Sticky wicket causes Galway grief

County Galway cricketers failed in their bid to win the Munster Senior Cup in Cork on Saturday, going down to Cork Harlequins by eight wickets.

Overnight rain had cast doubt on the suitability of the pitch, but it went ahead with Galway losing the toss and being sent into bat on a sticky wicket.

This would give Harlequins the advantage, and so it proved as Quins bowled a good line and length in the opening overs, allowing the pitch to do its worst. The Galway batsmen struggled as the ball stayed low or occasionally reared up.

Nitin Bindal and CJ Eringa maintained a watchful but understandably slow partnership, scoring only 24 runs off 11 overs. A fine catch by Atkinson off his own bowling dismissed Bindal and thereafter the Galway batsmen went in and trailed off the field in regular succession. After 29 of the allotted 40 overs the Galway team found themselves all out for 55, their lowest total of the season by some margin. To Quins’ credit, even their slow bowlers, Makki and Reid, stuck to their task by simply bowling straight and taking the last six Galway wickets for only 20 runs.

Matters did not improve for Galway when they set about trying to defend a total of 55. Warren Wilks had the Quins’ opening batsman in trouble, but he was dropped in the third over and went on to score an unbeaten 23. Too many loose balls let Harlequins off the hook. As the sun slowly dried the wicket, Galway's hopes evaporated. Wilks and Hussain did manage to pick up a wicket each, but by the time Makki hit the winning runs by depositing the ball in the road with one almighty clout for six, the cup was heading for the Cork trophy cabinet for another year.

Galway: Umair Choudray, Sean O'Malley, Nitin Bindal, CJ Eringa, Warren Wilks, Jaffa Hussain, Waqqas, Imran Saleem, Ronan Mahon, Ted Turton, Umair Maqsood, Steve Ellis.

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