Thursday, May 23, 2024

Limerick Cricket Club off the mark in MCU Premier Division with win over Kerry

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AFTER a day to forget at the hands of County Galway last weekend, Limerick returned to winning ways in the MCU Premier Division with a win against County Kerry in Adare on Sunday.

With no real favourite in the competition emerging as of yet, Limerick knew suffering another home defeat would see them fall out of early contention for the title. 

Electing to put Limerick in to field, Kerry would find themselves struggling from the off as great control of the new ball from Shani Alam and Ramoji Alla allowed early pressure in the middle.

This pressure put numbers on the scoreboard for the home side with Alam striking first, backed up by native Syed Asif Hussein, who picked up the other opener. Skipper Ajay Hari got in on the act taking two of Kerry’s middle order with the scoreline on 56-4 and into the tail. 

Kerry slowed the game right down to halt their opponent’s momentum but Limerick stayed disciplined with their line and length and continued to squeeze mistakes from the batsmen. 80-6 became 91-8 with the batting lineup in deep trouble, but several dropped catches meant Kerry could hit some extra runs and scramble up and above the 120+ mark. 

Limerick’s top order took some early blows and a sense of déjà vu started to descend in the dugout as Kerry battled hard to keep the Limerick score to just 19-4, all of a sudden 126 seemed a long way away for the remaining Limerick batsmen.

Nonetheless, last year’s highest run scorer Arslan Anwar took a foothold in the match with Shani Alam keeping his cool at the other end. The two formed a crucial partnership of 40 runs before Anwar forged another partnership of 50 runs for the sixth wicket with Stephen Hackett. The latter’s dismissal at 109-6 all but secured the victory with the remaining runs hit in quick succession. 

RESULT| MCU Premier Division

Limerick Cricket Club defeated County Kerry by 3 wickets

County Kerry 1: 125 all out off 39.5 overs.

Arslan Anwar 4-23

Shani Alam 2-27

Limerick 1: 126-7 off 26.5 overs.

Arslan Anwar 55*

Shani Alam 29

LIMERICK’S 2nd XI continued their magnificent run of form in the league with their third win on the bounce, continuing their unbeaten start to the season. Taking on last year’s Junior Cup winners UCC away from home was never going to be an easy task. Nonetheless, Limerick were just five runs away from full bonus points, taking back a 70-run win back home on Saturday evening.

After early breakthroughs saw Limerick in a familiar spot of early bother, a matured partnership between Karthik Karur and Ayan Ullah got the Shannonsiders back into the game as the score surpassed the 100-run mark.

Karur pushed his luck with a risky single on 69 before getting run out, he left his mark on a tarnished bowling attack who couldn’t continue any momentum as Limerick’s order through Anvesh Bogavelly (38), Sumukh Venkatesh (22) and Dharmesh Patel (14*) got the final score to 270-6 after 45 overs. 

Limerick kept it tight with the new ball and were able to complement some economical bowling with wicket-taking deliveries from both ends as the home side struggled to build any meaningful partnerships. Two afghanis Abdul Baqi Khan and Waqas Shinwari picked up two a piece, both displaying passages of consistent bowling and earning both their wickets. Venkatesh was brought into the attack late on to finish the tail which he did in style with figures of 3-24 from his six overs.


RESULT| MCU Division One

Limerick Cricket Club defeated UCC by 70 runs

Limerick 2: 237-6 off 45 overs.

Karthik Karur 69

Anvesh Bogavelly 38

UCC: 167 all out off 33.3 overs.

Sumukh Venkatesh 3-24

Waqas Shinwari 2-14

WITH all four teams in action during the weekend, it was the Limerick Cricket Club’s 3rds team who got their white ball campaign started, taking on local rivals Clare at the Ballycasey Oval in Shannon.

Clare managed to take advantage of some loose deliveries, backed up with some extras, to salvage a decent total of 163-8 from their 20 overs. 

T20 can often be an uphill task chasing an above-par score, with Limerick not really getting the start they wanted with the bat. A second wicket partnership of 45 runs between Kumar Divyesh and Bharadwaj Mysore brought Limerick into some sort of contention at 75-2 at the halfway point.

Clare were able to get one after the other however, with both batsmen falling in quick succession soon after with Limerick tail having no reply to an ever-increasing run-rate. 

RESULT| MCU Division Two T20 Cup

Limerick Cricket Club lost to Clare by 38 runs

Clare 2: 163-8 off 20 overs.

Darshin Dwarakanath 3-36

Jeevan Krishna 2-24

Limerick 3: 125-9 off 20 overs.

Kumar Divyesh 28

Bharadwaj Mysore 18

MEANWHILE, the 4th XI took on Cork Harlequins in Adare in their opening match of the season which saw a real mix of young talent and new players. 4ths skipper Ramji Lakshmanan took charge of his opening game as a club captain and lead by example with the ball, finishing with 4-27 from his spell.

Harlequins managed to bat their 40 overs which is always a huge feat in limited overs cricket, the visiting side took advantage of numerous extras to finish with 254-4 from their 40 overs.

In reply, Limerick batted very bravely and gave themselves a chance with some good running and shots on display. Most notably, a maiden half-century for Bhargav Kumar kept the spirits going in the run chase as his 52* kept Limerick on track. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as the home side would fall 40 runs shy but were competitive from start to finish and will look to build upon their performance next weekend. 

THE next 10 days sees a plethora of fixtures coming Limerick’s way with six games taking place in the space of just nine days, all of which will be white ball. The 2nd and 3rd XIs will be in T20 action on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, followed by the big one on Saturday as Limerick entertain County Galway in Adare in the opening round of the National Cup.

Start time will be 12.30 from the Manor Fields and will be a 40-overs per side contest. The 2nds will continue their T20 campaign on Sunday when they take on Nenagh at Croker’s Oval in a 1.30 start, followed by the visit of Clare’s 1st XI to Adare on Wednesday evening.

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