CRICKET: Seconds progress in Ulster Plate

ON a surprisingly warm and dry Sunday afternoon, Coleraine Seconds arrived in Lisburn, to play in the quarter final of the Ulster Plate competition against Lisburn Seconds at Wallace Park.

Lisburn won the toss and elected to bat first, playing on an artificial wicket.

With opening bowlers Kyle Martin and Jarred Barnes finding it at first difficult to find a good line and length, the Lisburn batsmen made 39 runs before the first wicket of S Allen fell to a spectacular one handed catch by 16 year old wicket keeper Matthew Douglas off the bowling of Ammar Malik.

The first change bowling pair of Malik and Andrew Douglas, continued to apply further pressure to the Lisburn batsmen, slowing the pace of their run scoring, until Douglas was rewarded as he too claimed a wicket, caught by Vishal Chopra at mid-wicket.

Another bowling change, bringing on off spinner Vishal Chopra, led to three more quick wickets and two runs outs, taking Lisburn’s total from 70 for 3 to 89 for eight wickets gone.

This devastation led to a continued collapse as Lisburn failed to rally despite the efforts of their number five batsman, Adam Berry, to keep the strike from the tail, as he finished 24 not out and Lisburn finished on 109 all out in 36.2 overs.

This total seemed to the Coleraine supporters to be one that their team should be able to achieve within 40 overs, although everyone knows that a game of cricket is never predictable.

The opening batsmen, Paul Douglas and Kyle Martin, set about reaching the target of 110, with a nonchalance that put the Lisburn bowlers on the back foot immediately.

They played the full range of strokes peppering the boundary and running between the wickets for some speedy twos and threes until Kyle Martin was caught on 26 by S Allen on the boundary going for a six, with Coleraine on 59 for 1.

Douglas continued with Vishal Chopra joining him for a 37 run partnership until Chopra was bowled by teenager Mark Berry for 16. At this stage Coleraine were within sight of victory needing just 14 runs, but as Douglas fell two runs later for 42, it was left to team captain Peter Wallace and JD Muller to make the remaining runs, with victory coming courtesy of a wide ball at the end of the 22nd over.

Lisburn II 109 (36.2 overs, J O’Hara 28, V Chopra 3-21, A Malik 2-14) Coleraine II 110-4 (22.0 overs, P Douglas 42, K Martin 26, M Berry 2-11, R Booth 2-19)