1st XI lose out to Prestwick in rain-affected match

Greenock 1st XI v Prestwick
WDCU Premiership One
Saturday 27th May 2023

Greenock 1st XI 176 for 5 RR Dalal 109*
Prestwick 209 for 3 E McBeth 64*, S Chaudhary 59, M van der Mescht 33, D du Randt 33*

DLS Par score was 208 in 43 overs


The 1st XI and Prestwick played out a well contested Premiership One match at Glenpark on Saturday with the visitors emerging as winners.

Both sides began the afternoon in the lower reaches of the Premiership One league table with one win from four matches played but with Prestwick having picked up a superior number of bonus points. Each side had gained their first win of the season on the previous Saturday, so the scene was set for an interesting encounter.

Greg McDougall won the pre-match toss of the coin and elected to bat first.

But it was Prestwick who made the best start. The Ayrshire side opened their bowling attack with their two South African amateurs both of whom bowled with some pace. And with just the fifth ball of the match stand-in opener Jamie Nowell was bowled by Donovan Du Randt.

Former captain and experienced top order bat Shailesh Prabhu joined Tom Polkinghorne and the pair settled in to try and build a sound partnership. Polkinghorne was kept subdued by well directed, accurate bowling from Matthew Van Der Mescht while Prabhu kept the scoreboard moving along with a couple of twos and also a couple of boundaries off Du Randt.

The first ball of the sixth over dealt a second blow to the Glenpark side when Polkinghorne edged Van Der Mescht to wicketkeeper Fleet and the home team were two wickets down with just 16 runs on the board.

Theinnings was further dented towards the end of the ninth over when Prabhu edged Du Randt to give wicketkeeper Fleet his second catch of the afternoon. Prabhu had scored 12 and home the score had moved on to 25.

The dismissal brought together one of the team's young up and coming prospects Lukas Fischer-Keogh and Indian pro Rahul Dalal and the game gradually took a turn in favour of the home side.

Dalal, who scored a magnificent match-winning century against West of Scotland in the previous league match, once again looked in fine form as he carefully crafted his innings. Good balls were treated with respect and loose deliveries were despatched to the boundary.

From his arrival out in the middle in the sixth over until the mid-point in the innings at the end of the twenty fifth over, Dalal scored 65 runs of which 44 runs had come from his eleven boundaries.

And the partnership with Fischer-Keogh had yielded 75 runs to take the score to 100 with seven wickets still in hand and in a very good position to push on to a high score.

However two rain interruptions disrupted matters and instead of having an innings of 50 overs, it concluded after the end of the second rain interruption when just 42.4 overs had been bowled.

At this point Rahul Dalal had completed a second successive century and was unbeaten on 109 with the team score having reached 176 for the loss of 5 wickets. The last seven overs which could have seen the score move well past the 200 runs mark and set Prestwick a very challenging total were lost. With Dalal in top gear a 250 total had been quite possible.

The partnership with Fischer-Keogh, which yielded 89 runs and put the home side firmly into a fine position, came to an end when the young player was adjudged LBW by umpire Eric Young from the bowling of Ronan Alexander midway through the 28th over. He had scored 14 runs in what had been a very important supportive role with the pro.

Dalal then formed a second important partnership with Gregor Chambers. It added 48 runs before wicketkeeper Fleet gained his third catch of the afternoon, this time from the bowling of Prestwick's team coach and former professional Sachin Chaudhary. The score had reached 162 in the 41st over when Chambers was removed for 12.

And just one over later a second rain interruption ended the innings on 176 with Dalal in free flow and unbeaten on 109.

The Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) method which is a mathematical formulation designed to calculate the target score for the team batting second in a match where overs are limited due to an interruption, set Prestwick a total of 208 to win from 43 overs.

So, the visitors needed to score at an average of five runs per over to gain their second win of the league season and with Glenpark in perfect condition it was a very achievable target.

Inderjit Singh and Sachin Chaudhary opened the innings for the Ayrshire side. The pair put on 22 runs from the first six overs before Singh was trapped LBW by Sam Sanghera having scored 12 runs.

Chaudhary and Matthew Van Der Mescht then provided a steady partnership which took their team to 85 after 16 overs had been bowled. At this point Van Der Mescht departed caught by Gregor Chambers from the bowling of Greg McDougall. Van Der Mescht had scored 33 runs.

New batsman Euan McBeth, who provided a match-winning innings of 46 not out the previous Saturday against Clydesdale, joined Chaudhary out in the middle. The duo moved the score on to 136 in the 28th over when Chaudhary seemed to lose his concentration and tried to hit Dalal out of the ground. But he mis-timed his shot and the ball spiralled off his bat and he was caught by Ewan Stewart at point for 59.

Exactly 70 runs were now needed by Prestwick with 15 overs still to be bowled. So the run rate was still around five runs per over to gain victory. McBeth and new batsman Donovan Du Randt were more than equal to the challenge and knocked off the runs in just eleven overs with McBeth not out on 64 and Du Randt unbeaten on 33.

The win moved Prestwick up into fourth top spot while the defeat anchored the 1st XI to the bottom of the Premiership One league table.