Cricket: Brigade stun CIYMS in Ulster Cup

Ryan Hunter.
Ryan Hunter.

Brigade ripped up the script and produced the performance of the day in the O’Neill’s Ulster Cup first round at Belmont on Sunday.

Few would have given the North West club much hope of upsetting CIYMS in their own back yard, but Andy Britton’s men turned in a wonderful all-round performance.

Ryan Hunter, the left-handed batsman, struck a superb 67 which was the cornerstone of Brigade’s total of 233 for seven in 40 overs.

It was the former Donemana man’s second half-century in consecutive days and it was all the more impressive because Brigade had looked to be in trouble on 168 for six.

But with Johnny Thompson unable to bowl because of a torn muscle in his right arm, the CI bowling lacked depth and Brigade were able to capitalise. Hunter added 38 for the seventh wicket with Chris Dixon (23 no) before he was eventually dismissed after hitting five fours and a six. He faced just 61 balls for his 67.

The total should still have been within CI’s reach but Andy Britton, the Brigade captain, had other ideas. He bowled Chris Dougherty, the former Brigade batsman, with the first ball of the innings and after a short rain break, the paceman got through the defences of John Matchett.

Rassie van der Dussen however, was already looking in ominous form. Twice early on he rocked back and pulled Britton through the on-side for four and while the South African was the crease the visitors remained second favourites.

But spin bowling proved to be CI’s undoing. With the score on 72 for two, van der Dussen perished attempting a big shot off Johnny Robinson as Hunter took the catch at deep mid-wicket.

Aaron Johnston fell straight after for a duck to Iftikhar Hussain (2-25) but it was Robinson who was the chief destroyer. He soon struck another double blow, having Thompson caught for 21 and then Nigel Jones caught behind for 21.

Robinson finished with four for 27 as CI were dismissed for just 147, a crushing margin of 86 runs.

Brigade are joined in the last eight by Waringstown and Instonians, who both enjoyed comfortable victories.

Waringstown used the visit to Strabane to offer opportunities to younger players, and they grabbed them with both hands.

Morgan Topping, the young spinner, removed Ryan Gallagher and Tawanda Mupariwa, as Strabane made 174 for nine batting first.

The Villagers lost at this venue in last year’s final but there was no repeat as the in-form James McCollum and Adam Dennison raced to 138 without loss.

Dennison was unluckily run out at the non-striker’s end. He had made 63 from 65 balls and struck four fours and two sixes.

The result was long since not in doubt with the formalities completed by the 27th over. McCollum finished unbeaten on 91 from only 72 balls, including 12 fours and a six. Ruhan Pretorius, who wasn’t used with the ball, struck four boundaries in an unbeaten 22.

Instonians had a brief wobble, stumbling to 67 for three chasing a modest target of 167 at Coleraine as teenage spinner Varun Chopra took two for 20. But Nikolai Smith struck an unbeaten 74 including eight fours and a six and Andrew White 52 not out in a seven-wicket win.

Coleraine failed to build on a good start by Niall McDonnell, the opener hitting five fours and a six in a top score of 60. Smith, White and Pakistan professional Farhad Iqbal each took three wickets.