Familiar face Khan returns to knock out his old CSN pals
Former Waringstown professional Shaheen Khan returned to haunt Civil Service North and end their interest in this year's Irish Senior Cup at the quarter-final stage.
Because of the difference in player registrations in the provincial unions, the Irish Cup holders had to release the South African because he no longer plays first-class cricket. But that is no problem for the Leinster union, and his 67 ensured Pembroke are back in the semi-finals for the fourth time in six years.
The quarter-final at Sydney Parade was put back 24 hours to allow both teams to play at full strength but in the end Pembroke went into the match without two of their Ireland players, Andrew Balbirnie, who injured his back in Sunday's Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe, and Josh Little. And their third international, Lorcan Tucker, was caught behind for three, two balls after he had been dropped.
But although CSN reduced the home side to 127-6 in their attempt to defend 205, Pembroke still had 25 overs left to score the remaining 79 runs. Khan, after hitting nine fours, was out 10 short of victory but Ryan Hopkins saw his side home with his fourth boundary and 41 balls left.
Andre Malan was the game's top scorer with 109 not out, but he was unable to break free because wickets were falling at the other end and his strike rate of 72, with just nine fours and a six, left the Stormont side well short of a par score. Graeme McCarter was the stand-out bowler but Pembroke had time to see him off and although Andrew Cowden came back to take Khan's wicket, his eight overs cost 65 runs.
There will definitely be one NCU semi-finalist when the Waringstown-Instonians game is rearranged, while CIYMS can make it two if they beat Leinster in their game which was postponed until next Sunday.
With only two semi-finalists known, the Irish Cup draw has been delayed but the draw for the National Cup goes ahead today, as scheduled, with two northern teams in the hat.
Ardmore beat Balbriggan by 11 runs but there was disappointment for Fox Lodge, who lost by seven wickets to Terenure, and Templepatrick, who, despite Ari Smith's undefeated 114, fell nine runs short of Railway Union's 236. Derriaghy play their quarter-final away to Midleton in east Cork this Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Ireland Academy squad have arrived in Loughborough, the Centre of Excellence for England Cricket, for two games against the England Under-19 side today and Thursday.
The Ireland side won a pre-season game between the teams in Bristol but they can expect a tougher test this week as the England Under-19s are preparing for a Tri-Series with India and Bangladesh.
Northern Knights wicket-keeper Neil Rock captains the team, which includes eight of the Ireland Under-19 team which head to the World Cup Qualifiers in the Netherlands next week.
James Hunter, Oliver Metcalfe and Marcus Poskitt are the Ulster players involved in both squads, while Matthew Foster had to sit out yesterday's Irish Cup tie in Pembroke as the CSN pace bowler is also in the Academy squad for the first time.
Ballyspallen's Graham Kennedy completes the northern representation, while Garth Delany is the most experienced player in the squad after making his Ireland debut in the Twenty20 internationals against Zimbabwe.
Academy squad: N Rock (capt), JJ Garth (v/c), R Anders, G Delany, S Doheny, M Foster, F Hand, J Hunter, G Kennedy, N McGuire, O Metcalfe, M Poskitt, T Tector, M Thompson.
IRISH CUP QUARTER-FINAL
Sydney Parade: Civil Service North 205-8 (50 overs, A Malan 109 not out, G McCarter 23, C Goodall 20; B McCarthy 3-39) Pembroke 207-7 (S Khan 67, T Lawson 62, R Hopkins 26 not out, D Heverin 24; G McCarter 2-23, A Malan 2-44, A Cowden 2-65). Pembroke won by three wickets.
Today (The Lawn): WSX Professionals v Emerging Knights (10.30), WSX Professionals v Northern Knights (2.30pm).