Dumfries match abandoned after positive Covid test

Greenock 1st XI vs Dumfries
WDCU CSL Premier Division
Saturday 28th August 2021

Dumfries 231 for 8 A Davidson 59, C Brockwell 34; GJ McDougall 3 for 44
Greenock 1st XI    


Greenock's hugely important foot of the table clash with Dumfries at Glenpark on Saturday had a dramatic ending, but not one normally related to cricket.

During the interval between innings, one of the Greenock players received notification of a positive Covid test. And once informed, the umpires officiating at the match spoke with the captains of both teams and declared the match abandoned with 'No Result'.

It was an outcome which neither club could have imagined at the start of the afternoon when conditions were perfect for cricket.

Dumfries were put in to bat by Greenock captain Greg McDougall. The plan was to keep the visitors to as low a score as possible and then to bat and overtake their total to gain the win which would keep alive the team's Premier Division hopes.

And within the first four overs the plan looked to be going well. Opening bowler Sean Fischer-Keogh got Greenock off to the best possible start when he knocked back the stumps of opening bat Scott Beveridge with just the second ball of play.

Then with the last ball of the fourth over, Adam Malik was caught by Jamie Nowell at short cover off the bowling of Gregor Chambers. The visitors score was then 11 runs for 2 wickets.

Greenock continued to be on top during this opening spell with the pace of both Fischer-Keogh and Chambers keeping the Dumfries batsmen pinned down with few run-scoring opportunities. But with no further breakthroughs after twelve overs, McDougall made his first bowling change bringing on Sam Sanghera to replace Fischer-Keogh.

The move paid off immediately as Sanghera trapped opening batsman Andrew Dawson LBW for 18 with just his fifth delivery. The score was 33 for 3 in the 13th over.

The south of Scotland side made cautious progress over the next nine overs as Robert McBride and Alan Davidson added twenty three more runs.

But once again, McDougall made an important bowling change which brought a quick wicket. Teenager Usman Mansoor replaced Chambers, and with just his third ball had McBride caught by Sean Fischer-Keogh for 23 runs.

Chris Brockwell, who had top scored for Dumfries against Greenock earlier in the season at Nunholm, joined Davidson and their partnership put the visitors right back into the game. From 56 for the loss of 4 wickets in the 22nd over, Brockwell and Davidson built a fine partnership of 107 runs to take the score to 163 in the 39th over.

Sam Sanghera then picked up his second wicket of the afternoon by bowling Brockwell for 34.

But the Dumfries team was now in a good position. And with Davidson still at the crease in fine form, they were now brimming with confidence.

Tommy McGrath came out to the middle to join Davidson and another 25 runs were added before McDougall, who had brought himself in the bowling attack, had Davidson caught by Shailesh Prabhu for 59 with just seven overs remaining.

The Dumfries tail-enders looked to pile on as many runs as possible as the innings moved towards its conclusion. And they succeeded in adding a further 43 runs to the total, but with the loss of two more wickets. Callum Reynolds-Lewis was bowled by McDougall for 10, and then the Greenock captain picked up his third wicket of the afternoon when he had McGrath caught by Sanghera for 26.

The Dumfries innings finally closed on 231 for the loss of 8 wickets after their 50 overs. Then came the news that the match was being abandoned.

With relegation a very real issue for both Greenock and Dumfries, and with only three more rounds of fixtures before the league season ends, the 'No Result' due to the Covid issue was one from which neither club gains any benefit and pushes them both closer to the brink of relegation.

The match itself will go into the clubs' history books as the first to succumb to Covid, but that will be of little comfort if it is the factor which finally brings to an end either, or both, club's participation in the Premier Division.