No Kidding, Waringstown win again
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
The celebrations when Gary Kidd took John Anderson’s wicket told their own story. It was only the third but Waringstown knew they had got the big fish and the Villagers were on their way to retaining the Irish Senior Cup.
A target of 265 was always going to be far too many for Merrion without a major contribution from their star batsman and already without injured professional Poonish Mehta, it turned into mission impossible against a Waringstown side who were big favourites as soon as Greg Thompson won the toss.
The Stormont pitch was the hosting its third match of the week — the same one on which as Ireland were bowled out for 124 in the deciding one-day international against Afghanistan on Friday — and with four spinners to choose from on the used pitch, it was always a matter of when not if Waringstown would become the first team to win the cup six times.
Undoubtedly it was a big toss, but Merrion did not help themselves by short and wayward bowling in the early stages which James Hall and James McCollum took advantage off, piling up 129 for the second wicket in 25 overs.
Both scored half-centuries but the best innings was still to come, from Shaheen Khan who, in his penultimate match for the Villagers, finished 71 not out from 54 balls with five fours and three sixes.
He had just arrived in the middle when Anderson had taken his third wicket in 12 balls to reduce Waringstown to 152-4 but dominated the last 14 overs, scoring all but 31 of the runs from the bat.
Tyrone Kane had bowled splendidly in his first spell, to take the prize scalp of Waringstown’s leading scorer, Adam Dennison for just seven, but even he couldn’t stop Khan in the closing overs when Dave Langford-Smith had to hobble off with a hamstring problem.
By the time he returned, to bat with a runner, the game was up for Merrion. They were 99-3 after 20 overs but Gary Kidd had already taken his first wicket and Lee Nelson was just about to join the attack to support the evergreen Kyle McCallan.
The fact that Thompson reverted to Khan for a second spell rather than turn to James Hall, only served to highlight their commanding position and fittingly it was their popular South African who took the final wicket.