1st XI batting collapses at Uddingston

Uddingston v Greenock 1st XI
WDCU Premiership One
Saturday 24th June 2023

Greenock 1st XI 89 Z Azhar 4 for 28, I Mughal 3 for 6
Uddingston 93 for 1 M Awais 60


The mid-point of the Western Premiership One league programme was reached at the conclusion of the Round 9 matches on Saturday.

For the 1st XI, the mid-point league position was not what had been hoped for at the start of the season when hopes were high for a successful return to Premiership cricket. Instead, the side find themselves bottom of the league table and with a lot to do in the second half of the league programme.

Saturday's result away from home at Bothwell Castle Policies against Uddingston was particularly disappointing. Facing second bottom Uddingston there had been a real hope of a second win of the season. Instead the team went down by nine wickets in a very low scoring match.

Captain Greg McDougall won the pre-match toss of the coin and chose to bat first. Within two hours, and less than 30 overs of play, it was a decision which he and his team must have regretted as they were bowled out for just 89 runs. It was the lowest score of the league season by some distance.

They opened their innings with Tom Polkinghorne and Shailesh Prabhu and had scored 15 runs by midway through the fifth over. But then Zeeshan Azhar bowling down the slope at the Bothwell ground picked up the first wicket by bowling Polkinghorne for just 3 runs.

The poor record of run-scoring from the opening batting partnership had continued once again.

A second wicket went down on 26 in the ninth over when Prabhu was adjudged LBW to Azhar having scored 18. And in the following over things got worse for the Gteam when Harry Briggs (4) got an edge to a ball bowled by Tom Willmott bowling up the slope and was caught by wicketkeeper Bryan Clarke.

At this point in the innings a lengthy and high scoring partnership was required from professional Rahul Dalal and Lukas Fischer-Keogh in order to get the team back into the match.

The best partnership of the innings was built by these two but it was worth only 28 runs and ended when Azhar picked up his third wicket of the afternoon when he had Fischer-Keogh caught by Ross Lyons for 6 runs with the score on 54.

And when Dalal was dismissed for 19 with only a further four runs added, caught off just the third ball bowled by new bowler Mughal, the team were in major trouble on 58 for the loss of 5 wickets.

Australian overseas amateur Ryan Walker making a return to the side while on a visit to the UK fared no better than those who had gone before him. He was caught by Ahmad for 6 as Azhar claimed his fourth wicket.

And the wickets continued to tumble as Gregor Chambers, Chirag Pandher, Aryan Sanghera and Tom Forrest all failed to stay out in the middle for long.

When the last wicket went down on 89 in the 29th over, captain Greg McDougall was left not out 7.

Azhar was Uddingston's top bowler with 4 wickets for 28 runs from 10 overs.

Only two of the team's batsmen reached double figures in what was their poorest batting display of the league season.

In contrast, Uddingston set about their run chase at a hectic pace with opening bat Mo Awais the main aggressor. He scored 60 runs from only 32 balls faced before he was caught by Rahul Dalal off the first ball bowled by Ryan Walker in the ninth over.

And by the second ball of the eleventh over, Uddingston had won the match by nine wickets having scored 93 for the loss of just one wicket. Mughal was 29 not out and Ramzan 4 not out.

The team must now put the first half of the league programme behind them and start again. There are nine matches to be played in the second half of the season and they will probably need to win at least three of these matches if they wish to keep their position in the top division.