Disappointing finish at Dumfries

Dumfries v Greenock 1st XI
WDCU Premiership One
Saturday 29th April 2023

Greenock 1st XI 192 for 7 T Polkinghorne 64, LC Fischer-Keogh 54; C Brockwell 3 for 31
Dumfries 196 for 6 A Davidson 66*, S Beveridge 41; GJ McDougall 3 for 43


The 1st XI travelled south to Dumfries on Saturday for their opening league fixture of the 2023 season, but returned home empty-handed having narrowly lost out to the hosts in an exciting match.

It was a game in which the advantage ebbed and flowed and at one stage during the Dumfries innings, it looked as though the team could be on course for victory with the home team on 56 for 4 chasing a target of 193 to win. But the Dumfries middle order stood firm and eventually won the game by 4 wickets in the second last over of the match.

The 50 overs per side fixture was eventually decided when the home side's Alan Davidson hit a boundary to overtake our score with just eight balls of the Dumfries innings remaining to be bowled

At the start of the match, it was the visitors who were asked to bat first when Dumfries captain Chris Brockwell won the toss.

The opening batsmen, Tom Polkinghorne and Harry Briggs made a very cautious start, and other than in the third over when eight runs were scored, further runs were hard to come by in the following six overs. Then in the eleventh over Briggs was dismissed when he was caught by Scott Beveridge from the bowling of Brockwell.

And it was thirteenth over unlucky for the team when Rahul Dalal, the club's professional, was caught low down at mid-on by Robert McBride for just 4 runs. Brockwell again was the bowler.

With the scoreboard showing 20 runs and 2 wickets down, it was not the start to the innings which had been hoped for. But Polkinghorne and new batsman Lukas Fischer-Keogh showed real grit and determination and gradually the visitors got right back into the game.

At the drinks break at the mid-point of the innings, the score had moved along to 55 and, although slow progress, a platform had been built for the team to progress in the remaining 25 overs.

Forty nine runs flowed in the next seven overs as Polkinghorne and Fischer-Keogh took a much more attacking approach to their batting partnership and brought up one hundred runs on the board.

Opening bowler James Hobman was brought back into the home attack in the 34th over and the run-rate slowed down. But it was the re-introduction of Brockwell at the beginning of the 41st over which brought the breakthrough as with the very first ball of his new spell, he bowled Fischer-Keogh for 54.

The score had moved on to 140 and the third wicket partnership had added 120 runs.

With ten overs remaining, the side needed to score at six runs per over to reach 200 by the end of their fifty overs. But the loss of top scorer Polkinghorne in the very next over with just six more runs added to the total was a set back for the Glenparkers. He had scored 64 runs which included two sixes and five boundaries.

Forty six more runs did get added in the last eight overs of the innings, but a further three wickets fell as the batsmen did their best to reach the 200 mark. At the end of the fifty overs the total had reached 192 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Brockwell with 3 wickets for 31 runs from 10 overs was the top bowler for Dumfries.

After the tea-break, needing to defend a total which required Dumfries to score at an average of just 4 runs per over, the opening bowlers made a fine start by picking up two early wickets.

In just the third over, Gregor Chambers clean bowled opener Tommy McGrath and then in the sixth over Nagendra Nagaraju bowled former Greenock player Chris Bellwood to leave Dumfries two wickets down for just 12 runs.

A partnership of 40 runs between Scott Beveridge and Robert McBride gave the Nunholm side a way back into the match. But then in the sixteenth over captain Greg McDougall came onto bowl and he immediately shifted the balance back in his own team's favour.

Firstly, he trapped McBride leg before wicket (LBW) for 23 and then in his next over (the 18th) he repeated the act by removing new batsman Adam Malik for just 3 runs.

The loss of these wickets left Dumfries on 56 for 4 and needing a further 137 runs to overtake the Greenock total from 32.4 overs.

But once again the balance began to change as opener Scott Beveridge and Alan Davidson built a strong partnership which took the home side to 129 before McDougall once again gained a breakthrough. With the very last ball of the 34th over and the last ball of his allotted ten overs, he bowled Beveridge for 41.

That left 16 overs to be bowled and 64 runs needed by Dumfries. A run rate still of four runs per over.

Chris Brockwell joined Davidson and the two experienced players continued to ease Dumfries towards their target until Gregor Chambers was brought back into the bowling attack in the 41st over.

With just the third ball of his new spell he bowled Brockwell for 11 leaving the Nunholm side still needing 38 runs from slightly more than eight overs and with just their last four wickets in hand.

But there was to be no happy ending for the team, as Davidson along with Callum Reynolds-Lewis took the home side to victory with just eight balls of the match remaining. Davidson was Dumfries' matchwinner finishing with 66 not out and Reynolds-Lewis was 21 not out.

Greg McDougall took 3 wickets for 43 runs from 10 overs, Gregor Chambers 2 for 32 and Nagendra Nagaraju 1 for 35.