After a mixed start to the Premier League and National Cup campaigns, attention turned to the T20 format for Limerick’s 1st XI on Sunday afternoon where Midleton and Cork County were the opening two opponents at the Manor Fields in Adare. Replicating its structure from 2019, the Senior T20 trophy will be contested in a league rather than pools and knockouts this year.
Limerick announced themselves with two wins from two yesterday, which now leaves them with four games in two weeks against Cork Harlequins, UCC, County Galway and County Kerry in what will be a condensed league campaign.
The Treaty’s first victory was achieved in frenetic fashion with the game being reduced to 10 overs a side due to a short weather delay. Limerick elected to bat in the form of interim captain Tim Smithies, with no real target in mind in such a shortened format.
Early boundaries off the bat of Sourabh Teke and Yogesh Borghare created some impetus before four wickets in four overs dropped the run-rate significantly as the home side worked their way back into the game. A healthy partnership from Sumukh Venkatesh and Manoj Sharma didn’t see too many boundaries but as the run-rate ticked over, Limerick were able to accelerate in the final over, with a hugely important 13 runs coming from.The Limerick 1st squad vs Midleton/Cork County: (Back row, l-r) Shani Alam, Nishant Kumar, Manoj Sharma, Ramoji Alla, Sathya Prabhu, Prasad Hegde, Stephen Hackett (Team Manager). (Front row, l-r) Abdul Baqi Khan, Sumukh Venkatesh (wk), Asif Hussein, Tim Smithies (Capt.), Sourabh Teke, Yogesh Borghare.
Limerick’s perfect start with the ball restricted Midleton to 31-4 after 6 overs and the mountain was too high to climb, Limerick running out 14-run winners and looking to continue the momentum to the immediate challenge of Cork County.
RESULT| MCU Premier T20 League.
We defeated Midleton by 14 runs today (revised to T10).
Limerick 1: 75-5 off 10 overs.
Manoj Sharma 21*
Sumukh Venkatesh 19
Midleton 1: 61-7 off 10 overs.
Shani Alam 2-11
Asif Hussein 2-15
Having again won the toss, Smithies trusted his guns by electing to bat again but was however up against a lot more this time round. Three early breakthroughs from the away side left Limerick at 22-3 after 5.4 overs, with both wickets and overs against them. Nonetheless a decent stand of 32 runs for the fourth wicket avoided an early collapse and despite the fall of Venkatesh and Smithies at the turn of the halfway mark, the middle order had license to play and utilised this to their advantage. Limerick’s last three batsmen all struck at a rate above 100 and piled some real pressure on the County attack with some useful extras adding to the eventual total of 122.
Despite being just above 6 runs an over, Limerick came out of the blocks and did not allow the batsmen to settle. Shani Alam and Ramoji Alla were the perpetrators as the run rate increased. A massive partnership for the away side turned the tie on its head as no wickets fell between the sixth and seventeenth over, County secured a healthy position of 101-3, needing just 22 runs off 18 balls. Against all odds, Limerick produced a majestic over in the form of Prasad Hegde, who took two wickets in four balls to bring a nervy end to the game. Next over, Prasad was backed up with the brilliance of Shani Alam who would take another two wickets and astonishingly, County needed 16 from 6 out of nowhere to retain victory. It wasn’t to be as Hegde bowled his final over with a consistent line and length, taking two final wickets to put the sword in the coffin.
RESULT| MCU Premier T20 League.
We defeated Cork County by 10 runs today.
Limerick 1: 122-6 off 20 overs.
Tim Smithies 27
Yogesh Borghare 25
Cork County 1: 112-9 off 20 overs.
Shani Alam 4-13
Prasad Hegde 4-16
* * *
With a lot of action taking place, one could easily forget about the Minor Cup quarter final tie against Midleton, a competition which has alluded Limerick for quite some time. In what is usually a batting wicket, Limerick struggled to come to terms with the Midleton attack and struggled to build any partnerships. At 78/5 after 17 overs, Limerick were able to find a few boundaries from their middle order and tail, most notably Uzair Khan with a solid knock of 20 to keep things ticking over, before finishing all out for 120 runs.
However, defending low totals was a familiar position for Limerick and the bowlers had to be brave. A conservative approach in the early exchanges from Midleton saw them at 67-3 at drinks and work to be done. Sayed Anwari brought his side right back into it with a brilliant set of five overs, taking figures of 3-19 and introducing the tail into the game. Limerick unfortunately couldn’t find the final two wickets needed as Midelton scraped over the line and into the semi-finals.
RESULT| MCU Minor Cup Quarter Final
We lost to Midleton by 2 wickets today.
Limerick 3: 120 all out off 28 overs.
Uzair Khan 22
Kumar Divyesh 20
Midleton 3: 121-8 off 34.2 overs.
Sayed Anwari 3-19
Moshtaq Safi 2-20
* * *
Blooding new players has been a common theme in the lower teams for LCC for a number of years now. A 40-over league tie against table-topping Limerick Blasters in Adare on Saturday was always going to be tricky for Limerick’s 4th XI, as captain Shubham Poddar lost the toss and was put into bat. The home side’s inexperience was apparent as time in the middle was rushed and rather short lived as a mere 85 was put on the board to defend. The away side got the job done in quick fashion, chasing down the target in just 13.5 overs, despite a superb effort from Poddar with the ball which saw him taking a maiden four-wicket haul for the club. He made life difficult in the middle but in the end the Blasters had too much firepower and would run out winners by five wickets.Limerick's 4th XI batsman Adnan Malik at the crease against Limerick Blasters
RESULT| MCU Division Three .
We lost to Limerick Blasters by 5 wickets today.
Limerick 4: 85 all out off 30.5 overs.
Akshay Kudva 14
Thomas Hancock 12
Limerick Blasters 3: 86-5 off 13.1 overs.
Shubham Poddar 4-19
Khushal Bahramkhail 1-27
* * *
Cricket at all levels is extremely important for the development of the game in the province, and seeing four youth fixtures taking place in just two days was a sight to behold and credit to all organisers and volunteers involved. Not only this, a great sense of competition was endured by Limerick and their opponents in each game but equally, a superb presence of the spirit of the game across the board.
First, to Limerick’s U17 side who had one win and one loss from their opening two games in the U17 Super league and were looking to push on against Cork County on Sunday morning. Limerick’s skipper Shoaib Zazai was still familiarising himself with his squad and so, elected to bowl and give his batsmen a target to chase.Captains shake hands before the start of play
Limerick kept County within touching distance for the majority of the innings, the skipper picking up four wickets and leading by example, and in doing so limiting the hosts to just 105. In response, runs came sparingly with little to no boundaries before the introduction of Zaheer Udin upped the run rate. The fall of his wicket would be the start of a procession for Limerick who were well short of the target in the end. A great learning curve for the boys who will look to build going forward.The Limerick U17 team vs Cork County: (Top row, l-r) Stephen Hackett (Team Manager), T Mehmood, O Mia, Z Udin, A Chaudhry, A McCutcheon, A Babu, S Zazai (Capt.). (Bottom row, l-r) A Ajith, S Anwari, N Khan, N Zazai, I Tanzeer.
RESULT| MCU U17 T20 Cup.
We lost to Cork County by 43 runs today.
Cork County: 105-9 off 20 overs.
S Zazai 4-10
A McCutcheon 2-11
T Mehmood 2-14
Limerick: 62 all out off 18 overs.
S Zazai 17
Z Udin 15
Elsewhere, a mixed day for the U15s on Saturday afternoon ended in a thrilling 2-run victory over Cork County in Ballyneety. In a day which started by losing to Cork Harlequins, Limerick were able to turn it around and bring themselves up for their second clash against Cork opponents. Needing eight runs off the last over, bowler C Shinde held his nerve to take a wicket with his second ball and concede just the six runs, despite conceding a boundary off the first ball. It was a great fightback which epitomised the spirit of the team that day, fighting until the very last ball.
Finally, the Limerick U13 side went down to Cork County on Sunday morning in Curraheen Road (UCC) but got a good dose of a slightly longer format in 25 overs. Limerick’s top scorer with the bat was one of the club’s up and coming talents, S George, who is thriving in her first year of competitive cricket with some eye-catching performances.
RESULT| MCU U15 T20 Cup
We lost to Cork Harlequins by 32 runs at the Manor Fields today.
Cork Harlequins: 102-7 off 20 overs.
B Khan 2-12
A Ullah 1-10
Y Ramay 1-11
Limerick: 70 all out off 18 overs.
S Anwari 16
Y Ramay 10
RESULT| MCU U15 T20 Cup.
We defeated Cork County by 2 runs at Ballyneety today.
Limerick: 108-7 off 20 overs.
N Khan 24
W Shields 22
Cork County: 106-7 off 20 overs.
Y Ramay 2-11
C Shinde 1-8U13 Captains shake hands before the toss in Curraheen Park (UCC).
RESULT| MCU U13 Superleague.
We lost to Cork County by 5 wickets yesterday.
Limerick: 94 all out off 24.3 overs.
S George 9
A Ullah 8
Cork County: 95-5 off 16.2 overs.
B Khan 3-26
L George 1-12
* * *
The Premier T20 League continues on Wednesday with the 1st XI taking on County Galway in Adare, followed by an away trip to County Kerry on Sunday.
The 2nd XI will look to continue their unbeaten run in Division One with a testing away trip to UCC on Saturday, whilst the 3rds and 4ths return to league action against County Clare and Cork Harlequins respectively.