Two of Division 2 unbeaten teams clashed at Malahide on Saturday when the home team welcomed table toppers Balbriggan to The Village. Malahide won the toss and inserted Balbriggan.
Conor Fletcher and Adrian Harper opened for the visitors. Irish International Peter Chase and James Newland took an end each with the ball. Fletcher was first to fall when the score was 19 caught by Fintan McAllister off the bowling of Chase. Farooq Nasr joined Harper in the middle. Harper was out caught by McAllister the bowler James Newland for 0 when the score had reached 39. Timcen Maruma was next in for Balbriggan, who needed to steady things down. The bowling very tight early on. Nasr hit six fours in his 34 from 17 balls when he was unfortunately run out by McAllister. Balbriggan now 3-63. He was joined by Ehtesham Ahmed who came and went quickly caught by McAllister off the bowling of Keith Reynolds for 1. Maruma was bowled by Keith Reynolds for 15, Balbriggan now 70-5. Nathan Rooney and Adam Keefe were left to rebuild the Balbriggan and they certainly did that. They put on 113 for the next wicket, Rooney falling for 70 from 71 balls hitting 11 fours and 1 six, caught by Greg Ford off the bowling of Cameron Shoebridge. Two runs later Keefe fell for a well made 34 from 63 balls, the score now 185-7. Skipper Duane Harper and Kashif Ali combined to put on 62 before the skipper fell for 23 bowled by Peter Chase. Abdul Samad made 6 before being run out by Shoebridge. Emad Uddin finished 1 not out and Kashif Ali was bowled by James Newland off the last ball for a well made 36. Balbriggan finishing up on 268 all out. A good recovery from 70-5.
Malahide bowled well early on but suffered a little later on. Peter Chase 2-50, James Newland 2-62, Keith Reynolds 2-47, Matt Ford 0-25, Cameron Shoebridge 1-40 and David O'Halloran 1-39. 24 wides and 4nb helping the opposition.
Games between these two of late have been very tight and exciting. Today was to be no different. Cameron Shoebridge and Arjun Muntha opened the batting for the home team. Duane Harper and Ehtesham Ahmed took the ball for the visitors. Malahide started steadily as the bowling was tight. They reached 33 when Muntha was bowled by Ahmed for 16. Fintan McAllister next in for Malahide. The score reached 73 when Shoebridge was bowled by Kashif Ali for 26. The prolific Greg Ford now joined McAllister and Malahide seem to get on top. The brought the score to 138 when McAllister was stumped by Adam Keefe off the bowling of Emad Uddin for a well made 46. Matt Ford joined his brother and the runs came quicker. The score reached 221 when Matt Ford was caught by Uddin off the bowling of Farooq Nasr for 48 from 34 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes. Brother Greg was joined by Peter Chase. The score had reached 235 when Greg Ford was caught by Timcen Maruma off the bowling of Duane Harper for a brilliant 75 hitting 9 fours. James Newland next to the middle. The bowling tightened up and things got very close. Peter Chase took the leaders role as the overs ebbed away. Newland fell when the score was 256 caught by Adrian Harper off the bowling of Ehtesham Ahmed for 6. 13 still needed and balls running out. As predicted this game went right down to the wire. Peter Chase finished 25 not out hitting 3 fours. Andrew Pyne not out 0 from 1 ball. The winning runs hit from the second last ball. Malahide had got home by 4 wickets in a nail biter.
Balbriggan's bowlers fought really hard but just failed to defend their total. Duane Harper 1-60, Ehtesham Ahmed 2-39, Kashif Ali 1-32, Farooq Nasr 1-53, Timcen Maruma 0-30 and Emad Uddin 1-51. However 23 wides did not help their cause.
Malahide (22 pts)
Balbriggan (3 pts)