Batting first, with a short boundary on one side and fast outfield, West looked to make a big score. Despite ebb and flow, and missed chances to score more, West were ahead of the game right up until the 45th over.
This was aided by some solid partnerships through the inning, including a record 7th wicket 52 run stand between Fennah and McNulty. Three 30 partnerships and one 50 partnership was a great result for the batting unit.
The real pain point was the 45th over, where the “in” batsmen fell, exposing the lower order who scored only one run for three wickets in seven balls. Of course, one never expects runs from 9-11 but they hope for more, even by just batting out the overs.
Notably, West hit 30 boundaries in their final score of 200.
This total certainly gave the visitors the edge at tea as no team had successfully chased 200 at Glenpark in three seasons. The Win Predictor stood at 79%.
West took early wickets, quickly putting Greenock behind the rate. Kleinveldt and McNulty combined well to prevent an early platform.
The Greenock pro came in at 9-1 and batted slowly while he saw wickets falling at the other end at regular intervals. His first 50 balls saw 22 from his bat, and the score get to 59-3 from 22 overs.
This low point was maintained as West kept it very tight, taking regular wickets until Greenock were 88-6. However, the seeds of the Greenock recovery began here, with the next stand of 38 at 5.70 per over. Bandekar was joined by Pandehar, who attacked, striking 15 in four balls, including a big six and finishing on 22.
The stand was eventually worth 53 at 6.91 per over, Greenock were still in the game.
It’s hard to see any obvious fault by the bowlers at this stage, although there was a series of fielding errors that resulted in 13 runs, including the ball hitting the helmet. Unforced errors combined with some clean hits gave Greenock a sliver of a chance at this moment.
With Greenock needing 22 from 22, West were still favourites to win, but Bandekar held his nerve, hitting the last runs in the last over. The last 65 balls had gone for 75 runs, totally against the run of play and previous results. It was without doubt a brilliant innings combined with enough luck to squeeze over the line. It was an epic battle that could have gone either way right to the last.
On days like that, you can only say well played, dust off and move on.