Greenock make winning start to the new season


The Club got its 2023 season off to a fine start over the weekend by winning both of their pre-season friendly matches at Glenpark. On Saturday they gained a fine 6 wicket win over Western Premiership Two side East Renfrewshire and on Sunday defeated West of Scotland, a Western Premiership One team, by 36 runs.

The matches also provided the Club's new professional Rahul Dalal with his first taste of cricket in Scotland and on Saturday, in particular, he provided the local supporters with a display of batting which will give considerable encouragement for the league season which begins next weekend.


East Renfrewshire 153 N Hussain 66, N Vibhor 35; GM Chambers 4 for 17
Greenock 1st XI 157 for 4 RR Dalal 85, N Nagaraju 42*; N Hussain 3 for 11


The team for the match against East Renfrewshire was comprised mainly of players who will likely play for the Club's 2nd XI but was bolstered with the new pro and also featured 1st XI opening bowler Gregor Chambers and Club captain Greg McDougall.

With the sun shining and the Glenpark ground looking in superb shape, East Renfrewshire elected to bat first when their captain called correctly at the pre-match toss of the coin.

But it was the opening bowlers who got the early upper-hand. Within eight overs, East Renfrewshire had lost their first five wickets and had just 24 runs on the scoreboard. Gregor Chambers did most of this early damage taking four of the five wickets which fell.

The visitors' professional, Nazar Hussain, along with Jahanzeb Farrukh, added 41 runs for the sixth wicket before Farrukh was run out. And only four more runs were added before a further wicket fell, leaving East Renfrewshire in the perilous position of 69 for 7.

Hussain then more or less single-handedly rescued his team with a display of controlled aggression. He scored 66 runs which included ten boundaries before being caught behind the stumps by Dalal from the bowling of Ewan Stewart.

Number nine batsman Nirvan Vibhor with 35 runs provided a late tail-end surge to the runs on the scoreboard before his side were bowled out for 153 in the 37th over.

Gregor Chambers took 4 wickets for 17 runs from his allotted 8 overs.

Our reply after the tea interval did not start well. With only 19 runs scored, three of the top order had been returned to the clubhouse and only 19 runs had been scored. Nazar Hussain with two wickets from his very pacey bowling and his contribution to the run-out of Eddie Ahmad, was the main architect of his side's good start to the second innings.

However, a game-changing partnership of 116 runs from Dalal and Nagendra Nagaraju took us to the brink of victory before the professional was bowled by Hussain having scored 85 runs from just 67 balls and hit 15 boundaries.

Nagaraju and team captain Greg McDougall took the team past the visitors' total without further loss in fine style with ten overs to spare, Nagaraju finishing unbeaten on 42.

Greenock 1st XI 160 for 6 GM Chambers 50; A Hulatt 3 for 32
West of Scotland 124 J Mills 31; N Nagaraju 5 for 9


On Sunday afternoon, in much cooler, overcast conditions, the team batted first this time against their Western Premiership One opponents.

The top order batsmen in the home line-up provided a steady build up of runs, scoring at just under four runs per over for most of the match and indeed the team ended the 40 over innings with a run-rate of exactly that figure.

Tom Polkinghorne (22), Lukas Fischer-Keogh (21) and Rahul Dalal (22) each made a good start to their innings before giving fairly straightforward catching opportunities which cut short their time out in the middle.

But Gregor Chambers, batting at number five was the home side's top scorer, making exactly 50 runs, which included six boundaries, before being bowled by Tom Spensley.

At the end of their 40 overs, we had amassed 160 runs for the loss of just 6 wickets. West's spin bowler Antony Hulatt with 3 wickets for 32 runs was their most successful bowler.

In reply, West made a decent start to their innings and had scored 28 runs when their first wicket went down with Jacobsen LBW to Sam Sanghera.

Their second wicket partnership added a further 24 runs to take the total on to 52 at which point opening batsman Mills was removed for 31. Greg McDougall took a good catch at the long off boundary at the Fox Street end off the bowling of Jonathan Hempsey to end his innings.

From then on West could only manage a number of fairly minor partnerships as their innings failed to move forward in any sort of threatening way towards their target.

The introduction of Nagendra Nagaraju to the bowling attack led to him picking up no fewer than five wickets and seriously damaged the visitors' prospect of reaching our total. Their innings ended with the first ball of the 36th over when David McNulty was bowled by Nagaraju with the score on 124.

Nagaraju returned the excellent bowling figures of 5 wickets for 9 runs from 4.1 overs. Jonathan Hempsey and Rahul Dalal both took 2 wickets for 28 runs from the 8 overs each that they bowled while Sam Sanghera took two fine catches.