Brave Giants rally not enough to catch Eagles
UCD ISL Game Day 5 – Brave Giants’ rally not enough to catch Eagles
With run-scoring wicketkeeper Adrian Huang and legspinner Jonny Knox both missing, ISL table-toppers Belgrove Eagles (P3 W3) were still firm favourites to overcome the Glenomena Giants (P3 W0) in the second meeting between the sides, despite their earlier encounter finishing in just a one-run victory for the undefeated Eagles.
Belgrove’s skipper Haris won the toss and opted to bat, and his side wasted no time putting runs on the board. ISL debutant Matthew Morrow opened with stalwart Bard Ovenden, who cleverly ratcheted up 19, all off the side-walls, before being caught at short midwicket in the fourth over by Chris Sloane off O’Brien, having dropped him two balls previously.
Morrow would fall two overs later to a fine catch by Giants’ captain Daniel Poppleton, off the bowling of the left-armer Sloane. In contrast to Ovenden, all of the Ulsterman’s 28 runs were scored by way of back-wall fours and sixes.
Eagles’ regular number three Usman Haroon continued the free flow of runs, getting to 33 before being caught at the back wall off the bowling of Poppleton. Nagesh Yadav, proving that he is not only the leagues’ fastest and most economical bowler, made 36*, declining pads or gloves and looking for the aerial straight drive at every opportunity.
Having reached 100 by the eighth over, Eagles put up an ISL record total of 162 in 12 overs for the loss of only three wickets.
With his regular opening partner, Andrew Downey, not available, Glenomena’s hopes for a decent chase were pinned on Martin O’Brien. However, he would fall in the very first over, caught behind by Ovenden after top-edging Mustafa Haris.
With an early finish looming for the Giants, Chris Sloane came in at three for the Giants. Tall, and with a good straight drive, he tucked into the wayward part-time spin of Morrow and Usman Haroon, the paceman experimenting with slower variations.
In partnership with makeshift opener Manvir Gill, he continued steadily to his half century, his eight fours and two sixes largely unexpected (12 being his previous ISL high score), but generously acclaimed by all at the venue.
Gill, batting sans pads or abdominal protector, was peppered by Nagesh Yadav in the early overs, but held his end up well throughout. Despite eventually calling for the protective equipment, the Malaysian was forced to retire hurt after making a brave 15.
Poppleton was next in, but knowing that he had to hit out immediately to force a tight finish, was dismissed by Haris after making 12 from five balls. Sloane would finish the reply (53*) along with Mary McGuinness (2*), giving Glenomena’s score some deserved respectability.
The team total was 30 runs short of the requirement, but it could have been far worse. Many positives for the Giants, to be sure, but no real trouble for Belgrove yet again.
Third-place Roebuck Rhinos will play the Eagles on November 25.