bowling of former West Indian test match paceman Kenroy Peters to dismiss Shailesh Prabhu. He juggled it a few times, but held on to the delight of his team-mates, and the despair of the Greenock opener.

Just four overs later with the score having nudged along to ten, the West Indian pace bowler picked up his second wicket when Andy McElnea took a brilliant full length diving catch at third slip to dismiss Greenock's young South African amateur Laurens Smit.

And worse followed when number four batsman Chris Hempsey was bowled by Scott McElnea with just one more run added to the score.

Greenock's professional Saurabh Bandekar, who had only flown in to Glasgow from India on Friday evening, joined Harry Briggs out in the middle and the two began to get the Glenpark side back into the game by building what was looking to be a good partnership. But with score on 41 in the 15th over, Briggs was adjudged to have edged a delivery from Andy McElnea and was given out caught by wicketkeeper Michael Miller. Briggs had scored 19 and was looking in good form, so his dismissal was a big blow.

Then things got much worse for Greenock, as firstly Bandekar was caught at deep backward square leg for 15, having seemed to be in perfect control of his innings, and then Neil Flack and Jonathan Hempsey were quickly returned to the dressing room to leave the Glenparkers in disarray at 45 for 7.

Rod Mountford and Sam Sanghera then knuckled down and fought a rearguard action and gradually added an important 25 runs before Mountford (16) was run out in the 37th over when the two batsmen attempted a run which was doomed from the start. 70 for 8 wickets.

A further fourteen runs were added before Sanghera became Greenock's last man out when he was plumb in front to a delivery from Andy McElnea having contributed a useful 17 runs to the very disappointing Greenock total of 84 all out.

Andy McElnea finished with the impressive bowling figures of 4 wickets for just 2 runs from 5.5 overs. Peters took 2 for 9 and Puskar Bhandari 2 for 21.

Following the tea interval, Ayr set about their task with Anwar Hafeez and Michael Miller opening their innings.

In the fifth over, with the Ayr score on 14, Greenock achieved an early breakthrough when Fraser Godsman took a good catch at mid on to dismiss Miller (10) and give Saurabh Bandekar his first wicket for the season.

Unfortunately, there was to be no further 'good news' for Greenock as Hafeez and number three batsman Andy McElnea comfortably took the home side to victory in the 25th over. Hafeez was not out 27 and McElnea also unbeaten on 37 to make him the clear 'Man of the Match'.