Thursday, July 25, 2024

Cricket Ireland: CIYMS finish third in Europe after inspirational tournament run

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Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland

After a hugely entertaining ten days of play, Belfast’s CIYMS fell at the penultimate stage of the European Cricket League to English side Hornchurch by 7 wickets.

Having qualified for the competition following a six-wicket victory over Cork Harlequins in the Clear Currency All-Ireland T20 Cup at the Mardyke, CIYMS headed to Spain to take part in the European Cricket League 2023.

They joined 30 other clubs vying to become European Club Champions for 2023, which also included 2022 winners Pak I Care Badalona of Spain.

After a slow start to the competition, losing two of their opening three games, CIYMS successfully negotiated their way into Championship Week by winning four games on the spin. Their top-order of Jason van der Merwe, Chris Dougherty and Carson McCullough showed off their batting skills, while McCullough, Jacob Mulder, Allen Coulter, Adam Kennedy and Mark Best were excellent with the ball in hand.

The Belfast-based side went unbeaten during Championship Week, winning all six games to extend that unbeaten run to ten games as they topped the Group. They also added 20 year-old Canadian Under-19 International all-rounder Benjamin Calitz, who signed for Muckamore Cricket Club during the off-season, to their squad as a ‘Wildcard’ after Mark Best had to return home due to work commitments.

On finals day CIYMS lost their Qualifier One game to French champions Dreux by three wickets after posting what looked like a competitive score of 125-6, but Dreux’s Muhammad Rafah scored 38 off just 12 balls to guide the French to victory.

In Qualifier Two, van der Merwe and Dougherty put up 38 for the first wicket. However, the loss of regular wickets proved to be their downfall as they could only post 112-5. Hornchurch openers George Hankins (23) and Paul Murray (43) set the table before fifth man up Jalpesh Vijay settled the game by scoring 44 runs off just 16 balls to send the English side into the final.

Star of the show for CIYMS during Championship Week was undoubtedly opening batter Jason van der Merwe, who became the competition’s first player to score over 500 runs in a single season in European Cricket League history. He ended up scoring a phenomenal 641 runs, with a top score of 95* (off just 30 balls) against Istanbul KSK in the Group Stage playoff during week one.

His opening partner Chris Dougherty scored 365 runs himself, while 18 year-old Carson McCullough scored 275 runs and took a phenomenal 21 wickets throughout the tournament.

CIYMS did provide one of the highlights of the competition, against Dreux on finals day, when Jason can der Merwe and Jacob Mulder combined out on the boundary to remove the ever dangerous Ahmed Nabi (28) with the catch of the tournament.

It was an excellent tournament for the Belfast side, even if they will be slightly disappointed not to have made the final.


Group Stage

CIYMS beat Ariana KIF by 10 wickets (Scorecard).
CIYMS lost to Oeiras by 8 runs (Scorecard).
CIYMS lost to Istanbul KSK by 6 runs (Scorecard).
CIYMS beat Punjab Lions Nicosia by 8 wickets (Scorecard).

Playoffs – Eliminator

CIYMS beat Oeiras by 31 runs (Scorecard).

Qualifier 2

CIYMS beat Istanbul KSK by 89 runs (Scorecard).

Group Stage Final

CIYMS beat Ariana KIF by 77 runs (Scorecard).


Group Stage

CIYMS beat Dreux by 11 runs (Scorecard).
CIYMS beat Sporting Alfas by 63 runs (Scorecard).
CIYMS beat Pak I Care Badalona by 23 runs (Scorecard).
CIYMS beat Hornchurch by 10 runs (Scorecard).
CIYMS beat Beveren by 6 wickets (Scorecard).
CIYMS beat Farmers by 12 runs (Scorecard).

Qualifier 1

CIYMS lost to Dreux by 3 wickets (Scorecard). 

Qualifier 2

CIYMS lost to Horncurch by 7 wickets (Scorecard).


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