Cork Cricket Club

Coleman, Morgan & Junaid shine as Cork County 2 defeat Limerick 1

Cork County 2 welcomed Limerick 1 to the Mardyke on Sunday 30th June for a Division 2 fixture. Conditions were perfect for cricket, the cloud cover that had been around in the morning moving away just as play began.

Kevin O’Sullivan won the toss for County and he chose to bowl first on the grass wicket which had been used the previous day. The decision looked a good one as opening bowler Junaid Amin(4-33) accounted for Limerick skipper Nigel Aspinall(0) lbw in his second over.

Fellow opener Farooq Hussain(1) also departed quickly, edging behind to Ian Coleman, again off Junaid. Things soon got worse for the visitors; Niranjan Srinivasan bowled by Ahmed Bilal(1-29) for 3 and Tariq Shah(2) caught and bowled by Junaid to leave the score at 14-4.

Waqas Jamal(18) and Hashir Sultan(24) put on a good partnership to steady the ship for Limerick but the persistently good line of Junaid Amin eventually made the breakthrough, Sultan attempting to slog through mid-wicket but instead losing his middle stump.

Shane Burke(55) joined Waqas at the crease and succeeded in frustrating the home side’s bowlers with some excellent shots straight down the ground. O’Sullivan adjusted his bowlers, bringing on Narsa Renjarla(1-28), Brad Morgan(0-48) and John Kelly(2-32) but still could not find a breakthrough until the first over after drinks when Paul McDowell ran out Waqas.

County thought they had regained the momentum when Kevin O’Sullivan caught Shane Burke off the bowling of John Kelly but the square leg umpire seemed to think it was above waist height so the wicket was chalked off. It did not matter however as Kelly had James Spencer(0) caught at square leg just two balls later.

After the wicket of Asif Shahab(15) had fallen it looked as though County would rip through the tail but nothing could have been further from the truth. A brilliant 45* from Fassy Ahmed helped Limerick to get to 203 all out; Renjarla taking the final wicket by bowling Stephen Cheatley(2) after some valiant defence from the number 11.

The Leesiders were visibly disappointed at the interval, poor bowling and sluggish fielding having cost them dearly. Nevertheless openers Brad Morgan and Ian Coleman took to their task with ease, dispatching openers Fassy Ahmed(0-43) and Hashir Sultan(0-38) to all parts of the ground. Morgan, who had hit the two previous deliveries for four, got a life when he skied one to cover off Ahmed only to be dropped.

Nigel Aspinall brought in Asif Shahab(0-26) from the River End but he could not make a breakthrough, the score ticking along to 94-0 before Morgan eventually departed for 49, caught at point off Spencer(4-44)after he skied one attempting to tickle down the leg side.

Hughes and Coleman(53) continued to push along the run rate, the young wicketkeeper bringing up his half-century with a single to mid-wicket. The home side lost Hughes(11) to an inswinger from Spencer which clipped the top of middle stump.

Aidan Kelliher joined Coleman at the crease but the partnership was only 19 runs strong when Coleman was caught behind off Spencer. Kelliher(10) soon followed; falling lbw to the same bowler.

John Kelly(5) holed out to Asif Shahab at mid-on off Stephen Cheatley(1-24) and it was left to Ahmed Bilal(22*) and Paul McDowell(8*) to finish off the job for County sealing a five wicket win for the home side and propelling them into second place in the Division 2 table.

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