Cork Cricket Club

County cruise into Munster Senior Cup semi-final

Cork County began the defence of their Munster Senior Cup crown with a tough Quarter Final draw at home to Limerick Raiders. The fixture brought together the two finalists from last season’s competition where County romped home to a 10 wicket victory. The 2011 Cup draw had been unkind to two of the strongest sides in the province as they clashed at such an early stage of the competition.

After a positive batting performance last weekend away in Malahide with rain preventing a possible victory for the Mardyke side, captain Bruce Koch had a full strength squad to choose from with the exception of Robert Duggan. Chris Banon and Andrew Saul returned to the side in what looked to be a very strong County team.

Winning the toss, Koch had no hesitation in choosing to bat in the hope that the strong batting line up would embellish his decision. The developing opening partnership between Ross Durity and Shannon Madden continues to blossom with both providing a solid base to the innings once again. The South African duo of George Barry and Bruce Koch followed at 3 and 4 with displaying some powerful stroke play and looked to take the game away from the Limerick side. However, both fell in unfortunate circumstances with the ball holding up slightly off the wicket in both cases. Chris Banon followed and looked to be returning to form with some composed strokes off his legs and square of the wicket. Banon fell after misjudging one off his legs picking out the square leg fielder.

Man-of-the-match Sidhz Joshi along with Darren Fogarty consolidated the innings and soon began to develop a crucial partnership with Joshi in particular crashing some big stokes over the long-on and long-off boundaries. Fogarty provided able support allowing Joshi to impose himself on the Limerick attack and onto his first century for CorK County at the Mardyke. It was truly an excellent and composed innings from the Indian all-rounder who didn’t give a chance before reaching his ton and departed having scored 110. Fogarty was dismissed caught behind by Faizan for 31 while Matt Reed provided some lower order runs finishing on 22 to push the Cork County total to 314-9.

Limerick Raiders required just over 6 an over to chase down the daunting target of 315 to win and remain in the 2011 Munster Senior Cup. However, from the outset Cork County were determined to extinguish any hope of an upset with the opening seam attack of Banks, Barry and Koch proving too much for the Limerick top order. Matt Reed and Ciarán Healy replaced the seamers to bring the Limerick Raiders innings to an end with the home side bowling them out for just 109 resulting in a 205 run victory and a place in the Munster Senior Cup semi-final. It was a superb all-round effort from the Cork County and in this ominous form it would be hard to see anyone stopping them on their charge to another league and cup double this season.

The Mardyke also welcomed a famous cricketing figure on Saturday with South African test captain Graeme Smith popping in to enjoy some cricket while in Cork with his fiancée Morgan Deane. Graeme was more than happy to sign autographs and have pictures taken while also enjoying some great shots from Ross Durity.

Cork County 314-9 beat Limerick Raiders 109 all out by 205 runs at the Mardyke.

Cork County: B. Koch*, R. Durity, C. Banon, D. Fogarty, C. Healy, S. Joshi, S. Madden+, G. Barry, M. Reed, A. Saul, K. Banks.

Limerick Raiders: A. Khan*, S. Alam, U. Khan, A. Ahmed, F. Bhagat, M. Faizan +, M. Sharif, M. Ahmed, K. Javid, S. Javid, J. Arshed and Q. Zaidi

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