An outstanding batting performance from William Porterfield led the North West Warriors to victory over Munster Reds at The Mardyke today as almost 600 runs were scored.
Player of the Match Porterfield took a few overs to find his touch before playing a near faultless innings of 110 from 123 balls. He hit 14 fours and two sixes as he led from the front and guided the Warriors to what ended up a comfortable victory.
The Warriors will be pleased with the run chase, after being set 290 to win – achieving the target with 17 balls to spare.
Graham Kennedy hit 52* from 48 balls, with contributions all the way down the batting order. The Reds toiled hard, but some below average fielding at times let the pressure off at key points.
The win was brought up in style with a nonchalant six flicked by William McClintock off his pads.
Earlier in the day the Reds looked to have the upper hand after half-centuries to Murray Commins, captain Tyrone Kane and Matt Ford – and a rapid-fire 49* from Fionn Hand.
While early wickets fell and the Reds top order struggled to get started, their competition top-scorer Murray Commins appeared to be batting on a different pitch as he played expansive shots all around the ground in his innings of 79 from 99 balls. His stay at the crease featured 11 fours, pouncing on anything short and quickly onto the front foot drive when the bowler over-pitched. His eventual dismissal was perhaps a little unfortunate, with a ball from McBrine skidding through low and crashing into his off stump.
Reds’ captain Tyrone Kane – who had played second-fiddle to Commins during a 78-run stand for the fourth wicket – took up the mantle and began to hit out. Bringing up his half-century from 58 balls, Kane smashed five sixes in his 78, before holing out at deep square leg looking for a sixth maximum. Kane’s innings came from 68 balls and the momentum he gave his side flowed through to Ford and Hand. The pair put on an unbroken 64-run stand from just 32 deliveries, punishing the Warriors bowlers at will.
Ford’s innings began with ‘busy’ support for Kane before expanding his shot range to bring up his half-century with a boundary off the last ball of the innings. While looking dominant, Ford was overshadowed in the unbroken 7th wicket partnership by Hand who scored 49 of the 64 runs scored in the last five overs.
Hand, who had only scored 40 runs in his last four innings in this competition, stood deep in his crease, making a series of what would ordinarily have been good length balls a hittable length. His quickfire knock included three big sixes and five fours, with the Warriors bowlers erring on the short side during the death overs. The home side’s 289-6 from 50 overs easily surpassed their previous highest team score of 219 this year, and set up an intriguing run chase.
For the Warriors, Craig Young bowled well with 3-48 – a return that was somewhat ruined with 30 runs being taken off his last two overs, while Andy McBrine finished with 2-44, bowling his off-spin with a flatter trajectory and at a quicker pace to combat the batters ability to hit over the short boundaries.
Despite going into the break the happier side, the Reds did not do themselves justice in the field and the experience and power of the Warriors proved the ultimate difference.
The final Cup match of the competition will be the rescheduled Northern Knights v Munster Reds fixture on 30 May.
Munster Reds v North West Warriors, Inter-Provincial Cup, Cork, 15 June 2021
Reds 289-6 (50 overs; M Commins 79, T Kane 78, M Ford 53*; C Young 3-48)
Warriors 292-6 (47.1 overs; W Porterfield 110, G Kennedy 52*; F Hand 2-48)
Warriors won by 4 wickets