Greenock gain important win over Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock vs Greenock 1st XI
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 2nd July 2022

Greenock 1st XI 212 for 4 RA Walker 130*
Kilmarnock 140 RA Walker 3 for 25, GM Chambers 3 for 30

DLS par score was 228 in 46 overs


Greenock travelled down to East Ayrshire on Saturday and gained an important away win against third placed Kilmarnock. The result consolidated Greenock's second top position in the WDCU First Division and significantly widened the gap between themselves and the Ayrshire side.

The result was yet another comprehensive victory for Greenock as the Glenpark side won by 88 runs and keeps their promotion hopes well on track. Man of the match was Ryan Walker with a very well constructed innings of 130 not out and then 3 wickets for 25 runs from nine overs.

Start of play was delayed by fifteen minutes due to rain in the late morning and, when the toss was made, Kilmarnock captain Paul Flanagan invited Greenock to bat.

Greenock opened their innings with Tom Nicholson and Lukas Fischer-Keogh and made a fairly tentative start against the bowling of Tom McFadzean and Waleeb Iqbal. With just 16 runs on the board, Nicholson was removed when he edged a ball from McFadzean and was well caught by former Pakistan 'A' player Abdul Muzammil at first slip.

Runs continued to be difficult to come by as Fischer-Keogh and Harry Briggs were kept in check by Killie's change bowlers Niamat Ali and South African amateur Ben Lombard. Midway through the sixteenth over Fischer-Keogh failed to keep the ball down as he played a shot from Lombard towards square leg and Ali snapped up the chance. The score was 33 for 2.

Twenty runs later Greenock lost wicket number three. Briggs (16) attempted to clear the in-field but failed to get sufficient elevation and was caught at cover by Tom McFadzean off the bowling of Adam Wilson.

That wicket in the twenty-fourth over put Greenock in a potentially precarious position midway through the innings at 53 for the loss of 3 wickets. But it brought together Ryan Walker and Gregor Chambers both of whom have been in good batting form in recent weeks. And this partnership changed the game completely.

The first fifty from their partnership came up from the first ball of the thirty-fifth over when Walker hit McFadzean for a boundary. His contribution to the fifty partnership was 36 and the boundary signalled Walker's own half century.

With the innings shortened to 46 overs instead of 50 overs due to a 35 minute rain break, at this point Greenock were on 105 for the loss of 3 wickets with just 11.5 overs remaining.

In those remaining overs, Walker and Chambers took complete control and runs flowed at a rapid rate with Walker, in particular, seeming to be able to score with ease. Walker's century came up in the 44th over when he picked up two runs from the third ball bowled by Iqbal.

Walker then faced a further eleven balls as the innings drew to a close and added a remarkable 29 more runs to take his own personal score to 130 not out in the Greenock total of 212. The Aussie amateur hit fourteen boundaries and one maximum (6) in his innings.

Chambers, who had played a hugely important though secondary role in the partnership, was run out on the fourth last ball of the innings for a very valuable 29 runs.

The partnership added 157 runs in 22 overs and put Greenock into a commanding position at the midway point in the match.

With the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) system in use due to the rain break, Kilmarnock were set a target of 229 to win from their 46 overs.

Needing to score at a rate of five runs per over, the Ayrshire team's opening batsmen set off at a frantic rate and had 33 runs on the board from the first four overs.

But the fourth ball of the fifth over, which was bowled by Gregor Chambers, brought the breakthrough which Greenock had been searching for. Opener Maritz (12) edged the delivery and Chris Hempsey at first slip took a good catch.

Pace bowler Chambers bowled Maritz's opening partner Khan for 21 in his next over and then added a third wicket to his tally when he bowled home skipper Paul Flanagan (5) to leave Kilmarnock on 49 for the loss of 3 wickets in the ninth over.

The loss of the third wicket brought together South African amateur Ben Lombard and former Pakistan 'A' player Abdul Muzammil, the Kilmarnock paid coach. Muzammil had earlier in the match sustained an injury to his right hand while fielding in the slips which required him to be taken to hospital to get a split finger webbing attended to.

The Lombard and Muzammil pairing was the key partnership for Greenock to break to ensure that the game would go their way. Both players looked in good form and were scoring well until in 22nd over of the innings it was broken. Lombard (15) was the player out when he miscued a delivery from left arm leg spinner Ryan Walker and gave a straightforward return catch to the bowler.

And Walker was the bowler to remove Muzammil just two overs later. The Kilmarnock team coach was adjudged LBW for 27 and the outcome of the match moved massively in Greenock's favour as a result. Score 91 for 5.

The home side's run rate which had been on target for the first six overs, had by now dropped back to just under 4 runs per over and with Kilmarnock's top five batsmen returned to the dressing room, Greenock set about finishing off the remainder of their batting line-up.

Muzammil was removed at the end of the 24th over and it took just a further 16 overs to pick up the last five wickets and to win the match.

Walker picked up a third wicket when he bowled Waleed Iqbal, Tom Nicholson trapped Niamat Ali LBW and there was a wicket each for Ewan Stewart, PJ Bryceland and Aryan Sanghera as Kilmarnock were bowled out for 140 with the first ball of the 40th over.

Chambers took 3 for 30 from 10 overs and Walker 3 for 25 from 9 overs.

The win keeps Greenock in second top position in the First Division behind leaders Stenhousemuir, but significantly increases their percentage lead over the Ayrshire side who remain in third top position just ahead of Drumpellier in fourth position.

Greenock now have matches against East Kilbride and Irvine both at Glenpark on the next two Saturdays.