Match Report: Cork County 3 V Cork Harlequins 4
On a day where the majority of players on display were below the age of eighteen, it was fifty-seven year old Mohammad Saleem who took all the plaudits as he led Cork County 3 to victory against Harlequins 4.
On a baking-hot day at the home of Munster cricket, Harlequins captain Max Egan won the toss and elected to field first. Abdul Younus and Peter Barlow took advantage of some early looseners before Jackson Gilbert got one to jump on Barlow, Zubair Hassan completing the catch at gully. The highly impressive Kanish Kumar accounted for Younus shortly afterward before Cork County steadied the ship through fourteen year old Eshan O’Sullivan and the man more than forty years his senior – Mohammad Saleem. The score had reached 86 in the 20th over when the younger of the pair was caught at mid-wicket.
Despite an economical spell from captain Max Egan, Harlequins could not find a breakthrough with Sajid Khan and Saleem putting on 117 for the fourth wicket. Saleem passed fifty with a flick over square-leg before a difficult chance was shelled on the mid-wicket boundary. Extras were not assisting the visiting side – 41 wides in total boosting the score to 203 before calamity struck for Saleem. Having reached 95, he was called through and then sent back by his partner, ending a fantastic innings of fifteen boundaries.
Some late hitting by Nazim Khan and Sajid Khan pushed the Cork County total to 256-6, an excellent effort on what was a very good batting pitch. The Harlequins bowlers stuck to their task well, with Jackson Gilbert (3-44) the pick of the attack.
Conley and Froggatt opened the batting for Harlequins but it wasn’t long before the former was on his way back to the pavilion, a leading edge caught at short cover. Faisan Gul joined Froggatt and both batted with positive intent until the veteran Saleem, recovered after his innings of just under two hours befuddled Gul with a quicker ball, Eshan O’Sullivan reacting well to complete the stumping.
Barry Vosloo was next in and Harlequins progressed to 67 before Froggatt’s off-stump was rattled, again by Saleem. Nazim Khan completed an excellent catch at long-on to hand Saleem his final wicket and at 86-4 after 20 overs, the hosts were in control. Cork County captain Talha Kayani took a stunning catch at short mid-wicket to further strengthen his teams position and despite some battling performances from the lower order, Harlequins were bowled out for 117, a victory of 139 runs for Cork County 3.
As a result of this win, County move to second in the table behind leaders Limerick.