Limerick Cricket Club

Founded 1968

Co. Limerick

Limerick storm past Midleton into Senior Cup Semis

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As thunder began to ring around the fields of Midleton RFC late on Sunday evening, Limerick were in the position of tasting a sweet victory over the in-form Midleton with the 17-year old Mirhamza Ahmedzai steaming in from the clubhouse end on a five-for, and one eye on the semi-final this weekend. Given home advantage and two wins over Limerick this year, Midleton definitely entered the game as favourites but were outdone by another century from Arslan Anwar, complimented with a sublime half-century from Tim Smithies and of course Ahmedzai’s destruction with the ball. The victory affords Limerick the chance to avenge their semi-final loss to County Galway last season for a place in the final on September 24th.

Midleton put Limerick into bat first and excelled with the ball early on. The swinging ball caused problems for both Sayyam and Borghare who departed early. Nishant Kumar joined the returning Tim Smithies to the crease but was soon dismissed to an outside edge to see the visitors on 68-4 and in need of a partnership. Limerick captain Arslan Anwar joined his trusted partner in the middle to survive a few early scares and stabilise the fall of wickets.

The two worked in tandem as Midleton’s momentum faded and the scoreboard ticked over with both players making 50s and shortly after, securing a 100-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Smithies would soon depart on 195-5 but Anwar wasn’t finished as he accelerated his strike rate to land another century, the second fifty coming in just 36 deliveries, before eventually holing out on 128 (13x4s, 3x6s). An innings of real stature and responsibility from Anwar as his team came just shy of the 300-run mark, a bright and breezy 34 from number seven Sarfraz Ramay got Limerick up to 299-6 from their 50 overs.

Arslan Anwar gets on the front footArslan Anwar gets on the front foot

With the home side chasing a mammoth total, the openers looked to gain some early impetus with the bat but were met with some unplayable deliveries from the Shannonsiders, Ahmedzai and Hegde once again on the money, beating the top order with pace to find a myriad of edges. Midleton found themselves in a similar position on 31-5 but a 50-run partnership for the sixth wicket brought the game back into contention. Ahmedzai came back into the attack to pick up Hitchmough and clinch his first five-wicket haul of the season, but another 90-run partnership got Midleton up to the 200-run mark, needing a run a ball in the final fifteen overs or so.

Limerick had fallen foul of conceding late runs in many innings this year but held firm in the final stages, Arslan Sayyam coming on as a part-time bowler to dismiss Fayyaz Khan on 38 with Hussein and Ahmedzai cleaning up the tail, Ahmedzai picking up an astonishing six wickets and sending a loud warning to next week’s semi-finalists.

RESULT| MCU Senior Cup Quarter-Final.

We defeated Midleton by 78 runs today.

Limerick 1: 299-6 off 50 overs.

Arslan Anwar 128

Tim Smithies 67

Midleton 1: 221 all out off 42.3 overs.

Mirhamza Ahmedzai 6-40

Prasad Hegde 2-46

Limerick 1st team vs Midleton: (Top row, l-r) Sarfraz Ramay, Arslan Sayyam, Syed Asif Hussein, Arslan Anwar (Capt.), Nishant Kumar, Mirhamza Ahmedzai. (Bottom row, l-r) Tim Smithies, Prasad Hegde, Yogesh Borghare, Sumukh Venkatesh (Capt.), Tim Smithies.Limerick 1st team vs Midleton: (Top row, l-r) Sarfraz Ramay, Arslan Sayyam, Syed Asif Hussein, Arslan Anwar (Capt.), Nishant Kumar, Mirhamza Ahmedzai. (Bottom row, l-r) Tim Smithies, Prasad Hegde, Yogesh Borghare, Sumukh Venkatesh (Capt.), Tim Smithies.

* * *

Division One has been somewhat of a topsy-turvy season for Dharmesh Patel and his men. Claiming the T20 trophy and holding a strong position at the summit of the table brought a lot of optimism to the side at the start of the year, but a dip in form and a depleting loss to UCC in the cup semi-final has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many. Their season would finish with the visit of Nenagh to the Manor Fields on Saturday afternoon.

Sathya Prabhu opened with a nice spell for the hosts having been promoted from first change for this week. His control of a swinging ball earned him three wickets for the innings, taking an early scalp before cleaning up two from the tail late on. He was backed up by Waqas Shinwari and fellow country man Shaoib Zazai who both picked up two a piece as Nenagh could only muster 163.

In response, Limerick opener Sourabh Teke stole the show with some lovely stroke play, exemplifying the control and timing any captain would want to see from their opener. Teke raced to his half-century and looked to sure seal a second club century before skying a short-length delivery into the hands of cover and falling just 13 runs short. But the damage was well done at this point with Limerick above the 150 mark as the middle order steered their way to a comfortable victory.

Sourabh Teke pictured after being dismissed for 87Sourabh Teke pictured after being dismissed for 87

RESULT| MCU Division One.

We defeated Nenagh by 6 wickets today.

Nenagh 1: 163 all out off 39.1 overs.

Mirhamza Ahmedzai 3-23

Sathya Prabhu 3-35

Limerick 2: 164-4 off 31 overs.

Sourabh Teke 87

Nishant Kumar 18

* * *

In Division Two, Limerick welcomed table-toppers Cork County to the Manor Fields on Sunday afternoon to restore some pride to their position in the table. The hosts were up against it from the off with Ihshan Seehra making a solid 69 off 63 deliveries that got County past 100 runs in the short time of just 16 overs. Their middle order chipped in with valuable runs, taking the game out of sight for a fatigued Limerick and reaching a 258-run total. A final spell from James Spencer added an emotional touch to the game, the Australian playing his final game in LCC colours and serving his eleventh season. His figures of 1-22 off 8 overs provides a fitting end for a bowling career covered in match-winning figures.

A decent stand of 66 between Waqas Mehmood [(47) 5x4s,1x6)] and Kumar Divyesh [(33) 4x4s,1x6)] provided a bright spark for Limerick in reply, but too many soft dismissals elsewhere gave the home side no real chance of challenging such a total as they would be eventually dismissed for 132. The loss sees the 3rds slump to a disappointing ninth place finish in the table with work to do for next season.

RESULT| MCU Division Two.

We lost to Cork County by 126 runs today.

Cork County 3: 258 all out off 40 overs.

James Spencer 3-55

Waqas Mehmood 2-52

Limerick 3: 132 all out off 27.3 overs.

Waqas Mehmood 47

Kumar Divyesh 33

* * *

The 3rds will have a final game against Nenagh on Sunday to make amends and push for a slightly higher finish with skipper Ashokkumar Jayaranam looking to use the opportunity to get his team out of second-last spot. Nonetheless, all eyes will most probably be on the 1st team who will take on Cork Harlequins in two bouts this weekend. The opening game on Saturday will take place in the Manor Fields, signalling the final game for Limerick in the league. On Sunday, it will be the same opposition with a twist as Quins will again travel to the Manor Fields as holders of the Senior Cup and looking to reach a second consecutive final. A huge tie for both clubs who will look for a shot at silverware having failed in both the league and T20 campaigns so far. The winners of the tie will face either Cork County or UCC, the latter receiving a bye to the semi-final whilst County saw off the challenge of County Galway in the last round with an astounding 144-run victory.

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