By Harry Shorthose, The Nationalist
CARLOW 2 won the local derby against Bagenalstown 3 by just three runs in a Leinster Cricket Division 16 thriller at St Patrick’s College on Saturday.
Batting first, Carlow put on 137, a competitive score. Arsalan Khan fell early, having made just one but Solim Mohammed (29) and Mohammed Ismail 2 (35) rebuilt. After that, it became a struggle as they couldn’t build a partnership together.
Rizoan Alam made 1 and Inzamam Haq 0. Mohammed Younus made a quickfire 16 before Robert O’Driscoll fell for a duck. The captain, Sofiat Alam, made 25 not out. He quickly ran out of partners with MIlton Lobo falling for a duck, Gulzur Hafeez making 1 and Mohammed Rafique for a duck.
Ashan Wijesinghe and Faizan Shah were the pick of the bowlers, picking up three wickets each. Huzafaih Irfan Butt picked up two with Stephen Hadley and Sajjad Malik one each.
The second wicket partnership was the one that kept things steady, making it difficult for the bowlers. Apart from that, they struggled to put partnerships together. The Bagenalstown opening partnership of Wijesinghe and Craig Smith started out well, making 42 but they fell in quick succession. Sean Farrell fell for a duck whilst Dom Byrne fell for two. Liam Foot top scored with 40 from number five. However, nobody could stick around with him and make partnerships to offer some resistance to the Carlow bowlers. Sajjad Malik made 4 before Faizan Afridi made 10, Stephen Hadley 2 and Huzaifah Butt Irfan 7. Colin Smith was not out on 0. An exciting finish saw Foot need a 4 off the last ball to win but he couldn’t get the shot away. Younus, Ismail and Haq picked up two wickets each with Solim and Khan picking up one apiece too.
Meanwhile, a 63 with the bat and a five-wicket haul from Zeeshan Mumtaz saw Bagenalstown well on their way to a very comfortable 386 run victory over Laois 2, who had internal club problems.
Batting first, Bagenalstown scored a huge 453. It was a record-breaking win, the highest first innings total recorded in Cricket Leinster history and likely to be one of the highest scoring innings in the world.
The opening partnership of Robbie O’Neill (10) and Nadun Jasinghe (86) started well, putting on 40 for the opening partnership. However, O’Neill soon fell and Mumtaz came in at 3. Together with Jasinghe they put on 127. By drinks midway through, they were well on course for a commanding score. Jasinghe fell soon after and Shozab Ali Taj (66) arrived at the crease. 32 runs later, Mumtaz was gone and Muhammed Khan (82) was in. A partnership of 70 ensued before Ali Taj fell and Sunny Charles came in to make his maiden 50 for the club after 72 innings.
Khan fell after a partnership of 120 between the two. Shane O’Neill (19no) came in to finish things off. With the ball, Laois were skittled out for 55 within 18 overs. The former skipper ended up with figures of 5-9 with Abdul Sattar picking up 2-13. Jasinghe, Azaz Ahmad (1-13) and Rana Riaz (1-5) got the rest.
Bagenalstown 2 lost by seven wickets to YMCA 4 on Sunday afternoon. The Baggies batted first. They were in big trouble at 73-9 with none of their batsmen able to get into double figures and find their rhythm at all.
Only a last wicket stand of 67 between Pardeep Hooda (60) and Dom Byrne (15) saved the home side’s blushes and gave them something to defend. They ended with an underpar total of 140. With the ball, they only took three wickets, Mohammed Islam getting two and Ashan Wijesinghe one, falling short with seven overs to go. They probably needed another 50/60 runs to be competitive.
Meanwhile, Bagenalstown umpire Stephen Hadley umpired the Intermediate Cup final on Sunday, a great achievement for Bagenalstown Cricket Club.
Penultimate Weekend Fixtures
Saturday: Civil Service 4 vs Bagenalstown 3, Dublin, Division 16, 12.30pm; Bagenalstown 1 vs DLR County, McGrath Park, Division 7, 12.30pm
Sunday: Bagenalstown 1 vs Greystones 1, McGrath Park, Division 7, 12.30pm; Lucan 2 vs Bagenalstown 2, Dublin, Division 11, 12.30pm