Monday 18 December 2017

Wake-up call for Clontarf as leaders suffer Leinster rout

 

The best game of the day was at Milverton where YMCA scrambled to a two-wicket victory. Photo: Stock Image
The best game of the day was at Milverton where YMCA scrambled to a two-wicket victory. Photo: Stock Image

There will be no danger of complacency from Leinster League leaders Clontarf when they host Cork County today after crashing to a 95-run defeat by Leinster on Saturday.

In a rain-affected game, Leinster scored 233-7 in just 37 overs and then bowled out the defending champions for 135. Gareth Delany hit 74 from 76 balls for the Rathmines side.

Bilal Azhar and Joe Carroll then ripped through the Clontarf top order, removing Brad Barnes, Andrew Poynter and John Mooney in the first 10 balls of the innings for just one run.

By the seventh over, it was 24-5 and there was no way back from that, with 50 from Bill Coghlan the only meaningful contribution.

Second-placed Phoenix, who are away to YMCA today, could make no impression on Clontarf's 45-point lead as they lost by 55 runs to Pembroke, who bowled them out for 115, Fiachra Tucker taking four wickets.

Adrift

The result closed the gap between second and seventh to just 23 points, leaving Cork County cast adrift after they were shot out for 77 by North County.

Adam Coughlan took five of the wickets and, although the Balrothery side were reduced to 50-4, they lost only one more wicket as they reached their target in the 20th over.

The best game of the day was at Milverton where YMCA scrambled to a two-wicket victory. Needing three to win from the last over, Sam Murphy was run out off the first ball and Asher Abbasi went lbw to the second, but Aviral Shukla hit the next ball for two and the last for the winning single.

Meanwhile, England remain strong favourites to win the fourth Test at Old Trafford after Moeen Ali's late strokeplay arrested a second-innings slide.

England recovered from a faltering 153-7 to 224-8 - setting a ground-record target for South Africa, with a lead of 360 in the bag by the time rain brought an early close.

Moeen (67no) was badly dropped at slip by Dean Elgar off Keshav Maharaj on 15, and hit seven fours and two sixes in a 49-ball half-century.

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