Limerick CC were able to complete a clean sweep of four victories in all four leagues over the weekend to give themselves the perfect start to their league campaigns. This comes after the original opening round of fixtures were postponed last weekend following a suspect COVID case in one of the players (which fortunately cleared negative).
After victories on Saturday for the 2 nd and 4 th XIs, Limerick’s 1 st XI looked to follow in these footsteps as they faced an uphill battle against Galway in the t20 Premier league. Limerick had beaten Galway a couple of week’s previous in the Blast, and were hoping for history to repeat itself on Sunday afternoon in Lycidan.
Limerick captain Arslan Anwar won the toss and elected to bat on what was a dry and brittle outfield. He couldn’t have asked for a better start from his openers, Australian Tim Smithies and Indian Swaroop Burra getting the away side off to lightning start as Limerick were 61-1 at the end of the poweplay, Smithies attempting a scoop shot which unfortunately found gloves of the Galway keeper.
This gave the home side some momentum as the wickets began to tumble with no partnerships really being built for Limerick. Captain Arslan Anwar came into to steady the ship as he anchored the innings despite wickets falling around him. Limerick scraped and scratched their way to 129 before Galway were in breach of their over rate and went over time, causing some controversy related to penalty runs.
Nonetheless, Limerick still had a battle on their hands with the ball after the innings break. Galway pushed hard in the opening overs with some good running between the wickets and capitalizing on some uncharacteristic Limerick mistakes to give themselves a fighting chance, but the Shannonsiders were able to bounce back strongly in the middle overs. Farman Yousafzai came on in the 7 th over and the off spinner didn’t disappoint. He would finish on figures of 4-18 picking up some vital wickets to ensure Galway were put under some serious pressure. Shani Alam returned the favour from the other end chipping in with 2-22 as the run rate began to ascend for the home side who needed 10 an over from the final 6.
Limerick were reluctant to be complacent however and finished off the job in style, limiting the home side to just 101 runs who were all out in the 18 th over. The win puts Limerick in a firm position in the Premier league table, with a tasty away fixture to Cork County to come next weekend.