Callum Riches (140) and Matt Ford (109) put on 210 for the third wicket as Malahide cruised to a 187-run victory over The Hills on the opening day of the BUAKIT Sportswear Premier League at Milverton on Saturday.
Recovering from the early loss of openers Reynolds and Muntha which had left them 2 for 2, the massive partnership between Riches and Ford led to the visitors posting an imposing 334/7 off their 50 overs.
Firstly, the pair rebuilt carefully put on a 50 partnership, jumping on anything remotely short or wide to cut or pull square of the wicket effectively.
Ford should have fallen on 40 when he skied a pull shot towards mid-wicket, but the fielders never settled on who was in charge of the catch and it was shelled.
Given a reprieve, Ford and Riches flayed The Hills to all parts, both particularly strong square of the wicket.
Ford brought up his half-century in just 44 balls, while Riches took 72 deliveries, however both went to the milestone in identical style, pulling sixes over deep square leg.
Ford had always looked to be the aggressor but once passed 50, Riches also looked to press the accelerator.
Tomas Rooney Murphy rotated his bowlers looking for a flash of inspiration that would break the partnership, but his cause wasn’t helped by Cillian Everard having to be removed from the attack in just his third over.
Ford brought up his century with quick running, but Riches brought up his century in the grand manner. Another huge maximum pulled over square leg as his second 50 took just 38 balls as he really upped the tempo.
Ford fell first ball after the second drinks break, chipping tamely to mid-off after so many classy shots. Instead of halting the Malahide progress however, Fintan McAlister joined Riches in the middle and the pair added 79 in just ten overs.
The Hills battled gamely in the field to the death and continued taking wickets, including the wicket of Riches who was run out with just eight balls remaining, though still received the warm applause of the crowd in Milverton.
None of The Hills’ bowlers were spared in the onslaught but Dylan Blignaut took three wickets and Tomas Rooney Murphy two, as the fight never left the home side, despite the massive runs and the intense heat in the outfield.
To have any chance of reeling in such a huge target The Hills’ openers needed to go big but David O’Halloran (1-31) and Jimmy Newland (1-18) in particular, meant that not only were the openers removed but the already high run rate was even higher after the opening powerplay.
Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin (29) and Mark Donegan (28) played some classy shots in stroking eight boundaries and a six between them, but they were never going to scratch the surface of the 36 boundaries and seven maximums of the first innings.
Ali Frost (2-14), Mike Frost (2-16) and Keith Reynolds (2-29) took wickets at regular intervals throughout the middle overs as it became a matter of time before Malahide would secure the win.
When a Mike Frost delivery dribbled onto Mark Dwyer’s stumps, Ali Frost somehow held onto Rooney-Murphy bullet for a return catch and Newland ran Dutt out from the deep to end the match, it was clear it would never be The Hills’ day.
Instead, it was all about the century makers and that massive partnership. Congratulations to Callum Riches. Matt Ford and to Malahide on the victory. A fitting tribute to Evelyn Harmon for whom a minute’s silence was held before the game and the Malahide players wore black armbands.
BUAKIT Sportswear Cricket Leinster Premier League Game Of The Day
The Hills v Malahide, Saturday July 17th
Malahide 334/7 50 Overs (C Riches 140, M Ford 109; D Blignaut 3-83, T Rooney-Murphy 2-60)
The Hills 147 a/o 31 Overs (C McLoughlon-Gavin 29, A Kavanagh 29; Ali Frost 2-14, Mike Frost 2-16, Keith Reynolds 2-29)
by 187 runs
BUAKIT Premier League Results
At Castle Avenue
YMCA - 84 all out, 22 overs (J Tector 23; D Delany 4/26, F Hand 3/7)
Clontarf - 88/1, 12.4 overs (R Forrest 37, PJ Moor 28*)
by 9 wickets
At Anglesea Road
Merrion - 231 all out, 49.5 overs (J Carty 86, J Anderson 44; A Shukla 3/24, S Bahadur 3/42)
Leinster - 124 all out, 34.4 overs (A Sidhu 3/17, J Carty 2/21, M Sorensen 2/23, J Hitchcock 2/25)
by 107 runs
At Phoenix Park
Pembroke - 291 all out, 48.4 overs (F Tucker 109, JJ Garth 51; A Cawley 3/42, M Lunson 3/54)
Phoenix - 188 all out
by 103 runs
BUAKIT Championship Results
At The Maws
North Kildare - 240 all out, 48.2 overs (M Patel 70, W Azmat 48, H Mahroof 45; S Ramnathpur 3/30, F Yousafzai 2/61)
County Galway - 126 all out, 35.3 overs (S Nasim 35, C Mullen 26; W Ali 5/41, M Singh 3/21)
by 114 runs
At The Mardyke
Balbriggan - 322/5, 50 overs (G Ford 112*, A Darroch 57*; A Saddique 2/38)
Cork County - 243 all out, 50 overs (R Durity 74, R Pollard 51; F Nasr 3/47, C Davies-Webb 3/57)
by 79 runs
Rush - 145 all out, 42 overs (S Gull 39; H Sharland 3/23, S Safi 3/33, B Tukrel 2/22)
Terenure - 146/5, 31.3 overs (M Cotter 56, D Lynch 32; A Eastwood 2/22, B Morris 2/33)
by 5 wickets
At Park Avenue
Railway Union - 209 all out, 49.3 overs (G Querl 84*; E Richardson 3/40, S Sludds 2/19, J Mooney 2/36)
North County - 119 all out, 31.5 overs (S Sludds 42, J Mooney 26; F Zaman 3/19, E Grehan 3/20, G Querl 2/11)
by 90 runs