Cork Cricket Club

Cork County defeat Laois in tight encounter

Cork County continued their pre-season preparations with an away trip to Portlaois to take on Laois CC at the rugby grounds, who compete in Leinster League Division 3. It was Cork County’s first opportunity to take on some Leinster league opposition and would provide an early indicator of how their preparations have been going.

The home side won the toss and decided to bat on the artificial wicket. The opening exchanges were disrupted by two heavy showers however once they had past the fixture continued uninterrupted. James Duggan was making his first competitive debut for County following his winter sojourn in Wellington while playing for North City CC. Laois opener Masood was determined to take the attack to the County openers, James Duggan and Oliver Creedon, by striking some hefty blows down the ground. However he was soon dismissed by County main strike bowler Bruce Koch. Cork County spinners Andrew Saul and Tim Clifford provided a composed tight spell of bowling to drag the Laois run rate back. Zeeshan provided the mainstay of the Laois innings with a hard hitting 46 ably supported by his skipper Yasin with 29 to push the home side’s total to a competitive 202 for 8 wickets.

In reply Cork County openers, Ross Durity and Oliver Creedon, got off to a solid start dampening the early Laois bowling attack. However a sharp rising delivery from opener Asif struck Durity on the glove and eventually forced the vice captain to retire hurt with a suspected broken finger. Captain Robert Duggan replaced Durity at the crease and was soon followed by Bruce Koch after Creedon was dismissed by a sharp in swinging yorker from Asif. Koch and Duggan proceeded to consolidate the Cork County innings and soon began to push on with Koch in particular caressing some beautiful drives through the covers. Koch was dismissed caught behind by a little wobbler from Wilkie.

Young starlet Chris Banon joined Duggan at the crease and he soon took the attack to the Laois bowlers with some great shots off his legs and through the off side. Duggan and Banon were comfortably up with the required run rate and seemingly cruising to victory however when opener Asif was brought back into the attack he took the wicket of Banon with a sharp delivery which snuck through the defense of the young County batsman. That wicket restricted the County run rate pushing it up to almost 9 runs per over with 4 overs remaining. Captain Duggan took the initiative and went on the attack scoring boundaries straight down the ground and pulling a number of deliveries out of the ground. When Andrew Saul was dismissed and replaced by Cian Scannell the Mardyke side only required 3 runs from 2 overs which was provided by 4 wides from M. Auret.

Sunday 25th April, 40 Over match at Portlaois RFC:
Laois CC 202-8 (Zeeshan 46, Koch 2-17, M Reed 2-9)
Cork County CC 203-5 (Duggan 72*, Banon 48, Asif 2-31)

Cork County won by 5 wickets scorecard

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