NCU Weekend Round-up
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
James McCollum may have ‘failed’ when opening the batting for Ireland against West Indies on Saturday but it served him well when he returned to club duty with Waringstown yesterday.
Batting at No 3, the international plundered the much gentler Civil Service North attack for 140 as the Villagers made it back to back Robinson Services Premier League wins with a 50 runs success at Stormont.
But McCollum wasn’t even his team’s top scorer.
That honour went to his club captain Greg Thompson – and has anyone ever had a more successful weekend with the bat?
Thompson hit an unbeaten 149 in Waringstown’s 32 runs win over Instonians at The Lawn on Saturday but ‘disappointed’ to fall one short of a batsman’s landmark, he went out yesterday and scored 153! With more than 300 runs in successive innings that puts him in the great AB de Villiers league when he was playing for Carrickfergus 15 years ago!
The partnership between the two internationals yesterday was 255, in 31 overs, matching each other virtually stroke for stroke. McCollum was the first to be dismissed, after hitting 13 fours and six sixes in his innings of 108 balls while Thompson’s strike rate was identical but he hit three more fours.
Waringstown’s total of 347 for six – 21 more than they made on Saturday, when Lee Nelson was second top scorer with 59 – was actually threatened when CSN professional Andre Malan was in full flow.
But James Mitchell, thanks to a catch by James Hall, ended his innings on 136 (11 fours and four sixes) in the 45th over and they lost their remaining five wickets for 34 runs.
Waringstown share the Premier League leadership with CIYMS who also have three wins out of three, following up Saturday’s exciting four wickets, last over victory over North Down with a much more comfortable eight wickets win against Muckamore.
After restricting the home side to 170-9 – the Muckamore innings had only 12 boundaries – the champions needed less than 30 overs to knock off the runs with half centuries for John Matchett (10 fours) and Obus Pienaar who hit six fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 65.
Newly promoted Lisburn are in third place after double success against Muckamore, by one wicket thanks to Faiz Fazal’s 108, and Instonians yesterday when the Simpson brothers took them to their target of 214 with four wickets and 14 balls to spare.