Waringstown’s James Hall was in inspired form as his double-century sent Carrickfergus out of this year’s Northern Cricket Union Challenge Cup.
Hall has already scored more runs than the vast majority of batsmen manage in an entire season.
Not many club cricketers score a single double-century in their entire career, but he has posted two in successive Challenge Cup ties.
The statistics are eye-watering, the superlatives are endless. After reaching three figures in his previous three innings in 50-over cricket, surely Hall couldn’t manage it again against Carrickfergus at Middle Road on Saturday? But he did and then some, hitting exactly 200 as Waringstown piled up their highest-ever score in the famous old competition, 420 for six.
The visitors ran riot from the start in this quarter-final tie. They were 30 without loss in just two overs with Hall at that stage being outscored by James McCollum, his opening partner, who struck nine fours and a six in 52 from just 50 balls.
The punishment was relentless for Carrick’s attack during Hall’s 218-run stand for the third wicket with Lee Nelson, the captain. Nelson struck four fours and three sixes in 72 from 73 balls but this day was all about Hall who seemed to be using the nearby filling station as target practice at times.
He struck 14 fours but incredibly 15 sixes with his 200 taking 135 balls. It seems ridiculous but 250 was in his sights before he was dismissed six overs from the end.
Carrick at least didn’t throw in the towel despite losing three early wickets in reply. Jamie Holmes struck a fine century and Indrajeet Kamtekar 72, but it was always going to be an impossible task chasing a target that not even England or New Zealand have managed in their run-crazy ODI series. Kyle McCallan took three for 31 as Carrickfergus were dismissed for 270.
After Saturday’s one-man show, Carrickfergus were back in action 24 hours later - aiming for place in the Twenty20 Cup final with CIYMS standing in their way at The Lawn in Waringstown.
In the end, CIYMS won by seven wickets after Carrick posted 92-8 with Holmes top-scoring with 28. Ryan Eagleson tried his best with the ball, recording bowling figures of 2-12, but a 50 not-out from Rassie van der Dussen and a 30 from Nigel Jones helped the opposition to 93-3 success.
CIYMS went on to inflict a six-wicket defeat on Waringstown in the final.