Successful start to the season

A lovely sunny weekend end saw Merrion begin its 2024 Cricket Season with two wins. On Saturday the 4th XI had an excellent seven wicket victory over neighbours Pembroke 3rds at Sydney Parade [Division 7]. The Home team won the toss and elected to bat. A 200 plus run total on the first day of the season would normally be counted a severe test but in the end it was comfortably set aside as Merrion ran out winning by seven wickets [214/3].

In the first half of the game Merrion bowlers stuck to their task. A bright opening spell by Vishal Singh [3/41] and Tom Squires [1/27] got Merrion off to a good start and they were well supported by the rest of the bowlers. An opening stand of 169 by Yash Venkata [79] and Conor Austin [65] set the platform and in the end the target was achieved in the 36th over. Congratulations to Yash on his debut for Merrion, 79 in 64 balls.


The next day saw the first league game of the year at Anglesea Road where the 2nd XI took on Leinster 2nd XI [D3]. Captain Peter Forkin won the toss and had no doubts about batting first. Merrion suffered an early setback with the4 loss of two wickets but order was restored by a century partnership between Franco Marais [41] and Niranjan Shankar [69]. Pressure on the Pembroke attack was maintained throughout for Vaibhav Sapra [30] and the second Merrion debut 50 of the weekend from Andrew Doheny [64*]. The final total of 251/6 was a good return at any time but even more so in the first game.

The Leinster Innings got off to a blistering start and 50 came up in the nineth over. Another 50 run partnership put Leinster firmly in the driving seat and at the first drinks on 20 overs things were not looking to healthy for the home side. But the introduction nof spin and an inspired bowling performance by Seb Dijkstra [4/16] turned the tide. A couple of important wickets by Sean Sandys [2/43], with JJ Walsh [2/11] coming in to wrap up the innings saw Merrion to victory with in the end a comfortable 68 run victory.

Scorecard.  https://www.cricketleinster.ie/match-centre/match/EJZG40YU53

Next week – Tour game on Thursday with the Taverners on Friday.  The weekend sees  the 1st XI start their season with a home game v Leinster on Saturday. On Sunday the 3rd have home advantage in a tricky encounter with Cork Harlequins.

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