Sabir superb as Bready stun Brigade
BRIGADE V BREADY
Champions Brigade travelled to Magheramason with both sides looking to build on last Saturday's impressive victories but despite being handed a difficult start to the season David Scanlon's men made it two out of two in emphatic fashion.
The Beechgrove men batted first and a busy start from Brian Scanlon had them on the back foot at 23 for 2 before the ever reliable Iftikhar Hussain took over. With his side still without their new overseas man, Hussain teamed up with Johnny Thompson to put Brigade into a commanding position with a superb 156-run third wicket stand.
The former hit 8 fours in making 83 of those while Thompson's share of 64 contained seven boundaries. Trevor Britton chipped in with a valuable 30 on his return to his old stomping ground as Brigade set the hosts a daunting target of 251. Brian Scanlon's 4 for 51 was the pick of Bready's attack on a difficult day for bowlers.
David Barr, who moved from Brigade to Bready on the eve of registration opened the reply with David Rankin and these two had put on 35 before the latter fell to Thompson.
If the champions thought that was to be the start of the slide however they were to be sorely mistaken as Barr, and Agha Sabir Ali in particular took apart their much vaunted attack.
By the time they got rid of the stubborn opener for a composed 61 that included 7 fours, Bready had 215 runs on the board and were fully in charge.
And if Barr was the thorn in Mark Simpson's team's side, Sabir was the destroyer-in-chief as he pummelled 19 fours and 2 sixes in an unbeaten 130. Brian Scanlon completed a good day with 24 not out as the hosts cruised to an 8-wicket win and any suggestion that David Scanlon's side isn't ready to compete for the title this season could well be wide of the mark.
Brigade are well capable of bouncing back of course but will surely be concerned that their potent attack was kept so readily at bay by the victors