Greenock lose unbeaten league record with Stenhousemuir defeat

Greenock 1st XI vs Stenhousemuir
WDCU CSL First Division
Saturday 28th May 2022

Stenhousemuir 156 D Roussouw 76; TJ Nicholson 4 for 42, RA Walker 4 for 42
Greenock 1st XI 141 for 9 P Pinnamaneni 4 for 21


The First Division top of the table clash between Greenock and Stenhousemuir ended in disappointment for the Glenpark side as they lost by fifteen runs. It was a missed opportunity as a win would have put Greenock leaders at the top of the league table.

It was a match in which LBW decisions featured large. It was also a match which the Greenock players and supporters would have considered very winnable at the tea interval after the visitors had been dismissed for 156 after just 37.1 overs. But Greenock's batting frailties of recent seasons returned and a mid-innings collapse in the run-rate left too much to do in the closing stages of the match.

Stenhousemuir chose to bat first having won the toss. But it was Greenock who got off to the best start by capturing the wicket of opening batsman Nikhil Kadyan with only nine runs on the board. Kadyan was LBW to Sam Sanghera and was the first of a remarkable six LBW decisions which were to be given by the umpires against the visiting team.

A second wicket partnership between Dennico Hollis and John Vaughan-Davies began to lay a decent foundation for the visitors. But the introduction of Ryan Walker into the Greenock bowling attack quickly paid off. With just his second delivery, Walker trapped Hollis LBW. He had scored 20 runs and the total had moved on to 45.

Greenock made further inroads into the Stenhousemuir batting with two very quick wickets when the visitors reached 69. Firstly, Vaughan-Davies was removed LBW by Tom Nicholson with just the second ball of his first over and with the fifth ball new batsman Emile Streicher was sent packing having been dismissed LBW for a 'duck'. Four wickets and four LBW decisions.

The Stenhousemuir innings was in some difficulty and the position worsened when Rodgers, Grant, Hunter and Pinnamaneni all departed from the middle to leave the visitors on 112 for the loss of 8 wickets after 26 overs.

But South African professional Danie Roussouw, who had come in at the fall of the second wicket, was still at the crease and he used his experience to be the batsman facing most of the bowling. He did this supremely well for 8 overs during which time 37 very important runs were added to the total.

However, Roussouw became the sixth LBW victim when Nicholson captured his wicket when he was on 76. Then just seven runs later Atif was last man out with the total standing at 156 after 37.1 overs.

Greenock's best bowling figures were from Tom Nicholson who took 4 wickets for 42 runs and Ryan Walker who also took 4 for 42.

Needing just a little over three runs per over, Greenock began their reply with a sound opening spell thanks to the top order batsmen Tom Nicholson and Jamie Nowell. The pair put on 39 runs in the opening ten overs before Nowell (10) was bowled by Nick Lister.

Then just three overs later, Stenhousemuir captured the key wicket of Tom Nicholson caught by wicketkeeper Roussouw for 26 from the bowling of Callum Grant.

Ryan Walker and Harry Briggs added another 19 runs before Walker was adjudged LBW in the 20th over having scored 14. Greenock were 66 for 3 and still well on target scoring at the required rate of just slightly more than three runs per over.

However, just fourteen more runs were added in the nine overs which followed before Briggs was removed as a result of a good catch by Lister from the bowling of Vaughan-Davies.

The visitors' bowlers were now on top and the Greenock run rate had slowed dramatically. By midway through the 41st over the score had only moved on to 94 and a further three wickets had fallen. Only 28 runs had been scored in almost 22 overs leaving the Glenpark side in serious trouble chasing the Stenny score.

With just a little more than eight overs remaining Greenock needed 63 runs to win and had only three wickets remaining.

The wickets of PJ Bryceland (6) and Gregor Chambers (20) soon followed to put Stenhousemuir on the very edge of victory with Greenock down but not quite out on 107 for 9 towards the end of the 46th over.

A late onslaught on the Stenhousemuir bowling by Greenock captain Greg McDougall took the score to 141 when the innings closed at the end of the 50th over. McDougall hit three boundaries in his 17 not out but unfortunately for the team and the Glenpark supporters it was an effort which was too late in the innings and Greenock ended just 15 runs short of the visitors total.

Praveen Pinnamaneni was the Larbert side's top bowler with 4 wickets for 21 runs.

The Greenock team will need to quickly learn the lessons of Saturday's match and get back to winning ways in order to keep their promotion ambitions on track. Next up is Drumpellier at Glenpark next Saturday.