Centuries from Bray and Sutherland see their sides home
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
After just two matches, the Ulster Bank Premier League takes a three-week break for cup action, which was due to start today with four fixtures in the Lagan Valley Steel Twenty20 Cup. But the Bank holiday rain washed out all four fixtures in the 2 Groups:
North Down v CIYMS, Instonians v CSNI, Carrickfergus v Waringstown & Lisburn v Ballymena.
The matches will be rearranged for next week.
On Saturday North Down, the defending Ulster Bank Premier League champions announced to all the pretenders that, while they may not have enhanced their championship-winning squad they have still got batsmen who can score big centuries
Andrew Sutherland scored the club’s first of the season 140 from 143 balls with 14 fours and five sixes his last 90 runs coming off just 60 balls after a patient first half century. He didn’t need to do much in the first 13 overs, however. They were dominated by opening partner Neil Russell who hit 57 off 52 balls, including five fours and three sixes in the opening stand of 71.
Sutherland then put on 113 in 20 overs for the second wicket with Ryan Haire (39) and exactly 100 for the fourth in just 11 overs with captain Peter Shields (28) as they finished on an imposing 320 for six. And all this without new professional Gayan Wijekoon who is due to arrive this week.
Gavin McKenna and David Kennedy then reduced Carrick to six for four and although the visitors’ innings lasted until the 45th over, thanks to 18 year old Alex Haggan’s 54 off 52 balls.
The other century in the Premier League was scored by Jeremy Bray who was 110 not out when CIYMS were bowled out for 177 by Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge. But although the rest of the CI batsmen are still waiting to find their early season form, for the second successive week, the bowlers were on song with Taimur Khan (4-15) and Bray (2-20) virtually unplayable as the Instonians line-up was dismissed for just 125.
Instonians professional Michael Delaney’s 10 overs went for 56, although he was second top scorer, behind Rory McCann.
Waringstown were always confident of defending 162 at Wallace Park once Lisburn professional Darryl Brown was dismissed by opposite number Glenn Addicott for a duck and duly won by 85 runs.
Saddest story of the day came at Stormont where Civil Service slow bowler Colin Andrews broke his leg when innocuously fielding a ball in the slips. Remarkably, four hours later, he was padded up with a crutch in one hand and a bat in the other and prepared to go to the middle if CSN, set 167 for victory, lost their ninth wicket. But Corin Goodall and John Costain scored the last 12 runs to give CSN a two wickets win. Short term, though, Andrews will not involved any time soon.