T20 SEMI BECKONS

Sunday 9th July 2017

T20 SEMI BECKONS

The Lagan Valley Steels T20 Group B league table was the more difficult of the 2 groups to qualify from, but needing a big win against CIYMS in the last game was a requirement to go through to the semi finals. CI won the toss at Comber and put the home side in to bat with captain Ali Shields and Neil Russell ding the honours. Shields was well caught in slips off the fiesty Alan Coulter who then bowled Russell. Meanwhile Ruan Pretorius (pictured) started an onslaught on the CI attack and produced probably the innings of the season, hitting 109 off 54 balls. Peter Eakin became the third Coulter victim and he finished with 3 for 29. Only Peter Davison assisted Pretorius with an aggressive 21 and North Down had set the visitors a big victory target 188. Matt McGillivray took 4 for 18 in a great show of controlled medium pace bowling.

Wicket keeper Russell took a good catch to dismiss John Matchett and Chris Dougherty presented Shields with a tame mid off catch both off Marty Moreland who finished on 2 for 23. Peter Eakin had McGillivray caugh by Nathan Burns and Peter Davison took 2 wickets, one a superb caught and bowled to remove Jason Van der Merwe in his 2 for 40 spell.

It could be said that North Down were winning the game from the half way stage but would they qualify for the semis? There was some uncertainty regarding the CIYMS target to win that spot but when the 161 score was confirmed, the game turned into a nailbiter leaving the imperious CI skipper Nigel Jones (75*) needing to hit a six off the last ball to win it. It didn't happen and North Down qualified to play Muckamore at Moylena in the Semi Final next week.(15th July)

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