Phoenix and Pembroke progress to Irish Senior Cup Semi-Finals
DUBLIN - Both Phoenix and Pembroke have progressed to the Semi-Final stage of the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup, as the two Leinster sides both came out on top over Northern opposition. The other two semi-finals are due to take place next Sunday.
Carrickfergus vs Phoenix
It was Phoenix that did it the hard way, as they faced a tricky away trip to Carrickfergus. Carrickfergus batted first on a good deck and posted a respectable 238 all out, with the final wicket falling off the last ball of the innings. Jurie Snyman, who was seeking his third hundred in a row in this competition, fell for a superb 61 off 50 balls. Matty McCord (55) and Ashwin Shetty (61) also provided more than valuable runs during the later stages of the innings. The Phoenix bowling was tight and restricting with three wickets apiece for Poonish Mehta and Theo Dempsey. While Amish Sidhu and Ben White bowled very lean spells of spin.
The Phoenix run chase was always on the front foot, and that was no small part down to Simi Singh. The Irish International crashed 63 from 51 balls at the top of the order, including clearing the boundary on five occasions. However, it looked like a little wobble might be in store for the Phoenix side when 96-0 became 133-4, as tight Carrickfergus pressure began to yield wickets. However, Poonish Mehta capped an all round good day for himself with 62* and was ably assisted by Nicolaas Pretorious 35* as they brought their side home by five wickets with seven overs to spare. Richard Hood was the pick of the bowlers with 3-35.
Pembroke vs CSNI
It was a similar case at Sydney Parade yesterday as Pembroke chased down the CSNI total with three wickets to spare in a tense and nervy encounter.
Having won the toss and batted, it was Andre Malan who was the mainstay of the CSNI innings, he batted fluently and sensibly, and was never going to throw away his wicket. His fine innings of 109* was what got CSNI to a decent enough target of 205-8 from their 50 overs. He received little in the way of support from his fellow batsmen, with Graeme McCarter’s 23 the next best on offer. The bowling was tight all round from Pembroke, spearheaded by Barry McCarthy, who took 3-39.
Unlike the Phoenix run chase, the Pembroke chase struggled for momentum early on. Thanks to fine early pressure being built from both Andre Malan and Graeme McCarter, Pembroke were reduced to 14-3 with both Fiachra and Lorcan Tucker out, alongside Jack Balbirnie. Theo Lawson, who has been in fine form in the Leinster competitions rebuilt with Dane Heverin, and Pembroke gradually got into the run chase. Heverin departed for 24 but that only brough Shaheen Khan to the wicket, and he was to prove the difference maker in the run chase. He scored a very fluent 67 at nearly a run a ball, while Lawson contributed 62. Ryan Hopkins also contributed a handy 27* at the end just to bring the last Pembroke legs over the line. Pembroke getting through with 3 wickets in hand and seven overs to spare.
So Phoenix and Pembroke have advanced in the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup. However, the draw will not take place until all four quarter-finals have taken place.