Waringstown captain Greg Thompson praised both Adam Dennison and Haseeb Azam after their performances contributed on Sunday to a 10-run Premier League win over Lisburn.
On what was a slow outfield, opening batsman Dennison scored a superb 87 that helped his side to a total of 183 all out before overseas professional Azam claimed figures of 4-29 in a tight victory.
It extends Waringstown’s unbeaten league run this season to four games and brings the side level on points at the top with defending champions CIYMS.
“It was probably worth an awful lot more,” Thompson said of Dennison’s innings. “With it being wet at the end of the week the outfield wasn’t as short as it usually is here, so that 87 was worth a good few more.
“He batted very well and that’s a positive sign that he’s hopefully back in the runs.
“He hasn’t departed from hitting big runs for too long, he’s a class act and proved it again today.”
Azam has started life in the NCU in spectacular form and has already shown that his style of bowling is going to be perfect for conditions in this country.
The 32-year-old has struggled with the bat to date but Thompson is confident he will show his quality sooner rather than later.
“He is bowling really well and gives us control and a wicket threat up top,” said Thompson. “He hasn’t scored many runs yet but that will come and it’s a long season. “If we keep winning and we have one or two guys not scoring runs, as long as we dovetail those runs from the key guys, we will be happy.”
The Villagers conceded in excess of 40 extras throughout Lisburn’s innings and Thompson admitted that was the only disappointing aspect of the afternoon.
“We probably conceded too many extras today and that is the biggest disappointment in the field,” he said. “The ball was doing plenty at the start and when you’re taking wickets up front you can afford the odd extra, but when you’re giving away 40 runs in a small total, it’s too many.”
Lisburn deserve a massive amount of credit for getting so close without professional Faiz Fazal, who was also absent for their four-wicket Challenge Cup defeat to CIYMS on Saturday.
Thompson spent many years at Lisburn before making the move to Waringstown and says his former side are going to be a hard team to beat in 2019.
“They will take great heart from that and will be arguing that, with a guy who seems as high quality as he is, that they would have missed him today with bat and ball,” he added. “They’ve come up and it’s never going to be easy at Wallace Park.
“They’ve shown with very much the same team that got them promoted that they are more than competitive and they’ve won half their Premier League games.”