Bannsiders get off and running with a win

Kyllin Vardhan with Matthew Porter of Curtis Toyota, Ballymena.
Kyllin Vardhan with Matthew Porter of Curtis Toyota, Ballymena.

Coleraine Cricket Club has a new Professional for the 2014 cricket season – 24-year-old Kyllin Vardhan from South Africa.

Having arrived last week, he has already settled in well at Coleraine meeting and training with his team mates and has already proved a useful coaching addition to the Club at the youth cricket sessions.

On Friday he was delighted to accept the keys of a courtesy Toyota car for use during his stay in Coleraine, from Curtis Toyota, Ballymena. Matthew Porter, Manager at Curtis Toyota, delivered the car to Kyllin and wished him and the Club success for the season. Coleraine Cricket Club is very grateful for this essential and practical support.

On Saturday, Coleraine 1st XI travelled to the Bleachgreen for the opening match to the 2014 Premier League. Their opponents were newly promoted Ardmore – a team which in spite of spending a number of seasons in the second division of North West Cricket, have a proud cricketing history.

Ardmore won the toss and elected to bat and although the home team lost two early wickets, the experience of their captain Adrian Murphy and North West legend Dekker Curry showed, as they added 86 for the third wicket. However in the space of three balls Curry was trapped lbw by Coleraine captain Gordon Cooke and Murphy was then dismissed with a fine catch by Kyllin Vardhan off the bowling of Rishi Chopra. Chopra claimed two more wickets to finish with the excellent figures of three wickets for just 24 runs off 9.5 overs and, although Gareth Burns took four wickets, an unbeaten 46 from Andrew Riddles saw Ardmore post a competitive total of 188.

Coleraine’s reply got off to a shaky start and with the loss of two early wickets, the visitors were struggling on 9 for 2. This, however, brought new professional, 24 year old South African, Kyllin Vardhan to the crease and in a composed innings of 52, he manufactured three partnerships which were to form the backbone of Coleraine’s innings. The most significant of these was a fine 52 run stand with Rishi Chopra. The 18 year old played with intelligence and maturity as he used his defensive skills against the good balls bowled by the experienced Ardmore attack while despatching any loose deliveries to the boundary – his 33 runs included seven boundaries.

His dismissal was followed in the next over with that of Vardhan and with 6 wickets down and 42 runs still required Coleraine had to negotiate a tricky end to the game. At this point the experience of Captain Gordon Cooke proved invaluable as he and Jarred Barnes steered the team to a victory by three wickets with seven balls to spare.

Next weekend the 1st XI, as last year’s Premier League champions meet last year’s Senior Cup winners, Donemana in the Faughan Valley Charity Challenge Cup on 4th May at Bready Cricket Club. The game is in the T20 format, starting at 4pm.