Coleraine First XI travelled to Creevedonnell on Saturday for their latest match in the Senior One league with Chintaka Jayasinghe helping his side to a massive 280 run win!
Creevedonnell won the toss and elected to field – trying to make the most of home advantage and to replicate the bowling performance which earlier in the season had seen them reduce top Dublin side, North County, to 4 for 4 in the opening overs of their Irish Senior Cup game.
Any such hopes were soon dispelled by Coleraine’s openers, Scott Campbell and Craig Averill who both batted fluently and found the boundary regularly. Although their partnership was broken when Campbell was dismissed with the score on 46, Averill continued to take the attack to the bowlers and was unfortunate to be run out just three runs short of his half century.
By that time, however, Chinthaka Jayasinghe was at the crease and had already added 42 runs of his own. David Cooke replaced Averill and while he made a well crafted 34, it was Jayasinghe who was the star of the show. Over the next 24 overs he put on a batting performance the like of which has not been seen, certainly in the North West and possibly in all of Ireland, this season.
Timing his shots beautifully, he struck fours and sixes to every part of the boundary. He reached his 50 in 40 balls, his 100 in 68, his 150 in 93 and his 200 in 117 balls. When his wicket finally fell in the 49th over he had scored a magnificent 203 runs including 27 fours and 9 sixes. As he left the field he received loud applause from all spectators – including the supporters of the opposing team who appreciated that they had witnessed a display of great cricketing skill from a player at the top of his game.
With Coleraine posting a daunting 347 for 6 in their 50 overs, Creevedonnell knew that their only hope was to play aggressively from the outset. Kyle Morrow set the example by hitting a six off the first ball of the innings but two balls later he was caught by Rishi Chopra off the bowling of Stevie Dunn, as he tried to go for another boundary. Taking his cue from Jayasinghe’s batting performance Dunn bowled superbly, finishing with the remarkable figures of 8 wickets for 34 runs in his nine over spell.
With Gareth Burns and Rishi Chopra each claiming one wicket, Creevedonnell were all out for 67 in just 17.3 overs – with Coleraine recording a stunning 280 run win.
This victory leaves Coleraine in joint first place in the League with Bready – each on 16 points but with Coleraine having a game in hand.
Next weekend is the North West Senior Cup Final at Bready and consequently there are no fixtures arranged to be played on Saturday 28 July. The first XI will be able to take a well deserved rest until the following week when they have the prospect of more league action.
Creevedonnell (0) lost to Coleraine (2) by 280 runs. Coleraine 347-6 (50.0 overs, C Jayasinghe 203, C Averill 47, D Cooke 34, L McGarrigle 2-51) Creevedonnell 67 (17.3 overs, S Dunn 8-34)