A powerful hitting display by Lisburn’s Zimbabwean international Craig Ervine, backed up with a five wicket haul, saw Lisburn claim their first Premier league points of the season against Lurgan at a scorching Pollock Park on Saturday, beating the home side by 110 runs.
Ervine, who had been Zimbabwe’s top run scorer in their recent tour of the West Indies, started patiently and as his confidence grew began to score freely, hitting 142 runs that included 15 fours and 4 sixes over the long Pollock Park boundary, clearing the clubhouse twice.
He received good support from opener Rankin (63) and Darryl Brown who finished on 60 not out as the visitors posted a mammoth 333 for 4 in their 50 overs.
Apart from a second ball wicket for John Guy, when he had Berry caught behind by Stephen Chambers for a duck, the Lurgan bowlers delivered too many short deliveries and had little to cheer about.
Winning the toss proved crucial for the visitors as the home side toiled in energy sapping temperatures.
The psychological advantage of having to chase over 300 on the board was going to ask questions of any side batting second in such conditions. Lurgan’s reply did get off to a promising start with skipper Stephen Johnston and Niranjan Godbole scoring quickly and keeping in front of the run rate.
Darryl Brown was the Lisburn bowler to get the breakthrough, the South African having Godbole caught at short mid-off by Waller for 30 with the total on 60.
With the fast scoring Johnston still at the wicket, Lurgan were well up with the required run rate, but that was soon to change following the Lurgan captain’s dismissal in the 17th over.
With Johnston gone the Lisburn bowlers were soon on top and it was centurion Craig Ervine who did most of the damage, taking 5 wickets for 34. Richard Clarke (28) and Charlie Crasborne (44) had some valuable batting time in the middle as they put on 85 for the 7th wicket, but by that time the match was well beyond salvation and Lurgan were eventually were bowled out in the 48th over for 223.
Lurgan’s Senior Cup quarter-final tie against Instonians on Saturday has been called off.
The balls used by Lurgan teams in last Saturday’s teams were sponsored by Paul Lyttle, Jackie Leathem and Graeme Hunter.