Hinchliffe Shines with Bat and Ball
On an overcast day Kerry travelled the long distance to Jack Harper Memorial Park for the first round of the National Cup. Weather conditions dictated the winner of the toss put the opposition in and Balbriggan were asked to bat. Conor Fletcher and Dean Carlisle opened. They put on 24 in tricky conditions with Carlisle hitting two huge sixes before mistiming one to be out for 14. Fletcher was joined by Clint Hinchliffe. Batting continued to be difficult and the pair brought the score to 93 off 20 over when drinks were taken.
After the drinks break fireworks happened. Fletcher and Hinchliffe threw off the shackles and scored freely, 50 coming off the next four overs. Fletcher fell for 73 with 7 fours and 3 sixes. Farooq Nasr's brief stay included a six. Nathan Rooney hit his 50 in 24 balls before falling for 59. Hinchliffe was severe on anything short and reached his century in style, finally being caught going for yet another six for 112 with 7 fours and 7 sixes. A brilliant knock. Balbriggan eventually making 303 for 5 in 40 overs, having been 93 for 1 after 20.
Kerry bowled very well initially, but succumbed to the power of Fletcher and Rooney, but particularly Hinchliffe. Kasheef Khan took 3 for 28 and Prajat Hoohda took 2 for 45.
Kerry were always up against it with such a big total in 40 overs. Bilal Ahmed batted admirably hitting 50 with 5 fours and 1 six. Josh Uddin hit 23 with 2 sixes. But that was the best of the batting. The eventually were all out for 131.
Kashif Ali kept it tight up front with 1 for 8. Duane Harper, Farooq Nasr and Justin Kavanagh contributed with wickets. But honours once again went to Clint Hinchliffe who took 4 for 33 including a hatrick. He took wickets on the 2nd last and last ball of his sixth over and the 1st ball of his seventh. To wrap up a 172 win for Balbriggan. No guessing the man of the match.