Hot, hot, hot in the NCU
Ian Callender (Sunday Life)
THE hottest day in Northern Ireland wasn’t the only record broken yesterday - Waringstown became the first team to post 400 in the NCU Premier League.
They not only reached it but smashed through the barrier to storm to the top of the Premier League table with victory over joint morning leaders Carrickfergus.
With the significant help of a second wicket stand of 228 between Andre Malan and Adam Dennison, Waringstown finished on 420 for six, exactly matching their previous best 50-over total, also against Carrickfergus in the Challenge Cup six years ago.
But if there was any doubt that catches win matches then it was proved in spades at The Lawn as Andre Malan was missed four times before he scored 50- and again on 101 - and the South Africa professional took full advantage to reach 153, his fourth century and second best score of the season.
Dennison was content to play second fiddle for the first half of the innings to Malan – whose brother Janneman scored 177 not out in Friday’s one-day international in Malahide - taking 75 balls over his first 50, but 23 balls later he was the first player to his century.
He was dropped next ball as Carrick’s catching woes continued – indeed the only catch they held in the first 47 overs was off a free hit!
If Carrick were to get anywhere close to the Waringstown total they needed Jeremy Lawlor and professional Jacques Snyman to go big but Lawlor was caught behind in the seventh over off James Mitchell and four overs later the Waringstown pace bowler ended Snyman’s innings prematurely, smacking him on the right elbow and, after a long interruption, was unable to continue.
Graham McCarter, who suffered as much as any of the seven Carrick bowlers after spending 10 days bowling in the nets with the Ireland squad, hit a few lusty blows but the visitors could not get even halfway to Waringstown’s record total.
The previous best in the Premier League was the Villagers' own 392 for six against CIYMS in 2011.
Carrick have been caught in second place in the league by North Down who defeated champions CIYMS by 53 runs at Belmont.
Ani Chore continued his phenomenal form, batting through the innings for 140 not out, but although the game was up for the defending champions when they slumped to 85 for six, skipper Nigel Jones almost repeated Simi Singh’s late exploits for Ireland on Friday.
Jones, however, fell two runs short of his century, holing out in the final over on 98 which he reached thanks to a last wicket stand of 51 with Aaron Kennedy.
Stuart Thompson was the quickest scorer of the day, hitting 93 off 56 balls as Civil Service North passed Woodvale’s 196 in the 24th over and Jack Dickson scored 84 for Instonians as they won the bottom of the table battle with Lisburn by four wickets.
In Section One, Ballymena followed up their stunning win the T20 Trophy final on Thursday night with a crushing 135 wins over Saintfield – former Civil Service North skipper James Kennedy hitting 138 and John Glass, who hit the six sixes in the final over against Cregagh, chipped in with 48.
Also credit to Dunmurry in Section Three for getting their ground fit to play after the latest vandalism at Fullerton Park, and the sportsmanship of their Larne visitors and the umpires for agreeing to play the game. The home side’s reward was their first league win of the season.