Qureshi inspires Bathurst’s second straight President’s Cup victory

MATCH-WINNER: Imran Qureshi had a fairly handy weekend, with both bat and gloves. Photo: MATT FINDLAY
MATCH-WINNER: Imran Qureshi had a fairly handy weekend, with both bat and gloves. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

A match-winning performance in Sunday’s Mitchell Cricket Council President’s Cup victory over Lithgow capped off a magical weekend for Bathurst wicketkeeper-batsman Imran Qureshi.

Fresh off scoring a ton for club side Rugby Union on Saturday, Qureshi pouched six dismissals behind the stumps – five catches and a stumping – as Lithgow succumbed for 146, then finished unbeaten on 31 as Bathurst successfully chased with five wickets in the bank.

Making it even sweeter, he combined with his older brother and skipper Jameel (34 not out) on Sunday in a 62-run partnership to secure the win.

They came together at 5-85, stoically plodding along – they both hit just one boundary – on the tricky Tony Luchetti Sportsground wicket until the win was sealed.

“We batted well to chase that 146 on a difficult wicket. Everyone bowled really well too. Matt Stephen did a great job, so did Ben Parsons, Luke Powell, Connor Slattery and also Nic Broes with his spin,” Jameel Qureshi said.

“That wicket was very tough to bat on and our guys did well to match it with Lithgow in their home conditions. It just took us some time to adjust.”

Lithgow openers Ben Sheehan and Mick Hutchinson made a cautious start.

Sheehan was removed for 8 by Bathurst spearhead Matt Stephen, Qureshi’s first dismissal.

Blake Caldwell (2) and John Cronin (0) edges gave Qureshi his second and third, the pair falling in back-to-back Powell overs.

Hutchinson’s patient knock ended at 23 when Parsons lured him into a false shot, which Slattery latched onto.

With the score at 4-56 Lithgow’s top scorer Sam Cameron (31) and Andrew Fawbert (20) provided a middle-order resistance, before the latter was stumped.

Cameron was removed when he punched his shot back into the hands of bowler Broes, Warren Stevens (17), Connor Brown (18) and Brock Barry (10) helping Lithgow post a somewhat competitive score.

Bathurst were given a huge scare in their early moments with the bat when Henry Shoemark (0) and Nic Broes (4) were bowled and caught, respectively, off the bowling of Chris Redding.

Brothers Dave (19) and Wayne Sellers (22) combined to help steady their team’s innings however, when both were removed Bathurst were sitting precariously at 4-53.

Western Zone gun Ryan Peacock added 24 before he was caught, bringing the Qureshis together.