CIYMS, Inst forced to start over
Time ran out for CIYMS and Instonians last night when the umpires abandoned the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup final just after six o'clock with light rain, which had frustratingly held up play on three occasions, still falling.
The teams are due to start a new game this morning, at 11am, when the forecast is more promising. The scoreboard showed a final target for Instonians of 167 in 21 overs which could have made for a thrilling finale but captain Neil Russell was more resigned than disappointed when play was finally abandoned.
It was the CIYMS openers who had flexed their muscles when Chris Dougherty won the 10.30am toss with the captain taking the lead in his partnership with Rassie van der Dussen.
The South African took 16 balls to get off the mark but he carried out his job to perfection and 99 balls later he had brought up a chanceless century with 11 fours and two sixes. The best (and worst for Instonians) was still to come, however, as the professional took 20 off the last over and with the help of four leg byes, CIYMS finished on 237 for three.
Van der Dussen's final score of 134 not out, from 126 balls with 13 fours and six maximums, was the highest in the cup final since Akram Raza's 146 for Woodvale in 1991 but now he will have to do it all over again today if it is to have any meaning.
Dougherty was particularly impressive in the early stages and took full advantage of a life on 18 to bring up his 50 with a third six from 57 balls. He was dismissed, to a catch behind, in Eugene Moleon's third over but with 93 added in just 21 overs, it was the perfect platform for his classy opening partner.
John Matchett and Nigel Jones (11 off 33 balls) needed to play only supporting roles and by the end, such was his mastery of the bowling, that his final partner, Johnny Thompson, faced just three of the last 18 balls.
The torrential rain which had been on the radar throughout the day never materialised but it was heavy enough to interrupt the Instonians' innings - which lasted only eight balls - twice!
Instonians will be grateful for a second opportunity today but CIYMS, having tamed their opponents' bowling once, will be confident of doing it again and remain favourites to win their first Challenge Cup.