Tonight’s Western Cup group stage match – the first between Milngavie CC and the club – lasted just five overs, as the forecast early evening rain duly arrived pretty much on time. Shawholm had been invited to bat first, and Mohammad Chaudhry (11*) and Calum James (8*) were trotting along nicely when the rain decided enough was enough. 25 for 0, after five overs, match abandoned. [Scorecard]
The ‘Loc welcomed current Scottish Cup holders Heriot’s to “Shawholm” today in the first round of this year’s competition. In a side showing no fewer than six changes for Saturday’s league match at “Glenpark”, the ‘Loc were well beaten in a match, delayed by damp run ups after overnight rain, that lasted – all in – less than 42 overs. Inserted by the visitors after the Edinburgh side’s skipper won the toss, the ‘Loc got off to the worst possible start, Muhammad Chaudhry attempting to hood the first ball he faced from Kinghorn-Gray, and only managing to sky one straight up, Neill taking the simplest of catches trotting back a few steps at slip. 2 for 1. Calum James was the other opener, and he was now joined by Hunnain Sohail. They’d only manage to add 5 runs however before they were separated, Sohail (2) being bowled by Kinghorn-Gray to give the Heriot’s opening bowler his second wicket. 7 for 2 was then 17 for 3 when Balawal Fahim (2), batting at four, was trapped by that man Kinghorn-Gray again.
At least some measure of calm then ensued: James and Sufian Ali trying to rebuild. Both looked in control of matters as they added 22 for the fourth wicket, James (16) chipping Watt to short cover to give the Scotland international his first wicket of the afternoon. From this point it was really a bit of a revolving door: Andrew Mallichan (30, Jobanjit Singh (4), Hasan Rafiq (0), and Saad Salim (6) all coming-and-going relatively quickly. Rafiq, of these batters, might, however, feel slightly hard-done-by, his departure seeing him smack a Shean full toss straight back at the bowler, only to see the Heriot’s man hang on to a ridiculous grab. There was a last wicket partnership of 15 that saw the ‘Loc push their total past 60, then 70. However 72 all out would be the eventual total posted. 73 to win.
After a mid-innings turnaround that would put many a quick change artist to shame, Mallichan and Ahmed-Raza Hanif had the new balls in their hands, and Heriot’s reply was underway. Proud and Brown were the visitors’ openers, and they raced out of the traps. They’d put on 50 in fact before they were separated, Brown tamely chipping Mallichan to short cover, where Fahim held on. This would be the only wicket to fall in the second innings however, and Heriot’s strolled past the finishing post inside twelve overs. Proud finished unbeaten on 31, Watt, at three, on 14*. [Scorecard]
Poloc ran in to an Aussie steam train at “Glenpark” today, Nicholson, one of host club Greenock’s overseas players, racking up an unbeaten 156 to see his side post a whopping 269 for 9 in today’s First Division match. Strange as it may sound though having just noted the final score, for much of the first innings, the ‘Loc didn’t look like that they’d be chasing a “big one” when it was their turn to bat. Nicholson’s 156* (158) came at very nearly a-run-a-ball, but in the early part of his knock he was much more circumspect, the base he built for himself facilitating his acceleration at the back-end of his innings. Credit to him then, as it was his effort that was the back-bone of the imposing first innings total. Aside his knock, in fact no other batter reached 20, a fact that simply underlines the opener’s performance with the bat. For the ‘Loc the Cathcart brothers, James and Robert, each grabbed a brace, their combined spells returning figures of 20-2-59-4. Not bad at all amidst the late innings barrage from Nicholson.
Set 270 to win is never going to mean anything other than it’s going to be a tough chase. However the ‘Loc did give it a go, at least “up top”. In the thirteenth over the side were, in fact, racing along. Hunnain Sohail (13), skippering the side in Andrew Mallichan’s absence, had been dismissed with the score on 18, but Muhammad Chaudhry and Akshay Hudar had put on 50 in hee-haw time, and were scoring freely, and the total had moved on to 78 for 1. But then the pair were separated, Chaudhry departing for 31 (27). 78 for 2. Sufian Ali (0) then came-and-went without troubling the scorers [Ed’: actually that should be scorer, singular, the ‘Loc unacceptably not providing a scorer for the match – the club, correctly, formally apologised to Greenock for this after the match]. Back to the action….. With Ali having departed, Hudar welcomed Balawal Fahim to the middle, but, unfortunately, the fourth wicket wasn’t too far away, and the side were soon 90 for 4. Hudar (48) couldn’t quite get to 50, and when the fifth wicket fell on 103, that flicker of hope that had appeared when Hudar and Chaudhry were together, was snuffed out. Actually the whole candle would be knocked over, and stood on, as Greenock skittled the ‘Loc out for 127. Somehow 78 for 1 had become 127 all out, four wickets falling for just 6 runs in the middle of this collapse, before 18 were added for the final wicket.
Nicholson added to his batting heroics with a “5-for”, and his fellow Aussie overseas player, Walker, helping himself to figures of 10-2-26-4. In fact had Chambers not taken the other wicket to fall, it could’ve been said that Nicholson and Walker (171 for 1, and 9 for 53, between them) had beaten the ‘Loc alone! Sometimes it’s your day, and so credit to the two Antipodean visitors for top performances.
So a thumping defeat, by 142 runs, and the ‘Loc still in search of win #1. Tomorrow gives them an immediate chance to get back out on to the ground, and look to make improvements, Heriot’s FP – the current holders – visiting “Shawholm” on Scottish Cup duty. Meantime, time overnight to ponder the areas for improvement, in particular how, as a group, the side are going to put enough runs on the ‘board to see themselves to a “W”. [Scorecard]
Partick made the short trip over the river from their eponymous home to take on Shawholm this afternoon. And after a week of rotten weather, Adam Richardson had miraculously presented the ground in great shape, and the day would be blessed with fine weather. The visitors, after winning the toss, decided to insert their hosts, and so Shawholm batted first. And the Partick skipper’s choice seemed genius as the home side struggled from the get-go. 32 for 5 was bad, but it turned out it was actually pretty much par, as the second five wickets generated only 1 more run. Extras, in particular wides, comfortably top-scored, as only Usman Baig, with 14 (48), got in to double figures. 65 all out, including 19 in wides! And as if to reinforce his decision to insert Shawholm, Partick skipper Sandhu helped himself to figures of 9-3-12-4.
66 to win then. Surely the runs would be knocked off quickly, and at least everyone would get in to watch the FA Cup final? At 34 for 4 it wasn’t quite so clear who might prevail, though the rate of dismissals certainly meant that Wembley’s 4.45pm kick-off didn’t looked like being missed! Aasim Khurshid, as seven days previously against Bothwell, had ripped out the opposition top order. Last week it was the Bothwell top three, today Partick’s. He’d finish with 3 for 22 in seven overs, but would be challenged for the bowling plaudits by Hamaad Anwar who bamboozled the Partick middle order with his off-spin, returning figures of 5-4-1-2. Remarkable. But, and despite losing two more wickets (Hasan Rafiq grabbing the other one), Partick would get across the finish line in the 24th over, to run out four-wicket winners.
The combined scorecard read 131 for 16 in just 50.4 overs – bonkers really! [Scorecard]
This weekend sees the first Sunday match as Heriot’s FP CC visit in the first round of the Scottish Cup. Before that, on Saturday, the ground hosts Partick, who make the short trip over the river, from the north side, to take on Shawholm in the league. Poloc, meanwhile, travel down the river to “Glenpark” where they’ll face Greenock. All matches start at 12 noon, and here’s hoping this week’s poor weather improves!
It was “Bothwell Castle Policies” for thrills today, as Shawholm sneaked home, with just one wicket in hand, against hosts Bothwell in a low-scoring affair. Set just 86 to win, the run-chase would go to the wire, James Cathcart, Shawholm’s number eleven, being called up to pull a Jahanzeb delivery through mid-wicket in the 30th over to seal the win. Just. And Cathcart was needed after a batting collapse by his team-mates that had mirrored what had happened in the first innings. That innings had seen Bothwell skittled out for just 85, Aasim Khurshid doing most of the damage early on when he cleaned up the hosts’ top three batters. 38 for 3. Saad Salim (2 for 8), Anil Roy (2 for 6), and Hasan Rafiq (2 for 12) then each taking a brace as only two Bothwell batters got in to double figures. 20 runs in extras boosted the dismal home batting display to see some sort of respectability applied to the total. 85 all out inside 25 overs; 86 to win.
But then a second batting collapse. Actually it was worse. 17 for 3 worse. Then 25 for 5! Five of the top six Shawholm batters had failed to reach 7, and it would be left to skipper Rafiq (25) to claw his side back in to the contest. Salim (10) gave him some support, but neither could see their side home. And so it was to that dramatic ending. Fahid Iqbal (1), faced 25 deliveries, but would also depart, leaving last pair – Shehroz Hussain and Cathcart – to try and secure the win. And they did just that, Cathcart holding his nerve, and pulling a short delivery from Jahanzeb to get across the winning line. Again, just! [Scorecard]
Poloc welcomed old Western Union rivals Drumpellier to “Shawholm” today, in round two of Saturday League matches. Batting first the ‘Loc struggled to gain any real momentum in their innings, regular wickets falling as the batters attempted to break the shackles of the visitors’ bowling attack. The first wicket fell with the score on 16, with wickets two, three, and four, all then falling before 40 was on the ‘board. Only Hunnain Sohail (16), of the top seven batters, got in to double figures, before Andrew Mallichan (15), and Waseem Ahmed (10), scrambled a few with the rest of the tail to see 92 eventually posted. Top scorer? Extras, wides to be exact: 25. The fact the ‘Loc batted almost 42 overs to post their 92 reinforces just how tied down they were by Drumpellier’s bowling attack. The visitors’ Overseas Amateur, Austin, was the standout bowler, returning the ridiculous figures of 9.5-2-22-6. Jayathilake, the “Langloan” club’s Professional also got through his full allocation of overs, taking 2 for 25 in his ten overs. 93 to win.
And win Drumpellier would do, reaching their target after 31 overs, two down. Nathan Allison finished 44 not out, with Jayathilake, batting at three, looking untroubled on 26 not out at the close. 96 for 2 saw the ‘Loc lose by eight wickets, picking up no losing points in to the bargain. As last week, in the defeat to Stenhousemuir, there was a positive in amongst the bowlers: Ahmed-Raza Hanif again bowled tightly, bowling his slow left-armers with the new ball, and returning figures of 10-4-19-1.
So back-to-back defeats, with work to be done with the bat, and runs to be found to either post a defendable score, or chase down a meaningful target. [Scorecard]
The 2022 Saturday League continues tomorrow, Shawholm travelling to Uddingston to take on Bothwell, and Poloc hosting Drumpellier at “Shawholm”. Both matches start at 12 noon.
Neither of tonight’s two junior matches made it to the starting line, very wet weather across the west of the country seeing chances of play disappear by lunchtime.
|Club President Kenneth Robertson has written to members in his May newsletter. Circulated to members by email, and WhatsApp, the newsletter can also be read online, here.|