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]