Lisburn confirm T20 semi-final berth
Ian Callender (Sunday Life)
LIisburn completed the semi-final line-up for the T20 Cup with a three wickets victory over North Down which was more comfortable than the margin would suggest.
The hard work had been done in the first half when they restricted their visitors to 102 for nine and although they slumped to 62 for five, David Simpson with 22 not out from 46 balls eased them to their third successive win with four balls to spare.
It was a second disappointing batting performance inside 24 hours for North Down who looked favourites before Friday night’s penultimate round of games to reach the last four, but after being bowled out for 120 by Instonians, it needed a half century from their skipper, Alistair Shields, just to get into three figures yesterday.
The only other batsman to make it into double figures was Peter Davison, batting at No 10, who made 13.
It was still a nervous start by Lisburn, who lost openers Robert Rankin and Faiz Fazal for a combined total of 10 runs – 95 less than they made in their 10 wickets win over Woodvale on Friday – but Chris Burns and Simpson steadied the ship and the biggest scare was when Glenn Halliday had to retire with a pulled hamstring.
In next Saturday’s semi-final Lisburn will be away to Carrickfergus, who stayed in second place despite losing by eight runs to Instonians at Middle Road.
In the final group table, Instonians only missed out on a semi-final spot on run-rate after winning their final two matches in some style – Getkate-style actually - as the Ireland international followed up his 78 from 35 balls against North Down on Friday with 94 from 41 (nine fours, seven sixes) in his side’s 198 for five.
It still wasn’t the highest innings of match with Neil Rock, in only second game on loan from Rush, hitting 96 from 52 balls (six fours, seven sixes), caught three balls from the end.
Holders CIYMS scraped into the semi-finals in fourth place after losing their last two games, yesterday by 35 runs to Waringstown.
Andre Malan top scored at The Lawn with 82 from 45 balls (six fours, six sixes) in the home side’s 172 for five, dominating a second wicket stand of 120 with James McCollum.
CI made the perfect start with an opening stand of 75 but could add only 62 in the last 10 overs while losing nine wickets.
They get the chance to be the first team to beat Civil Service North next Saturday, the group winners hammering Woodvale by nine wickets yesterday, Ross Adair finishing 87 not out (seven fours, five sixes).
But special mention for Harry Warke who took Woodvale from 14 for four to 143 for five, finishing 78 not out with eight sixes and one four!