After a gloomy few weeks for Limerick Cricket Club with victories spread few and far between, the 2nd XI restored some pride on Saturday with a nail-biting victory by just one wicket against rivals Cork County in Division One. It brings the club just their third win in the division this year but skipper Dharmesh Patel will have good faith in a strong finish to the season after his side had to dig deep to salvage their second win on the road.
Patel couldn’t have asked for a better start. Before the third over, County didn’t have a single run on the board and openers Mirhamza Ahmedzai and Ajay Hari had already struck twice to set Limerick on their way. Things got even better for the away side as Ahmedzai picked up Duggan and Newton to leave County 11-4 after six overs and in a deep hole. It was a fantastic spell from the youngster whose raw pace was too much to handle in the opening exchanges.
Despite the early setbacks, County managed to claw their way back into the game with some healthy partnerships which stemmed the bowling side’s momentum. Limerick could not replicate the same momentum with the older ball and County continued to push on, coming back from 11-4 to 150-6. It was a familiar case of letting the tail get on top in the latter stages of the innings for Limerick. Despite being 155-7 after 36 overs, County managed to add a further 50 runs to their total as runs flowed from the tail-enders. Prasad Hedge fulfilled a decent spell picking up three wickets and proving his worth once again in the latter stages. Complemented by a few extras, County managed to finish on 203 all out from 44 overs, setting Limerick a target of 204 to win from 45.
Limerick held their nerve early on in their innings as opening batsmen Arslan Sayyam and Saurabh Teke set a solid foundation, establishing a 50 run partnership at the turn of tenth over. As the away side longed for a breakthrough, Sayyam continued his fine run of form, finding the boundary regularly and thwarting the opposition. County battled back strong and started to pick up quick wickets and bring themselves right back into contention. Limerick found themselves going from 74-0 to 96-4 and in need of a partnership. The found one in the form of Sarfraz Ramay and Sumukh Venkatesh who added stability to the middle and controlled the game with patience. Even though the dismissal of Ramay left LCC five down, Limerick were ahead of County on the Manhattan and were just 38 runs shy of victory. The away side resorted to some unorthodox batting which resulted in the loss of four more wickets as then tail began to run out. With one wicket remaining and eight runs required, the game was left on a knife edge. Venkatesh was still in on 40 odd and it was the man who did the damage with the ball, Mirhamza Ahmedzai, who came in at 11 to see his side through. Limerick got over the line securing victory by just one wicket and clinching victory in an extremely tight game.
RESULT| MCU Division One. We defeated Cork County by 1 wicket yesterday.
Cork County 2:203 all out off 44 overs.
Mirhamza Ahmedzai 3-28
Prasad Hedge 3-35
Limerick 2: 204-9 off 44.2 overs.
Arslan Sayyam 48
Sumukh Venkatesh 46*
Despite only one team in action last weekend, this weekend sees all four teams from the club competing in their respective leagues. The 1st XI return to the field against County Galway, just a few weeks after the Tribesmen secured a senior cup semi-final win over the Shannonsiders. The 2nd XI will hope to continue their run of form against Midleton at Midetown park on Saturday, whilst the 3rd and 4th XIs take on Clonmel and Cork County respectively with both matches taking place at the Manor Fields in Adare.