Cork Cricket Club

Minor Cup: Cork County 3rd XI vs Midleton 2nd XI match report

Cork County Cricket Club crestCounty 3rds met Midleton 2nds in the quarter-finals of the Munster Minor cup with a place in the semi-finals against either Harlequins 3rds or Nenagh up for grabs.

Midleton won the toss and chose to bowl first on the artificial wicket(the grass wicket could not be used due to recent inclement weather). The decision to bowl looked to be a good one as County openers James McCarthy(capt.) and Narsa Renjarla could do nothing but block out the accurate bowling of seamer Ravi Panda. The pressure on both batsmen increased and despite some nice shots it was the County captain James McCarthy(8) who was the first to fall given out lbw off change bowler Chez Khan(3-24). Number 3 batsman Hassan Shulman soon followed him having been bowled again by Khan. Things got even worse for County when youngster Harris playing in his first ever 3rds game was given out lbw off the very first ball he faced. County were now struggling badly on 24 for 3 and Khan was on a hat trick. However County wicketkeeper Peter Barlow safely negotiated the hat-trick ball and began to build a partnership with Renjarla at the other end. Some solid batting from both players brought County to drinks without the loss of any more wickets but at 55-3 off 20 overs they were were way behind where they should have been thanks to the Midleton bowling attack which had been very tight.

The return of opening bowler Ravi Panda after drinks brought an end to the innings of Narsa Renjarla(38) but it was the bowling of K.Higgs(6-24) which caused the County batsmen serious problems. Aidan Kelleher(4) was the first to fall to Higgs after being bowled. This brought Chris Goncalves to the crease and he got off the mark straightaway with a single behind point. His partnership with Barlow(24) would not last long however, Barlow bowled by Higgs 3 deliveries later. Another wicket fell with the very next ball after Goncalves was run out attempting a single off a cut through point by Kevin O’Sullivan. Goncalves seemed in but the square leg umpire raised the finger and he had to go. This brought in Ryan O’Connell who along with Kevin O’Sullivan tried to get some badly needed County runs. Higgs was still bowling and was still causing problems but an attempted quicker one by the slow bowler was puched through mid-wicket by O’Sullivan for four. O’Connell did well to block out the bowling of both Panda and McGregor playing some nice shots which didn’t quite make it past the infield.

This partnership brought County past the hundred and twenty mark but not much further when Kevin O’Sullivan(13) was bowled in the final over of the game attempting another slog through mid-wicket . Higgs who had bowled excellently throughout his spell got his reward with a hat-trick, Justin McGurk and Luke Harris also falling victim to his bowling. This left County 128 all out after 39.4 overs about 30 runs short of where they wanted to be.

After lunch, Midleton’s opening batsmen C.Khan and A. Levis got to work with Khan smashing everything that came near him without giving up many chances. However the quick bowling off County all-rounder Narsa Renjarla(2-37) caused Levis(2) problems and he was eventually bowled by the seamer. County were encouraged by the early wicket but the new batsman K.Moran(14) caused problems for the bowlers, building a solid partnership with big-hitter Khan before eventually being caught by Justin McGurk at mid-on off the bowling of youngster Aidan Kelleher. The major breakthrough for County 3rds came when Khan(37) was caught by Kevin O’Sullivan at deep mid wicket after he had mistimed a slog sweep, Chris Goncalves claiming the very important wicket for County.

Goncalves (4-22) was full of confidence and soon sent Ravi Panda(1) back to the pavilion after he was judged to be out lbw. Young Midleton batsman A.McMahon(3) help up well against the bowling of Renjarla but was eventually out caught and bowled. This brought Midleton captain Kieran Doran(24) to the crease and he immediately tested the County fielders taking quick ones and twos and frustrating the County bowlers. Left arm spinner Kevin O’Sullivan(1-15) joined the attack and in his second over bowled M.Andrade(4) the right handed batsmen trying to slog a flighted delivery over square leg. Young all-rounder C.McGregor(8) briefly built a partnership with his captain before he was bowled by Goncalves. Despite Doran’s best efforts Midleton were still 23 runs adrift of the target of 129 and he was next to fall caught by Kevin O’Sullivan at cover after mistiming a drive off Goncalves. It was a nervy finish for both teams with K.Higgs(6) nearly sealing it for Midleton but he was tricked by a slower ball from McGurk(2-15) and was out lbw before he could reach the magic total. Midleton’s last hope fell to Jim Doran brother of captain Kieran Doran but that hope was extinguished when McGurk bowled him first ball to secure victory for County in the cup.

Cork County 3rd XI beat Midleton 2nd XI by 8 runs at the Mardyke in the Munster Minor Cup.

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