Kruger stars as Derriaghy claim first national title with Arachas National Cup win over Cliftonville Academy
Patrick Kruger led Derriaghy to its first-ever Arachas National Cup title defeating Cliftonville Academy by 4 wickets in a rain-affected match at Waringstown today.
After winning the toss, Cliftonville Academy captain Max Burton chose to bat first, however may have soon been regretting his decision after he watched on from the non-strikers end as two wickets fell in the first two overs of this 40 over-a-side match. Burton was joined by Jared Wilson (15) and the pair batted determinedly to stabilise the innings - but on 32, Burton top-edged a pull shot and was caught at deep mid-wicket by a running Craig Lewis.
A brilliant direct hit run out by Jordan Wade then saw the end of Wilson with Cliftonville Academy sitting at a precarious 72-4 in the 15th over.
Abhishek Raut (25) and Varun Chopra (35) added much needed middle-order runs before Derriaghy’s pace bowlers Patrick Kruger (4-27) and Lewis (3-31) ran through the lower order – the last six wickets falling for 64 runs with Cliftonville Academy bowled out for 155 in 36.2 overs.
With several rain delays, the match was reduced to a 37 over-a-side affair with the DLS adjusted target for Derriaghy set at 155.
When Richard Hood bowled a wicket maiden to start the second innings, the spirits of Cliftonville Academy fans rose in anticipation, but Derriaghy opener Matthew Halliday quickly reeled off seven boundaries – many being well-timed pull shots to cow corner – to swing the momentum of the match back towards the Derriaghy side.
However, just as Halliday threatened to take the game away, he blazed a short ball to fielder Andrew Forbes at deep mid-wicket, out for 41 (44). Shortly afterwards the rain returned and after a lengthy delay the teams resumed the match with a further seven overs lost and a DLS-revised target of 139 confirmed. Returning to the crease, Kruger set about finishing the game as quickly as possible. He struck five fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 51 from 45 balls to lead Derriaghy to the title – picking up Player of the Match in the process.
Derriaghy CC v Cliftonville Academy CC, Arachas National Cup Final, Waringstown, 13 August 2023
Cliftonville Academy 155 (36.2 overs; V Chopra 35, M Burton 32; P Kruger 4-27)
Derriaghy 139-6 (28.3 overs; P Kruger 51*, M Halliday 41; B Kane 3-30)
Derriaghy won by 4 wickets