A day of low scoring but high drama at the Cricket Field in Midleton today, as the First XI kicked off their 2016 campaign at home to Cork County in the traditional curtain-raiser to the season, the Munster Senior Shield.
County won the toss and elected to bat, a decision they soon came to regret as Danish Iqbal ripped through the openers. His final figures were an impressive 3/13 in just five overs, including a wicket in his first over, as fellow opener Kashif Kahn kept County on the back foot. Waqar Islam further frustrated the County attack with some fine bowling, before Majid Kahn took the wicket of danger man Grobler for 22. Top scorer for the visitors was Qassim Mohamidi with 45, before he fell to Dean Wilson, who mopped up the tail with a further two wickets with the help of some fine fielding, leaving the visitors all out for a total of 123.
What seemed like a manageable total for the home side suddenly became a mountain though, as they found themselves 65/8 after only 21 overs. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, as legendary club chairman Kuros Mohamadi was wheeled gently to the crease. A batting masterclass was to follow, and the visitors found themselves nervously looking at the scoreboard as the runs flowed freely. After a fine supporting role from Kasif, the chase looked manageable as Midleton found themselves only 10 runs behind entering the 37th over, but it was sadly not to be, Kasif falling first, before the last man Danish Iqbal fell to leave the hosts agonizingly short of their target. Kuros deservedly carried his bat with an exceptional 31.