Adair earns central contract with Cricket Ireland

August 21st 2019 | International, Other

Adair earns central contract with Cricket Ireland

Mark Adair has been handed a Central Contract

DUBLIN - Cricket Ireland has today announced that Mark Adair has accepted a central contract until the end of 2019, becoming the 32nd Irish cricketer to receive a contract from the national governing body this year.

The contract offer caps off an eye-catching year for Adair – more than six years on Cricket Ireland’s radar, his performances during 2019 propelled him firmly into the public eye and has led directly to this opportunity.

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said:

“While most observers of the recent Test match between Ireland and England at Lord’s would probably say that the most eye-catching Irish contributions came from Tim Murtagh and Andy Balbirnie, perhaps no one did more than Mark to keep Ireland competitive. Opening the bowling, he was able to extract sideways movement in both directions at a brisk pace, and was rewarded with twin three-fors, including dismissing England captain Joe Root twice.”

Holdsworth acknowledged that Adair is not an overnight success, but has been working hard for a number of years to get to this position today:

“For those within the game it feels as though he’s been around for years, but he’s only 23. Mark came through our pathway at Ireland under 15 level, played the Under-19 World Cup Qualifying squad, and got a contract quite young at Warwickshire. His focus at the time was on trying to be a successful county cricketer as opposed to a successful international cricketer, and I guess he was not alone in this situation.”

“When he would have signed for Warwickshire, we wouldn’t have contracted a huge amount of players. We didn’t have a national academy. We didn’t have an inter-provincial first-class system. So the opportunities for Mark then were limited as they were for many others his age or a little bit older.”

“While he had snippets of success, he left Warwickshire and came back to Ireland last year. I think he may have lost a little bit of hunger for the game around that time, but he found that back and over last winter worked very hard, got a lot fitter, and started to show signs that he really wanted to play for Ireland. We didn’t contract him earlier in the season but said, ‘look, you need to earn this. You need to show the selectors that you really want this.’ And he did just that.”

“He had some good early ​year form playing in the Wolves programme and has subsequently gone on to be selected for all three formats for the senior squad. We’ve now offered him a full contract, and it’s great to see what he’s done. Mark’s attitude and approach are commendable - he’s had to fight for his place, and the benefits are clear for all to see.”

Following the signing of his new contract, Adair said:

“I’m delighted to have signed this contract – it’s hopefully the start of a new journey in my career, and vindication for the years I have put into my game. I am the first one to admit the last six months or so have been a whirlwind, but it is certainly something I backed myself to achieve, and would like to thank the many coaches and teammates who have helped me along the way.”

“The international games this year have been great, but have only left me wanting more. My thanks to Cricket Ireland for this opportunity and I truly hope I can be part of something special with the international squad over coming years.”

Cricket Ireland today has 32 players (men and women) on full-time and part-time contracts, a significant investment in player support since the first-ever professional player contracts were offered in 2009 (two contracts were offered in the first year).


Ireland Women squad announced for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers

August 21st 2019 | International, Women, Other

Ireland Women squad announced for ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers

Laura Delany will captain the side in the Qualifiers

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland today announced a 14-player squad to travel to the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier tournament in Scotland, starting 31 August 2019.

The league-cum-knockout tournament sees Ireland Women in Group B alongside Namibia, Netherlands and Thailand, with the top two sides progressing to a semi-finals stage. The two winners of the semi-finals not only contest the final but qualify for the World Cup being held in Australia in early 2020.

The league-cum-knockout tournament sees Ireland Women in Group B alongside Namibia, Netherlands and Thailand, with the top two sides progressing to a semi-finals stage. The two winners of the semi-finals not only contest the final but qualify for the World Cup being held in Australia in early 2020.


The squad

Laura Delany (c), Kim Garth (vc), Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Sophie MacMahon, Lara Maritz, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Una Raymond-Hoey, Eimear Richardson, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.


The fixtures

Warm-up match
29 August: Ireland v Papua New Guinea (10.00am, Forfarshire Cricket Club)

Qualifier group stage
31 August: Ireland v Namibia (2.00pm, Arbroath Cricket Club)
1 September: Ireland v Netherlands (2.00pm, Forfarshire Cricket Club)
3 September: Ireland v Thailand (10.00am, Forfarshire Cricket Club)

Finals stages
5 September: Semi-Finals
7 September: Final

Speaking after the Ireland Women’s squads return from the recent Quadrangular Series in the Netherlands, Ireland captain Laura Delany said:

“The Quadrangular Series was a good opportunity to see where we’re at as a squad. It also gave us an opportunity to have a look at some of the teams we will play against in the qualifiers. Ed [Joyce] and I got a chance to try out different bowling and batting combinations, which with a young squad is crucial as we seek to find the right balance. Playing six games in seven days was an intense schedule but I was really impressed with how the squad approached each game, especially the younger players.”

“Looking ahead to the Qualifier, Thailand are a well-organised side and have made serious progress since we played them this time last year. We also know a lot about the Netherlands having played against them regularly, but we are yet to play Namibia so that is an unknown for us at this stage. As a relatively new squad, we’re really trying to focus on being more specific with our plans both with the bat and ball for these upcoming games.”

“Throughout the summer we have been fortunate that various senior players have stood up and put in match-winning performances - it was especially great to see a number of players take advantage of the Quadrangular Series and spend time in the middle in the Netherlands, which hopefully should give these players confidence heading into the qualifiers. It’s brilliant to have Kim Garth back in the side, the experience and skill she has with both the bat and ball will be a huge asset to us.”


Ireland Men to play a three-ODI series against England in 2020

August 21st 2019 | International, Other

Ireland Men to play a three-ODI series against England in 2020

Ireland will play England in 3 ODI's in 2020

DUBLIN - Cricket Ireland has today confirmed that the Ireland Men’s team will play a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series with England in England in September 2020.

The three-games will be as follows:

1st Royal London ODI, England v Ireland (12.30pm start day/night), Thursday 10 September 2020, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
2nd Royal London ODI, England v Ireland (12.30pm start day/night), Saturday 12 September 2020, Edgbaston, Birmingham
3rd Royal London ODI, England v Ireland (12.30pm start day/night), Tuesday 15 September 2020, Kia Oval, London

The newly announced ODIs for​m part of Ireland’s involvement in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League (which is the inaugural edition of the World ODI League). The super league, being played between May 2020 to March 2022, will serve as part of the qualification process for the 2023 Cricket World Cup and features thirteen countries - twelve Full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Netherlands. The structure of the super league is that each team will play a three-match ODI series against eight of the twelve opponents, four series at home and four away.

Ireland’s fixtures from 2020-2022 that will count towards the Super League are:

2020: Bangladesh (home), New Zealand (home), England (away)
2021: South Africa (home), Zimbabwe (home)*, Afghanistan (away), Netherlands (away)
2022: West Indies (away)

* At time of publication Zimbabwe have been suspended as a Full Member. Confirmation of these fixtures will be made closer to the date.


Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:

“We are looking forward to the start of the new World Cup Super League and delighted to have finalised an agreement with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to play a three-match ODI series as part of the competition. The ODI League seeks to inject a greater sense of interest and meaning in bilateral ODI series’ between nations, and we are obviously keen to qualify for the 2023 Cricket World Cup, so these fixtures against England are crucial to those plans.”

“We ran the World Cup champions close at Malahide this year in a hard-fought ODI, and expect that as this side further evolves, it will be highly competitive come September 2020 backed by some great travelling and UK-based Irish support. The recent Test match at Lord’s demonstrated the interest in Irish cricket, and the series will be played across three iconic Test venues, so promises to be a great experience for all.”

“Our thanks to the ECB for finalising these new fixtures and we encourage Irish fans to come out and support our team as it enters a new era in the sport.”


Kane and Balbirnie star in emphatic Lightning win

August 20th 2019 | International, Other

Kane and Balbirnie star in emphatic Lightning win

Leinster will be looking to secure back-to-back 50 over titles

STORMONT - A stunning spell of opening bowling from Tyrone Kane, which was ably backed up by a fine innings from Andy Balbirnie, propelled the Leinster Lightning to a comfortable seven wicket victory in their Test Triangle Inter-Provincial 50 over game against the Northern Knights.

Tyrone Kane took five wickets in an opening eight over spell to dismiss the majority of the Knights top order, before he returned to grab one more at the death to finish with career best figures of 6-42 from his 9 overs. This reduced the Knights to just 176 and the Lightning chased this down in facile manner, with Andy Balbirnie scoring 90 and Lorcan Tucker scoring 57* the main contributions.

Having won the toss and elected to field, George Dockrell’s decision for the Lightning was immediately vindicated when Kane trapped Marc Ellison LBW in the first over. The Knights were without James McCollum, and they missed the solidity at the top of the order. Shane Getkate, who was deputising opening the batting for McCollum, fell soon after when feathering behind off Kane also. Harry Tector provided momentary relief but Kane accounted for himself, Neil Rock and Greg Thompson in the space of three overs to have completed his five wicket haul within the first 12 overs.

The Knights were on the ropes at 46-5 but Gary Wilson stood firm and he was joined by Mark Adair, who counter-attacked in the only way he can. Adair scored a very sprightly 40 from 39 balls before he nicked a Simi Singh delivery through to Tucker. Jacob Mulder joined Wilson and these two both put up good resistance and briefly looked like they would take the Knights to a threatening total over 200. However, Wilson fell to the returning Barry McCarthy for 40. Mulder (28) and James Cameron-Dow (22) both played handy knocks, but when the two of them fell in the same Gareth Delany over, the innings was all but over. The Knights slipping from 175-7 to 176 all out to complete their innings.

It still could have been a tricky little run chase for the Lightning, especially given the opening spell from Mark Adair. He struck before the Lunch break to get Delany early, to leave Leinster 19-1 at the interval. Adair then struck again after the break, producing a wonderful delivery to dismiss Jack Tector, and with the score at 34-2, it looked like it was game on. However, Tucker came to join Balbirnie, and these two very quickly steadied the ship for the Lightning.

They were initially quite watchful, bringing the score up to 78-2 after 20 overs. However, soon the momentum of the game completely turned in their favour, with Balbirnie beginning to dip into his vast array of shots as he passed fifty. Tucker played a canny second fiddle role also, attacking when he could, but rotating the strike brilliantly also. They began to fly to their target of 177, putting the Knights attack under heavy scrutiny as they powered home. Balbirnie only departed with eight runs left to win, getting caught short charging back for a second run, while trying to get towards his hundred. It was down to Tucker to bring them over the line, finishing on a very fluent 57* himself and a comfortable seven wicket for the Lightning.

The next Test Triangle Inter-Provincial action is on Thursday when the Leinster Lightning will be looking to secure the 50 over series with a win against the North West Warriors. That action is from North County Cricket Club, with play due to start at 10.45 am.

Link to Scorecard


PREVIEW: Knights face Lightning in massive Test Triangle IP50 clash

August 19th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International, Other

PREVIEW: Knights face Lightning in massive Test Triangle IP50 clash

Gary Wilson leads the Northern Knights side

STORMONT - The Northern Knights will face off against the Leinster Lightning in a massively important Test Triangle Inter-Provincial 50 Over match at Stormont, with the winner holding massive sway in the likely outcome of the 50 over series.

The Knights and the Lightning have been extremely well matched based on their performances against each other in every format this year, with some tight and enthralling encounters being played out between the two sides. This should be no different, and with a lot on the line in this competition, this game could be one of the most intriguing Inter-Provincial games in recent years. Also, with the abandonment of the Test Triangle IP20 Festival last weekend, the Lightning will be looking for revenge and to seal a victory in this format after missing out on the T20 competition. The Knights will be eyeing a clean sweep of the competitions, having already won one and in close contention for two more.

Players to watch: Northern Knights

What has been the strength of this Northern Knights side for the 2019 season is that there has been many different people who have put their hands up at different times during the season. However, in recent weeks it has been the performances of two youngsters that have caught the eye of many. Harry Tector is one of them, with the YMCA batsman being in stellar recent touch, which has included his maiden first-class hundred at Pembroke versus the Lightning, followed by a hundred for his club side a few days later. In limited overs cricket, he will have more of a say with the ball also, with his tight off-breaks proving tricky to get away. The other is David Delany, who has been bowling some of the quickest spells seen in recent times in Ireland in recent Inter-Provincial Championship games. His nasty spell of hostile bowling in the final session of their draw with the Lightning in Stormont was enough to get a lot of people excited. His natural pace is very worthy of viewing, and at the mere age of 21, the sky’s the limit for the Clontarf paceman.

Players to watch: Leinster Lightning

The Leinster Lightning will be without Kevin O’Brien for this fixture as he recovers from an injury picked up just before the IP20 Festival. However, the Lightning also have two major inform men in their side in the shape of Simi Singh and Barry McCarthy. Singh has been in good touch, scoring runs for the Ireland Wolves in their wins over Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, he also scored a first-class century and took a four wicket haul in the final day of a recent Inter-Pro Championship game at Pembroke against the Knights. He has recently added new variations to his spin, which has made him trickier to play against. His batting has always had bundles of fluency and his good form is not overly surprising. Barry McCarthy has also been in tremendous form with the ball for both the Lightning and his club side, Pembroke, helping them reach their first Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup in the process. McCarthy bowls a lot of wicket taking deliveries and his aggressive style yielded him a five wicket haul against the North West Warriors.

With both sides sitting five points ahead of the Warriors, this could be a key game in the deciding of the winners of the Test Triangle Inter-Provincial 50 over series. With many stars of Irish cricket on show tomorrow at Stormont, it is one of the more anticipated games in this year’s Inter-Provincial Series.

Play is due to start in Stormont, weather permitting, at 10.45 am.

The Squads

Leinster Lightning
George Dockrell (Capt.) (Leinster), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke), Peter Chase (Malahide), Stephen Doheny (Rush), Gareth Delany (Leinster), Fionn Hand (YMCA), Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Josh Little (Pembroke), Barry McCarthy (Pembroke), Simi Singh (Phoenix), Jack Tector (YMCA), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke/Trinity).

Northern Knights
Gary Wilson (Capt.) (CSNI), Harry Tector (V-Capt.) (YMCA), David Delany (Clontarf), Marc Ellison (CSNI), James McCollum (Waringstown), Shane Getkate (Instonians), Mark Adair (CIYMS), Neil Rock (Rush), Graham McCarter (CSNI), Jacob Mulder (CIYMS), Greg Thompson (Waringstown), James Cameron-Dow (CIYMS), Matthew Foster (CSNI).

 


Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Festival Abandoned

August 17th 2019 | International, Other

Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Festival Abandoned

The Northern Knights have won the 2019 IP20 Series

BREADY - The decision has been made to abandon the final three games of the Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Festival due to a wet ground and concerns over player safety and welfare.

Unfortunately, due to heavy rain throughout the week, the ground at Bready Cricket Club has become very wet and a potential hazard for anyone trying to play on it. After consulting with the groundsman and officials, Cricket Ireland has made the decision to abandon the remaining three games of the weekend.

Speaking about the decision made, Cricket Ireland’s Olly Hodges said:

“This is a major disappointment to everyone involved with the setting up and running of this T20 festival. However, player safety is paramount and the ground has been deemed unfit to host any games for the remainder of today and tomorrow.”


“With many major fixtures coming up in the next few months for individual players between club finals and World Cup Qualifiers for the international side, the call has been made that it would be prudent not to risk the players in an unsafe environment to play.”


“We would like to extend our thanks to everyone in the North West Cricket Union and at Bready Cricket Club, for their efforts in attempting to make play possible over the last 2 days. Unfortunately the weather has conspired against us.”


Due to the remaining games being abandoned, this means that the Northern Knights have won the 2019 Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Series.

The Inter-Provincial series will continue this week, weather permitting, with the Northern Knights taking on the Leinster Lightning in the 50 over competition at Stormont on Tuesday. Play is due to commence at 11 am.


Interview: Munster Red’s captain Jeremy Benton on cricket in Ireland, experiences with New Zealand

August 15th 2019 by Craig Easdown | International, Other

Interview: Munster Red’s captain Jeremy Benton on cricket in Ireland, experiences with New Zealand

Benton in action during June's T20 Festival

CORK – On the eve of his team’s trip to Bready for the latest Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Festival, New Zealand-born captain of the Munster Reds Jeremy Benton, talked about his cricket career, his time playing cricket in Ireland and his hopes for the Festival ahead.

Benton first played club and inter-provincial cricket in Ireland in 2018. The 24-year old all-rounder believes that the T20 Festival format is an important showcase for the game and the local talent, particularly stressing the talent both within the Munster Reds squad and the local Munster region:

“I’ve enjoyed my time with the Reds, both this season as well as last. To play with guys such as Yak Ali and Max Sorensen who have been so successful in Ireland over a long period of time as well as future prospects such as Jack Tector, Stephen Doheny and David Delany has been awesome. I have been fortunate enough to have two good years at Cork County Cricket Club where you get to play against your Munster Reds/Munster Heat teammates too which is a good challenge.”

“The T20 Festival format though is a great opportunity for players such as these to play competitive cricket against Ireland’s best. With the Munster Heat’s success in the Leinster competition, it shows that there are quality cricketers in the Munster region. Players such as Senan Jones, Aaron Cawley and Diarmuid Carey have great potential which will hopefully be seen as the Reds play more Inter-Pro cricket in the future.”

“In the lead up to this Festival, the Munster local boys have been training down at Cork County with Ted Williamson, as well as with members of the Munster Heat T20 Side. We’re really fortunate with the decent facilities at the Mardyke Ground, which has helped us work hard on our T20 skills. Unfortunately the full Reds squad is not able to have full team sessions together in between festivals – it isn’t ideal but just shows how good the team is at assembling on a match day and putting out a decent display on the pitch.”

“A few boys are involved in other Inter-Provincial teams in other formats, but hopefully in years to come the Reds can have a greater involvement at this level as I think it will make a positive difference for the Munster Reds results on and off the field.”


Reds
Image: Benton bowling at the recent T20 Festival at Pembroke


The Reds were perhaps the surprise packet at the last Festival, almost toppling the defending T20 champions Leinster Lightning and competing strongly against the in-form Northern Knights. Benton said:

“The Lightning game - what a game that was! Obviously we were a bit gutted with the end result, but it was cool to be a part of and full credit to the Leinster lads on getting it over the line. Matt Ford played a fantastic innings as well as Kevin O’Brien at the top. Our top three, Cormac Hassett, Jack Tector and Stephen Doheny all batted really nicely and put a great total on the board. Max [Sorenson] was awesome with the ball along with all the other bowlers, so it was pleasing to put a performance like that on the board.”

“With the Knights, what can you say, they are a class team and will be tough to beat in Bready. We got off to the perfect start and had them about 100-5 or so at one stage. But [Mark] Adair and [Stuart] Thompson played some impressive cricket at the end of their innings and got them up to 167. For us, JJ Garth, Eddie Richardson and Maxy [Sorenson] again bowled brilliantly and I thought we were in with a real shot, but the way the Knights lads bowled showed why they’re top of the competition.”

“We’ll be going into this Festival positive, but will take it game by game. The festival format benefits us as the boys get to spend extra time with other and gel nicely as a unit. While we will discuss a few targets, plans and the style of game we want to play, off the back of a couple of wins last year and our performances at the Pembroke festival this year, we will look at ways to build on these and play our own brand of cricket.”

While Benton has played two seasons in Ireland, he is still very much involved in New Zealand cricket, and has enjoyed some international action of late:

“I have been fortunate to have been involved with a few Test matches with the Black Caps over the past couple of years. I’ve been on the field for a few times as a substitute fielder, and it was cool to be called upon in Wellington this year for the Test against Bangladesh. While the first two days of the match were rather wet, definitely the highlight was seeing [Ross] Taylor score 200 and [Henry] Nicholls batted really well for his 100 - it was nice to be able to run the drinks for that. During the game Kane Williamson and BJ Watling both picked up injuries which meant I was required for a couple days in the field. I have to say that the team environment was very welcoming - I have played with or against most of them which made it easy to slip in. But it’s pretty awesome being in the changing room seeing how they go about their work and seeing how down to earth all the team is.”

And what about that World Cup Final?

“I was pretty fortunate and got over to the majority of the Black Caps games - including the semi and THAT final. They played some awesome cricket throughout the tournament and was great to see them at the Lords against England. I guess it was such a tight match that it’s a bit tough to think about now, but definitely loved watching them play and do so well on the big stage. Hopefully they will come up against Ireland in the 2023 World Cup!”

The T20 Festival will take place from 16 to 18 August 2019 at Bready Cricket Club, with each of the six matches being livestreamed via Cricket Ireland’s Youtube channel.

More information, including fixture schedule, is here.

t20


Euro T20 Slam to be postponed until 2020

August 14th 2019 | International, Other

Euro T20 Slam to be postponed until 2020

Organisers of the Euro T20 Slam, the world’s first multinational T20 franchise tournament, have today confirmed the inaugural staging of the event will be postponed until 2020.

Prashant Mishra, speaking on behalf of the Board of the Euro T20 Slam, said:

“The Board of the Euro T20 Slam, funding partners and franchise owners of this exciting new T20 tournament have reluctantly come to the decision that staging of the event will not be possible in 2019.”

“We want to ensure that the inaugural staging of the Euro T20 Slam provides the best springboard to making this a truly flagship event on the global cricket calendar. As such, we believe the right course of action is to postpone the Slam to a further date. This will give us the necessary breathing space to ensure we are ready to go.”

“We will work with the three cricket boards, our principal investors, the franchise owners, players and other stakeholders within the game to ensure we fulfil any commitments we have made to the extent possible. We want to ensure the goodwill and integrity that we have built up rolls on into 2020.”

Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland, said:

“We are deeply disappointed with the decision, however, fully empathise with the rationale that has led to the tournament’s postponement. The excitement and energy that the Euro T20 Slam had generated since it was announced has demonstrated a high level of interest amongst the Irish public in seeing world-class cricket hosted here in Ireland. We hope that that interest will carry on until 2020 when the Slam will finally get underway.”

“We would like to acknowledge the enormous work that has gone into planning for the Slam behind the scenes – the clubs, the local councils, business partners and sponsors, and the many, many hours put in by staff in Cricket Ireland, Cricket Scotland and KNCB to support this undertaking. All of this groundwork is not in vain, as it will be the bedrock on which we support the event next year.”

“We will continue to engage with the event organisers to ensure all commitments are met to their fullest extent, including any receivables owing to Cricket Ireland itself. We will additionally be seeking increased comfort that the organisers will be able to avoid a repeat of this year’s challenges in future editions.”

Malcolm Cannon, Chief Executive of Cricket Scotland, said:

“While this was a very difficult decision to make at this late stage, we believe that it is the right one and one which leaves us with a great opportunity to launch the Euro T20 Slam next year with its deserved noise level.”

“Cricket Scotland has no regrets about trying to find innovative ways to drive cricket forward, popularise the game, and attract more investment into the sport.  Indeed, the interest shown in the Slam since its launch has proved to us here in Scotland that there is a huge appetite for this type of event and for Scottish sports fans to get to see international superstars playing with and against our homegrown talent.”

“We look forward greatly to working with our clubs, our fans, our players and our coaching staff to further leverage the excellent work done to date in preparation for the Slam.”

Betty Timmer, Chair of KNCB, said:

“As said, it is extremely disappointing that the Euro T20 Slam is not going ahead in 2019. With the scheduled opening games only two weeks away the KNCB was looking forward to this exciting new event that would have brought cricket much closer to the Dutch fans.”

“The KNCB feels for everyone involved and for all the hard work that have put in by so many people in The Netherlands and the other countries. We give our full support and hope for a successful event next year.”


Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Festival to be livestreamed

August 14th 2019 | International, Other

Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Festival to be livestreamed

The Northern Knights top the T20 table so far in 2019

BREADY - The second Test Triangle Inter-Provincial T20 Festival of the season will be livestreamed, bringing three-days of action-packed cricket to the fans worldwide. The livestream will begin on Friday morning (Irish time) and cover the six matches being played across the three-day event.

The fixtures

The Festival schedule is as follows:

T20

 

The squads

The squads are:

North West Warriors
A McBrine (c), W Porterfield, S Thompson, C Young, D Rankin, A Gillespie, G Kennedy, W Smale, G Hume, R Allen, D Scanlon, M Poskitt, R MacBeth.

Northern Knights
Gary Wilson (c), Harry Tector (vc), Mark Adair, James Cameron-Dow, David Delany, Marc Ellison, Shane Getkate, Alex Haggan, Graham McCarter, James McCollum, Jacob Mulder, Neil Rock, Greg Thompson.

Leinster Lightning
To be named.

Munster Reds
Jeremy Benton (c), Cormac Hassett, Yakoob Ali, Ru Jones, Seanan Jones, Jack Tector, Stephen Doheny, Nicolaas Pretorious, Oliver Metcalfe, Eddie Richardson, Nathan McGuire, Gregory McFall, Jarred Barnes.

Livestream details

The livestream will be via Cricket Ireland Youtube channel in partnership with HBV Studios.

Links to the livestream will be posted on Cricket Ireland’s social media channels each morning of the Festival.


Change of venue notification

August 14th 2019 | International, Other

DUBLIN – The Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Cup match between Leinster Lightning and North West Warriors on 22 August 2019 will move from Merrion Cricket Club to North County Cricket Club.

The change of venue results from the outfield at the Anglesea Road ground not recovering sufficiently from the impact of its involvement as part of the recent Dublin Horse Show.

We would like to thank North County Cricket Club for accommodating this change of venue.


REGISTER NOW - Two new coaching courses will shortly be rolled out, register your interest today!

August 14th 2019 | International, Coaching

Coaching

NEW! We’re shortly launching two new cricket coaching courses:

  1. Coaching Kids (5-11 years)
  2. Coaching Cricket (all ages)

These courses are for anyone interested in cricket coaching. No prior experience required.

Register interest here: http://bit.ly/Coaching_Courses

 

ECB Level 2 Coaching Course – Applications Open

Applications are also now open for the 2019-2020 ECB Level 2 coaching course to be held in Belfast. The course information and application form can be downloaded here.
Please note that places on the course are strictly limited. Applications close no later than 15 September 2019.

 

 


Ireland Women power to 9-wicket victory, set a new partnership record for second time in three days

August 14th 2019 | International, Women

Ireland Women power to 9-wicket victory, set a new partnership record for second time in three days

Gaby Lewis hit 65* from 39 balls

DEVENTER, Holland - Ireland Women’s cricket team has powered to a 9-wicket victory over Scotland in their last T20 International of the current series in Holland, and in the process set a new partnership record that was only set two days ago.

After losing the toss, Ireland found themselves in the field on a pitch that appeared far more batter-friendly than yesterday. To prove the point, the Scots got off to a flyer and led by captain Sarah Bryce they had registered 56-0 in only the 8th over.

However, the first wicket signalled a turning of the tide, when Ireland captain Laura Delany struck with the ball by removing Scottish opener Lorna Jack LBW for 17.

The Scots then found scoring more difficult, and with a clever rotation of bowlers, regular wickets began to fall. Led by a series of breakthroughs by Lara Maritz (3-4 from 3 overs) – which included being on a hat-trick at one point - the Scots lost 5-14 and looked to be squandering their positive start.

A late flurry of runs in the last three overs got the Scottish side to a reasonably competitive total of 126-7, a total they could defend but 30 to 40 runs below what they were hoping for after their start.

The Irish response was positive, rapid and relentless. While Rebecca Stokell fell for 10 in the third over, Gaby Lewis (65* off 39 balls) an Kim Garth (47* off 33 balls) hit out. The pair put on an unbeaten 113 runs for the second wicket, which is a new record partnership in T20I cricket for Ireland Women, bettering the 112-run previous record set only on Monday, which also involved Lewis.


Impressively the 113-run stand was from just 65 balls and involved 17 boundaries struck between the pair.

The winning runs, a four to deep mid-wicket, was struck by Garth off the first ball of the 14th over and gave Ireland a nine-wicket win with 41 balls to spare.

As a further positive for Ed Joyce’s squad to take from recent matches is that the now three highest partnerships in T20 Internationals for any wicket for Ireland Women have been set in the last three months (see), showing signs of great progress within the batting unit.

The squad now returns to Ireland and will prepare for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament that starts on 31 August 2019. The schedule for the Qualifier was recently released, and Ireland will face Namibia, Netherlands and Thailand in the group stage.

SUMMARY SCORECARD

Ireland Women v Scotland Women, T20 International, Deventer, 14 August 2019

  Scotland Women 126-7 (20 overs; S Bryce 49; L Maritz 3-4)
  Ireland Women 130-1 (13.1 overs; G Lewis 65*, K Garth 47*)

  Ireland Women won by 9 wickets

See full scorecard here.

 


REPORT: North West Warriors with slim lead after Leinster Lightning strike back

August 13th 2019 | International, Other

REPORT: North West Warriors with slim lead after Leinster Lightning strike back

The Warriors celebrate an early wicket on Day Two

DUBLIN - The North West Warriors hold a 37-run lead with one wicket in hand after a day that saw the advantage swing from one side to the other, before - like on Day One - an afternoon shower cut play short.

After limping into Day Two of this Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Championship match on 117-8, the North West Warrior took less than three overs to take the final two scalps and condemned Leinster Lightning to its lowest ever all-out team score in first-class cricket.

By contrast, the visitors from the North West began well and made batting look easy with a well-paced and positive first session. Test captain William Porterfield led the way, and in partnership with Ross Allen the pair registered a 52-run opening stand in just over 11 overs. Porterfield was then joined by Aaron Gillespie who together built a second consecutive half-century partnership - taking the score to 105-1 just after lunch.

Looking in complete control, the Lightning side then found their mojo and a Barry McCarthy led fightback saw the home side claim 6-12 in a 10-over burst. The Warriors had fallen from 105-1 to 119-7 and McCarthy had claimed four wickets through a more disciplined line and length - two LBWs and two wickets caught at first slip were testament to the danger he posed once he found his radar.


Craig Young
Image: Craig Young claimed an impressive 4-26 in the first innings

While wickets tumbled, at the other end Porterfield kept his head down and continued to compile runs, sweeping his 90th ball to the boundary for four to bring up another first-class half-century.

After a 42-run eighth-wicket stand between Porterfield and Graham Hume (20) that saw the Warriors take first innings honours, the Lightning claimed two late wickets - including McCarthy’s fifth wicket, his third five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Just after the fall of the ninth wicket, with the score on 168, rain started to fall and play was unable to resume for the rest of the day. Porterfield was left to wait overnight on the verge of his 12th first-class century with a patient 95* from 192 balls.

While the Warriors dominated the first session of the day with the bat, the Lightning will be pleased with their comeback, particularly McCarthy - whose 5-51 came from 19 overs - well supported by Simi Singh who bowled with miserly intent claiming 2-36 from 25 overs, featuring an incredible 11 maidens.

After a hard-fought second day, the Warriors head into Day Three tomorrow with a slender 37-run lead with one wicket in hand.

  >>> See full scorecard here.

 


DRAW: Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 Semi-Finals

August 13th 2019 | International, Other

DRAW: Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 Semi-Finals

The Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 semi-finals and final are to be held on Sunday 25 August 2019. Here is the draw for the semi-final berths for this year’s competition.

The Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 Cup began in 2017. The competition features the winners of the four Provincial T20 club competitions who play two semi-finals followed by a final.

The official competition hashtag is: #AIT20

The 2019 semi-finals will start at 11am, and be held concurrently at Stormont and CIYMS in Belfast. The two winners will then progress to the final at Stormont starting at 4pm.

NB: The North West Cricket Union’s representative will be decided after a play-off match between Brigade and Donemana on Thursday 15 August 2019.

After the draw was conducted at Cricket Ireland’s Offices, the semi-finals are:

 

Download this presentation in PDF

Good luck to all teams and thanks as always to the Sunday Independent for their ongoing support for Irish cricket.

Past Winners

2018 Waringstown beat Clontarf by 7 runs.
2017 Clontarf beat Waringstown by 10 runs.


Ireland Women fall to Thailand in rain-reduced encounter

August 13th 2019 | International, Women

Ireland Women fall to Thailand in rain-reduced encounter

Ireland Women went down in a rain-affected match today against Thailand

DEVENTER, Holland - The Ireland Women’s cricket team has been defeated by Thailand for the second time in a week - both in rain-reduced encounters.

After winning the toss, Ireland batted first in conditions that had been heavily affected by overnight rains. Scoring was going to be at a premium, and the Irish side’s effort was not helped by the early loss of yesterday’s batting hero Gaby Lewis. Lewis had set the match ablaze in yesterday’s encounter with Netherlands hitting 71, but today she missed a slower, full-pitched ball and was bowled for 2.

Rebecca Stokell (16) and Kim Garth (17) looked to get the innings back on track pushing the score to 36-1 in the seventh over, but the loss of both batters in the space of two overs saw Ireland teetering on 44-3 in the ninth over.

Mary Waldron (21) and captain Laura Delany (22) made headway in trying to score at a run a ball, but the loss of Waldron with the score on 77 saw Ireland lose five wickets for 10 runs, and by the time rain intervened in the 17th over, Ireland was 87-8. The downpour brought the Irish innings to a premature close, and a readjusted DLS target of 64 was set for Thailand from 11 overs.


Despite tight bowling by Celeste Raack (0-9 from 3 overs) and two wickets to Sophie MacMahon (2-13), the Thai side looked in control of the run chase and eventually passed the target with a six, winning the match with four balls to spare.

The Irish side will go into tomorrow’s last T20I of the series against Scotland knowing that they will need an improved performance with the bat will be needed to defeat the Wildcats, who comfortably beat the in-form Thailand yesterday.

  >> See full scorecard here.


REPORT: North West Warriors take upper-hand in rain-hit first day

August 12th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International

REPORT: North West Warriors take upper-hand in rain-hit first day

Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin in action

DUBLIN - The North West Warriors have the advantage after Day One of their Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Championship match against the Leinster Lightning. A brilliant display with the ball and in the field brought about early and regular wickets before the rain curtailed what had been an exciting day of cricket.

Under bright skies at North County Cricket Club, the Lightning captain George Dockrell won the toss and elected to bat first. However, the North West Warriors bowling in the opening exchanges was brilliant with Craig Young and Graham Hume bowling and tight line and length. Young struck early, bowling the in-form Jack Tector without scoring, and soon after Hume took the big wicket of Andy Balbirnie, caught by David Rankin. The Lightning suddenly found themselves 9-2 and in a bit of early bother.

The pressure did not relent from the Warriors bowling, with Graham Kennedy being introduced into the attack to continue the squeeze. Kennedy struck immediately, getting Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin to edge behind to first-class debutant, 18-year old Will Smale. Stephen Doheny and Simi Singh had to fight back for the Lightning, and they did so, working hard for their runs and cashing in on the odd bad ball that was served up. However, Doheny fell when he nicked behind off the returning Hume for 16. Singh was joined by Lorcan Tucker and they went about trying to push the score along.

Just as the two of them were getting settled, the Warriors managed to break the partnership once again. Singh tried to push a single to mid-on but was caught short by a brilliant piece of fielding from William Porterfield, who affected the run-out. George Dockrell was then in and out before lunch-time, with his dismissal to Ryan McBeth signalled lunch, with the Lightning teetering on 94-6.

In the short spell of play after lunch, it was a similar result to previous to the break, with the Warriors’ bowlers pressure yielding more wickets. Tucker and Barry McCarthy both fell in consecutive deliveries to Young - both of whom edged behind to Smale, who ended the day with five catches behind the stumps. However, with the score at 117-8, the umpires decided to take the players off due to rain, and they weren’t to return all day.

Play is set to resume tomorrow in North County Cricket Club tomorrow at 11am weather permitting.

  >> See full scorecard here.


National Heritage Week: Cricket in Meath 1900-1930

August 12th 2019 | International, Other

National Heritage Week: Cricket in Meath 1900-1930

Historian Jim Gilligan looks at the popularity of cricket in Meath prior to the emergence of the GAA, in a talk entitled ‘Too Long has the Saxon Cricket Held Sway’ - Cricket in Meath 1900-1930.

Date: 21 August 2019
Time: 8pm - 9pm
Venue: Horace Plunkett ICA Guild Dunsany, Co. Meath
Web: https://www.heritageweek.ie/whats-on/event/cricket-in-meath-1900-1930
Cost: Free
Further Information: 046 9079655 / donohoejd@gmail.com

heritage


Ireland Women’s record-breaking day cut short by rain

August 12th 2019 | International, Women

Ireland Women’s record-breaking day cut short by rain

Gaby Lewis and Orla Prendergast set a record partnership for any wicket

DEVENTER, Holland - Ireland Women’s cricket team’s parade was well-and-truly rained on today, but not before the side registered several records and personal milestones against Netherlands Women.

Winning the toss, captain Laura Delany chose to bat first against the home side, and her decision was seemingly justified from the second ball when opener Gaby Lewis punched a drive through the covers to the boundary for four. Lewis, and her fellow opener Orla Prendergast, didn’t take the foot off the pedal as they powered to a 112-run opening stand from just 58 balls.

Lewis (71) was the main aggressor, bringing up her second ever T20 International half-century with a pull shot behind square for four. Her innings, which included 4 x sixes and 6 x fours, was from just 41 balls. This was Lewis’ highest T20 International score, having passed her defining 61 against New Zealand in 2018.


At the other end, 17-year old Prendergast, in only her third international appearance, was no slouch registering 38 from just 26 balls (5 x fours), playing the foil to Lewis but still ticking along at a strike rate of 146.

The pair’s opening partnership of 112 was the highest partnership for any wicket for Ireland Women in T20 Internationals, and set the tone for the remainder of the innings.

After losing both openers, and Leah Paul for a breezy 14 from 6 balls, the Irish middle-order continued to pile on the runs. Rebecca Stokell hit 36 from 24 balls (her highest international score) and Mary Waldron registered 31* from 22 balls, leading Ireland Women past 200 for the first time in T20 Internationals.

The eventual total of 213-4 from 20 overs was Ireland Women’s highest T20 International team score, the second highest T20 International team score for Ireland (men or women), and the seventh highest team score in women’s T20 International history.

After just 2.4 overs of the response, unfortunately rain intervened and the match was eventually abandoned.

Following two tight losses on the trot, Ed Joyce’s side will be extremely pleased with the way they have responded today and go into a tough encounter with the in-form Thailand side tomorrow at 10am (Irish time).


See full scorecard here.


Five nation T20 series announced in lead up to World Cup Qualifier

August 12th 2019 | International

Five nation T20 series announced in lead up to World Cup Qualifier

Paul Stirling in action against Oman earlier in 2019

DUBLIN – Ireland Men’s cricket team will participate in a five-nation T20 series in Oman in the immediate lead-up to the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier – pitting the side against three other nations also aiming for World Cup qualification.

The series, set to be played from 5-10 October 2019, will also involve hosts Oman, Nepal, Netherlands and Hong Kong. Each side will play four T20 Internationals before they head to the United Arab Emirates for the 2019 ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier. The Qualifier event is being held to decide the final six sides who will advance to the 2020 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia from 18 October–15 November 2020.

While the Ireland squad for the Qualifier is set to be selected next month, Head Coach Graham Ford believes there have been strong signs of progress in Ireland in the T20 format:

“I’m very pleased to see this pre-Qualifier warm-up series announced - it’s not only important for our squad to play competitive T20 cricket before the World Cup Qualifier, but to do so in similar conditions to the UAE will be a crucial part of our preparations.”

“We have put a lot of work into improving our T20 skills over the last two years and I think we’re starting to see the benefits of that work. Many of the players have grown impressively as cricketers and I feel that as a team there are exciting signs of progress.”

“While it’s true that we haven’t played as much international T20 cricket as we would have liked over the past 12 months, what we have at the international and domestic level has really demonstrated the potential of the squad – we now need to focus on the task at hand and give ourselves the best shot at world cup qualification.”

For Irish interest, the encounter against Hong Kong on 7 October will be the first occasion former Ireland captain Trent Johnston will coach a side against his former international side, having taken up the Head Coach role for the Asian side last month.


Ireland
Image: Ireland played in Oman for the first time in early 2019

The fixtures

Two games will be played per day at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Muscat, Oman. All times local to the ground.

Saturday 5 October 2019
o 9.30am: Oman v Hong Kong
o 2.30pm: Ireland v Netherlands

Sunday 6 October 2019
o 9.30am: Oman v Ireland
o 2.30pm: Nepal v Hong Kong

Monday 7 October
o 9.30am: Netherlands v Nepal
o 2.30pm: Hong Kong v Ireland

Tuesday 8 October 2019
o Rest day      

Wednesday 9 October 2019
o 9.30am: Ireland v Nepal
o 2.30pm: Oman v Netherlands

Thursday 10 October 2019
o 9.30am: Netherlands v Hong Kong
o 2.30pm: Oman v Nepal

 


Ireland Women fall to tight Scotland defeat

August 10th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International, Women, Other

Ireland Women fall to tight Scotland defeat

Ireland Women will play the Netherlands on Monday

Ireland Women fell to their second close defeat in two days, by losing out to Scotland Women by 11 runs in a tight game at Salland Cricket Club in the Netherlands.

Having lost the toss, Ireland were in the field first, but started their effort with the ball in fine style. It was once again Eimear Richardson causing early problems for the Scottish batters, she struck to remove Sarah Bryce in just the second over. Lara Maritz soon followed up with the wicket of Becky Glen right at the conclusion of the powerplay, with the 6 over stint ending at 24-2.

Scotland began to rebuild in the middle section of the innings and did so successfully, however the bowling was still very tight from the Ireland bowlers. Maritz came back to strike again to dismiss Chatterji, while Richardson was brought back and immediately struck to dismiss Scholes and Wilson in the same over, with the score creeping up towards 100. Thanks to Lorna Jack’s 32, Scotland did manage to get over the 100 mark, finishing with 105-6 from their 20 overs.

The Ireland chase didn’t start too well as Leah Paul was adjudged to be LBW early on. However, Gaby Lewis and Kim Garth, steadied the ship and gave the Irish a good start, bringing the score up to 30-1 in the process. But Lewis fell to a great piece of fielding to be dismissed run out, and that was a big turning point in the game. Garth was joined by Una Raymond-Hoey and they continued to push the score along, but scoring was becoming tougher and the run rate was beginning to climb to above a run a ball.

The pressure told on Garth, who having scored a very good 30, fell trying to push the score along. Laura Delany joined Raymond-Hoey, but through some excellent Scottish bowling, they were falling behind the run rate. It went down to needing 28 from the last two overs, but the runs were very hard to come by on a wearing pitch. Four wickets falling in the final two overs as running and shot selection was trying to secure a victory for Ireland, but it wasn’t to be. Ireland finishing up on 94-7, losing out by 11 runs.

Tomorrow the team will have a rest day before returning to action on Monday against the Netherlands, action starting at 3.30 PM local time, 2.30 PM Irish time.

Link to Scorecard


Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Final date change

August 10th 2019 | International, Other

Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Final date change

Defending champions Waringstown will face Pembroke

DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today confirmed a change of date for the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Final between Waringstown and Pembroke – the new date will be Saturday 24 August 2019.

While the date and venue for the peak All-Ireland club cricket competition was confirmed in April 2019, the subsequent emergence of the Euro T20 Slam has meant that a singular date clash arose where five players involved in the Slam would not be able to feature for their club in the Irish Senior Cup Final. Following a formal request from Pembroke Cricket Club, Cricket Ireland has consulted with both clubs, provincial unions, Cricket Committee and the host venue to confirm that a new date could be facilitated.

Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said:

“Given the busy fixture schedule at this time of year, only one reasonable date emerged that suited both clubs and the host venue. It is now confirmed that the new date for the Irish Senior Cup Final is Saturday 24 August, with all other details remaining the same.”

“Cricket Ireland believes, where feasible, Ireland’s premier club cricket competition should ideally feature teams with their best players involved. Accordingly, we have worked quickly with a range of stakeholders within the game to coordinate this new date.”

“However, while this year has an exceptional set of circumstances and we have been fortunate to find a suitable new date, such changes may not be possible in future years. With the growth of T20 franchise cricket competitions around the world, as well as our international commitments as part of the Future Tours Programme and in ICC tournaments, this will likely recur in future years. We will control what we can to avoid foreseen clashes, but there is an increasing likelihood that clubs will be without their senior internationals at various times of the year – including for Finals. This is not a unique challenge faced by Ireland – indeed, every major cricket nation deals with this reality of a global sport with growing opportunities for high profile players around the world.”

“Our thanks to the great collaboration between provincial unions, the two clubs involved, The Hills Cricket Club, match officials and Cricket Ireland staff who have responded so quickly to find and confirm the new date.”

New details – Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Final 2019


Finalists: Waringstown v Pembroke
Date: Saturday 24 August 2019
Time: start 11.30am
Venue: The Hills Cricket Club
Reserve Date: Sunday 8 September 2019 (no change)

The Final will be livestreamed via Cricket Ireland’s Youtube Channel (details will be shared on Cricket Ireland social media channels).

There is no change to the Clear Currency National Cup Final on 1 September 2019.

ISC Final


Ireland Women fall just short in tight run chase

August 9th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International, Women, Other

Ireland Women fall just short in tight run chase

Ireland fell 4 runs short of their target

Ireland Women fell just short of chasing down their target of 54 in their rain affected Quadrangular Series game against Thailand. In a game that was reduced to ten overs a side, Ireland just lost out by four runs in a tight and pulsating finish.

The start was delayed in the Netherlands due to heavy rain, which initially had reduced the game to 14 overs a side. However, after Ireland won the toss and elected to field, they were off again after just four deliveries. The bowlers run-ups were deemed too wet to keep playing and after a slip from Orla Prendergast, the players left the field. They returned half an hour later, and the game was reduced to ten overs a side.

The Irish bowling throughout the innings was tight, with not many loose balls being offered up by the bowlers. They took a few early wickets also, with Eimear Richardson striking before Shauna Kavanagh’s direct hit left Thailand 20-2 at the halfway stage. Lara Maritz got in on the action with a wicket of her own, but the Thailand batters did well late on, being able to strike at a run a ball in the final couple of overs. They lost their fourth wicket off the last ball of the innings, trying to push late runs and ending up with a comfortable run-out for Gaby Lewis from deep square-leg. Thailand had scored 54-4 from their 10 overs, which was a competitive score.

The run chase for Ireland never gained any momentum from the start, mostly down to some very canny bowling from Thailand, who were never far away with their accurate lines and lengths. They got the prize wicket of Lewis early on, before Prendergast fell to leave the side 9-2. Eimear Richardson and Shauna Kavanagh looked to rebuild but Richardson fell when trying to push the score along again, with them being 21-3. Ireland were falling behind the rate at this stage, and they lost Kavanagh for 12 and Rebecca Stokell soon after chasing quick runs.

The tight bowling restricted Ireland to needing 18 runs from the final over of their run chase. Despite a spirited effort from the side in the final over, which including scoring two boundaries, Ireland fell four runs short of their target of 55. 

Ireland will be action again tomorrow against Scotland at the same start time of 3.30 PM local time, 2.30 PM Irish Time.

Link to the scorecard here.


Richardson stars in convincing Ireland Win

August 8th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International, Women, Other

Richardson stars in convincing Ireland Win

Ireland Women beat the Netherlands Women by 79 runs

A terrific batting display, led by Eimear Richardson, propelled the Ireland Women’s side to a convincing 79 run win over the Netherlands in the first game of their Quadrangular Tournament. Richardson scored a blistering 63* before contributing 2-7 with the ball to see Ireland to a comfortable victory.

Before play, both Orla Prendergast and Hannah Little were given their first caps on International debut by their club mate, Kim Garth. Having lost the toss and being put into bat, Ireland lost Orla Prendergast early for 9. However, a customary aggressive start from Gaby Lewis had Ireland up at a good run rate and despite her departing for 26 off 16 balls, the start had been positive and had left Ireland 49-2 after the first five overs. The Dutch bowling became tight though and that led to two further quick wickets, which left the Irish side with a bit of rebuilding to do.

This is when Eimear Richardson strode to the crease to join Leah Paul and these two set about rebuilding and pressing on in the innings. Richardson was by and large the aggressor, while Paul played a canny supporting role as the two ticked along at seven and eight an over during the middle period. They brought the score from 63-4 to 140-4, where Paul fell for 26 trying to add late order runs. Mary Waldron came in to be the foil for Richardson, who brought up her fifty off just 36 balls, which was her first T20I fifty for Ireland, and the two pressed hard in the last three overs of the innings.

They did so effectively to finish the Irish innings on 169-5, which seemed like a big score at the halfway stage. Richardson finished on 63* from 41 balls, while Waldron contributed a more than useful 14*.

The target of 170 was always going to be a daunting one for the Netherlands, but Ireland still had to bowl well to ensure it was going to be as hard as possible to get to. A tight first few overs yielded the wicket of Rijke for 3 off Richardson’s first delivery. It was spin that was seemingly doing the trick for Ireland, with Raack getting a wicket in her first over also, trapping Van Arkel infront for 3, to leave the Netherland 29-2.

Their third wicket pair of wicketkeeper, De Leede and captain, Post, dug in and rebuilt the Netherlands innings. However, the bowling was always tight and they could never built up too much momentum at the crease. They brought the score to 73 before the returning Orla Prendergast took her first two international wickets by dismissing the pair of set batters. In the following two overs, a few late wickets confined the Netherlands to 90-7 from their 20 overs. Leaving them 79 runs short of the target.

It was a brilliant all-round display from the Irish side and a perfect way to start this quadrangular tournament with a confidence boosting performance. They are back in action tomorrow against Thailand at 3.30 PM local time, which is around 2.30 PM in Ireland.

Full Scorecard here


Waringstown and Pembroke advance to Irish Senior Cup Final

August 5th 2019 | International, Other

Waringstown and Pembroke advance to Irish Senior Cup Final

Waringstown will play Pembroke in this year's final

Waringstown have made it to their fifth consecutive Irish Senior Cup Final after a dramatic win against CIYMS in their semi-final. In the other semi-final, Pembroke produced a more routine victory after beating Phoenix by seven wickets out in the Phoenix Park.

CIYMS vs Waringstown

Waringstown have developed a brilliant knack of winning matches in this competition, and this being their fifth consecutive final is a testament to the side they’ve brought through. However, they will have not faced a more difficult test to get through to the final then this game. Having been inserted into bat by Waringstown, early going for the CIYMS side was hard, with runs hard to come by due to some very tight bowling. Matchett and Obus Pienaar fell to leave CIYMS 40-2. Chris Dougherty continued to grind out runs, and while joined with Nigel Jones, they both pushed the score along to 97. Dougherty brought up his fifty but fell shortly after, and this was quickly followed by the wickets of Jones and the key wicket of Mark Adair. McCallan struck to get rid of Hunter soon after, but Jason Van Der Merwe played a brilliant innings, scoring a run a ball 48. He combined with late runs from Jacob Mulder (22), James Cameron-Dow (16*) and Trevor Britton 12* combining to get CIYMS up to a respectable 206-8 from their fifty overs. The bowling was tight and was showcased by Haseeb Azam’s 1-7 from his 10 overs. Kyle McCallan also took 3-31.

It was always going to be a nervy run chase for Waringstown in this situation, with so much at stake. Mark Adair struck early to dismiss James Hall for 7. Adam Dennison and James McCollum came together and batted well, but it was tough going and runs were very hard to come by. Dennison was determined but he lost McCollum when he departed to Cameron-Dow for 33. Lee Nelson joined up with Dennison, who was playing the anchor role, but Nelson departed for 20. However, the big wicket fell soon after when Cameron-Dow struck to dismiss Dennison, just after he registered his fifty. Thompson and McClean fell after making starts which brought Azam and McCallan to the crease, still with 60 runs required. This equation narrowed down to needing 8 runs in the last deliveries with McCallan on strike. Waringstown needed a hero, and they got one. McCallan swung Pienaar away for six, before hitting a boundary off the last ball. It sparked scenes of delirium from the Waringstown faithful.

Phoenix vs Pembroke

It was a more routine victory for Pembroke as they put in a great display with the ball and in the field against a strong Phoenix batting order. It was largely down to the opening spell of Barry McCarthy. The Irish paceman showed his quality while removing the two prize wickets of Simi Singh and Ben Beecroft, both without scoring to leave Phoenix in early trouble. He then struck twice again in three balls to get rid of Adam Chester and James Maginnis in the ninth over. Nicolaas Pretorius and Poonish Mehta attempted to rebuild on the start that had left at 16-4. However, having made a good 48, Pretorius fell to Jack Balbirnie. Poonish Mehta then was dismissed by Shaheen Khan, who came back late in the innings to finish off the late order. He took the wickets of Mehta, Louis McDonagh, Amish Sidhu and Matt Lunson in a devastating spell of fast bowling. He finished with figures for 4-14, while McCarthy got 4-13 himself in a brilliant performance from the twin fast bowlers. Phoenix dismissed for 136.

Pembroke would have wanted a good start to their chase to make sure in the run chase. It was a solid but circumspect before Jack Balbirnie fell for 7. Fiachra Tucker was joined by Andy Balbirnie and they began to motor the chase for the Sandymount side. Tucker was beginning to get going when he was dismissed for 29, caught behind off Sidhu. However, this just bring Lorcan Tucker into join Balbirnie and these two broke the back of the chase. Balbirnie played a lovely 54 from 46 balls before he fell to Matt Lunson. Theo Lawson came in to join Tucker and these two brought Pembroke over the line, with Tucker finishing 41* including a six to win the game. Pembroke getting to their first Irish Senior Cup final courtesy of a seven wicket win.

So Waringstown will play Pembroke in the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Final on the 31st August.

 


Railway Union and Ardmore advance to Clear Currency National Cup Final

August 5th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International, Other

Railway Union and Ardmore advance to Clear Currency National Cup Final

Ardmore will play Railway Union in the final

Ardmore and Railway Union are through to the Final of the Clear Currency National Cup Final as they both won their semi-finals over Terenure and Derriaghy respectively. Hamza Maan and Peet Pienaar were the hero’s for their sides.

Derriaghy vs Railway Union

Railway got through to the Final in very decisive manner. The Sandymount side put in an extremely efficient display in the field after losing the toss up in Belfast. The good work was started off with quick early wickets for Chad Laycock, the young South African currently on exchange with Railway accounted for both openers. Derriaghy struggled to gain any momentum in their batting innings, with Daniel Poulton’s 20 the only real score of note. Hamza Maan was again the main danger in the Railway attack, his leg spin which had yielded a fine five wicket haul in the quarter-final, was shown again to great effect with a spell of 4-12 from his six overs. He was able to bowl in tandem with Hashir Sultan, who also bowled very effectively as the Derriaghy batting crumbled under the pressure of some very good bowling. Derriaghy eventually falling for 83 in the 27th over.

The run chase for Railway should have been straight forward, and it proved to be so due to a very aggressive approach from the Railway top order. Glenn Querl and Kenny Carroll both hit early boundaries to settle any nerves that may have been lingering. Despite Curtis Moorhead’s best efforts in removing the two openers for 21 and 16 respectively. There was simply too much to do from a Derriaghy point of view. Especially when Irish stalwart Kevin O’Brien walked to the crease at number 4. He struck a dismissive 32 not out from 16 balls in partnership with Alex Stiles to bring Railway over the line, chasing the 84 runs in the 12th over.

Ardmore vs Terenure

It was a remarkable hundred from Peet Pienaar which inspired Ardmore to victory in the other semi-final with them running out comfortable winners against Terenure. Having been inserted by the travelling Terenure side, Pienaar played with remarkable fluency as he struck a terrific 106 from 95 balls. In doing so, he hit twelve 4’s and cleared the ropes five times. He built a terrific platform for Ardmore, with everyone else able to play around his knock, Decker Curry added a valuable 33, and Paul McDowell 25, while Jared Wilson blasted 26 off 18 balls late in the innings to added further impatis. The Terenure bowlers stuck at it, with Patrick Ryan taking 3-47 from 7 overs, but the finish score of 289-8 was always going to be a big ask to chase down.

Terenure started off their chase in fine style with Jack Webster hitting an impressive 26 off 16 balls to start off the innings. Kenny McDonald (32) and Mick Cotter (15) brought things along for Terenure but when both of them departed in quick succession, Terenure were left on 77-4. Young Terenure talent Seamus Lynch came together with captain, Donal Vaughan and they both gave Terenure a glimpse of hope in the run chase. Lynch scored a run a ball 52, while Vaughan added 55 from 43 balls. However, it was clumps of wickets that was to be the undoing of Terenure. In fact, after the dismissal of these two, the innings crumbled from 186-5 to 192 all out, leaving them 97 runs short. The bowling efforts from Ardmore were split, with three wickets apiece for Decker Curry, Jared Wilson and Lee Brolly.

The final between the Railway Union and Ardmore is due to be played on the Sunday 1st September.

 


Boyd Rankin to join Derbyshire for Vitality Blast

August 2nd 2019 | International

Boyd Rankin to join Derbyshire for Vitality Blast

Rankin will play in the Vitality Blast

DUBLIN - Cricket Ireland has today confirmed that Ireland international Boyd Rankin will play for Derbyshire County Cricket Club for the remainder of the Vitality Blast competition.

The 35-year old paceman is centrally-contracted by Ireland and currently playing Inter-Provincial first-class cricket for the North West Warriors but will link up with the Falcons immediately as an overseas player and will be available for tomorrow’s match against Northants Steelbacks.

Rankin won the English Twenty20 competition in 2014, claiming 14 wickets at an average of 20.00 to help Warwickshire claim the title. He has taken 89 wickets in 77 Twenty20 matches throughout his T20 career at an average of 21.39, with career-best figures of 4-9. 

Standing at 6’8”, Rankin joins a pace attack already containing Ravi Rampaul and Logan van Beek, both of whom have also played cricket at international level. 

Cricket Ireland submitted a No Objection Certificate this week, effectively permitting Rankin to sign up with Derbyshire. Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said:

“This is an important year for the Ireland Men’s international team with the T20 World Cup Qualifier approaching in October. This opportunity adds immensely to Boyd’s preparations for the Qualifier and will take him through to the end of August, when he will then join the Belfast Titans in the Euro T20 Slam.”

“We would like to sincerely thank the North West Warriors coaching staff for their support in making the decision to release an important player for the remainder of their season, and recognising the opportunity for one of our key players to be on peak form by the time of a key event to hopefully put us back on the world stage.”

Head of Cricket at Derbyshire, Dave Houghton said:

“We have been looking for an additional fast bowler to strengthen our current squad for the T20. Boyd has international experience and will fit in well with the bowlers that we already have. With the pace and bounce that he generates, he will bring a new dimension and give us that bit extra.”

“We would like to thank Cricket Ireland for their positive response and support in helping to make this happen.”

Boyd Rankin said:

“I’m pleased to have joined Derbyshire for the Vitality Blast. I’ve always enjoyed T20, it’s such an exciting format and I can’t wait to get going. I am very familiar with the club having played here previously and I know that the supporters are right behind the players, so hopefully we can put in some good performances and get wins on the board.”


Squad named for Under-15s Boys Scotland tour and training camp

August 2nd 2019 | International, Youth

Squad named for Under-15s Boys Scotland tour and training camp

The Under-15s Boys had a good Celtic Cup campaign in 2018 - can they repeat it?

DUBLIN - The Ireland Under-15s Boys squad will travel to Scotland next week for a three-match series with Scotland, including two 50-over matches and a T20 match.

Callum Atkinson, Head Coach of the Under-15s, said:

“After a successful trip to Middlesex, we are looking forward to competing for the Celtic Cup in Scotland next week. The four games against Middlesex and Berkshire have been good preparation leading into next week where we took plenty of positives and learnings. The squad met last week for a camp at the High Performance Centre which allowed us to focus on preparation for Scotland. The Celtic Cup is always a close contest and will be a good challenge for our Under 15s.”

The squad

• Eoin Birch (Balbriggan)
• Raymond Curry (Bonds Glen)
• Matthew Daly (Waringstown)
• Wilhelm de Klerk (YMCA)
• Rory Ellerby (Instonians)
• Jamie Forbes (YMCA)
• Daniel Forkin (Merrion)
• Corin Kyte (Eglinton)
• Scott MacBeth (St. Johnston)
• James Rose (Instonians)
• Ahmed Shah (Phoenix)
• Sam Topping (Waringstown)
• Luke Whelan (North County)

The fixtures

• 6 August: Ireland U15 vs Scotland U15 (50 over)
• 7 August: Ireland U15 vs Scotland U15 (50 over)
• 9 August: Ireland U15 vs Scotland U15 (20 over)


Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Semi-Finals Preview

August 2nd 2019 | International, Other

Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Semi-Finals Preview

Can Waringstown continue its dominance in this competition?

The Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Draw for the Semi-Final stage has left us with two intriguing games between very well-matched sides. Defending champions, Waringstown snuck through into the semi-finals after coming out on top 2-1 vs Instonians in a bowl out to advance to the next round.

CIYMS vs Waringstown - Belmont

Waringstown, who have won the last two renewals of this competition, having beaten Merrion in the final last year, will have to travel to CIYMS to take their place in this year’s final. Waringstown’s road through to the final hasn’t been easy, with the bowl out win following a tense two-run win against Malahide on DLS in the previous round. However, they have shown great resolve to get through again and it’s a massive testament to the club to keep performing and producing in this competition every year. They will have James McCollum returning to bolster their top order, while the likes of Greg Thompson and Lee Nelson have been heavily influential in their previous rounds.

They will have their work cut out against a strong CIYMS side, who have taken three Leinster province scalps in North County, Merrion and Leinster in their previous rounds. CIYMS bolster an extremely strong bowling line-up which includes Mark Adair, James Cameron-Dow, Allen Coulter, Jacob Mulder and overseas professional, Obus Pienaar. Pienaar also can contribute with the bat alongside Leinster Lightning coach, Nigel Jones and Chris Dougherty in what is a very well rounded side. With the home advantage, CIYMS will be looking to make sure that Waringstown don’t make it to yet another Irish Senior Cup Final.

Phoenix vs Pembroke - Phoenix Park

The other semi-final is between two Leinster clubs with Phoenix hosting Pembroke in another big game for both sides. Phoenix did well to claim an away win over Carrickfergus in the quarter-final stage, and means that they have defeated three Northern sides in the competition, having already beaten Eglinton and Bready in the previous rounds. Phoenix’s team is greatly enhanced by Simi Singh, who adds both destructive batting and clever bowling to the side. Ben Beecroft has also been in good form this year having come over for the summer from New Zealand, while Poonish Mehta and Amish Sidhu have both contributed a lot with bat and ball this season.

Pembroke got through to the semi-final with a three wicket win over CSNI, where Shaheen Khan was the man mostly responsible for getting Pembroke over the line in the run chase. However, Pembroke have managed to get through to the semi-final without regularly having their full team out. They will be very hopeful that for the semi-final, they will be able to secure the services of Andy Balbirnie, while the likes of Josh Little and Barry McCarthy are returning for the crucial part of the season. When you add these players to a side that has a very strong core, including three Tucker brothers, two Lawson brothers, and Jack Balbirnie, younger brother of Andy, it certainly is a family affair down in Sydney Parade. It should be another very tightly contested semi-final between two very good sides.

The two semi-finals are due to be played this weekend on Sunday the 4th of August, with a reserve day on the 11th of August if it is needed.


IPC Day Three: Singh brilliance not quite enough to force result

August 2nd 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International

IPC Day Three: Singh brilliance not quite enough to force result

The Knights teetered but held on to force a draw

A superb all-round display from Simi Singh wasn’t quite enough to get Leinster Lightning over the line on the final day of their Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Championship game with Northern Knights, with the game finishing drawn between the two sides.

Leinster Lightning resumed the final day on 159-3 and would have been looking for a solid start to the day. They weren’t to receive one as Josh Manley bowled very well in the opening part of the morning. He struck to dismiss McLoughlin-Gavin, after just adding four more runs to his overnight score of 82. He then rattled Kevin O’Brien’s stumps first ball via an inside edge to leave the Lightning on 164-5. When David Delany disturbed George Dockrell’s off stump a few overs later, the Leinster side appeared to be in trouble.

Tyrone Kane came to join Singh and they brought the Lightning back into the game, both of them batting quickly and counter-attacked the Knights bowling with great skill. Singh passed fifty at nearly a run a ball. Kane scored a very entertaining 28 before he was trapped LBW by Matthew Foster. Barry McCarthy joined Singh and these two were to put on quick runs for the eighth wicket. McCarthy provided a perfect foil for Singh, and he added a vital 44 to the Lightning cause, including a monster six over long-on. Just after lunch Singh brought up his hundred with a single to cover, and they quickly declared for 324-8, trailing by just eight runs.


To have any chance of forcing a result from the match, the Lightning had to take early wickets and they did so. Murray Commins fell in the first over LBW to McCarthy, while first innings hero Harry Tector fell the exact same way to Dockrell for 12. Gary Wilson and Mark Ellison built a commanding looking partnership that looked to be bringing the game to a certain draw, as they added 50 for the third wicket. But it was a minor hesitation which led to the dismissal of Ellison, and Simi Singh took his first wicket by bowling Wilson for 36 two balls later.

At this stage, the Knights’ batters were simply looking to survive, while the Lightning was bowling spin tandem to try and create pressure, which it did. Singh removed Getkate with a good delivery caught at slip, before removing Mark Adair swiftly after the tea break to leave the Knights 114-6. James McCollum, who had picked up an injury in the field, battled hard out in the middle but fell to Stephen Doheny, clean bowled by the Rush off-spinner. The time was running out for the Lightning though and despite Singh taking the wickets of Delany and Foster, and Dockrell clean bowling Manley, the Knights were bowled out for 131.

This left the Lightning needing 140 runs to win, but there were only eight overs left in the day, which was simply too few to have a proper crack at the run chase. Instead of going for the chase, both captains and coaches decided to shake hands and call it time, the game ending in a draw.

Despite another draw in this competition, this was a very good standard three days of Inter-Pro cricket, with the overs lost on the first day being the deciding factor between a result and a draw. However, both of these teams have the chance to force that result next week, when they face each other in this format again in Stormont.

  >> Full scorecard here.


Joyce encouraged by preparations as squad named for Quadrangular Tournament in Holland

August 2nd 2019 | International, Women

Joyce encouraged by preparations as squad named for Quadrangular Tournament in Holland

The first match is 8 August 2019 in Holland

DUBLIN – Ireland Women’s interim Head Coach Ed Joyce has praised his squad’s preparation for the upcoming Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier as a 15-player squad is announced for the warm-up Quadrangular tournament ahead of the qualifying campaign beginning in late August.

Speaking ahead of a training session, Joyce said:

“It has been great to see the progress and development of the squad over these last six weeks, particularly the way the players have responded since the disappointment of the Zimbabwe series cancellation.”

“The trip to Somerset for the England Women’s Academy fixtures gave the squad the opportunity to test themselves in a highly competitive environment and allowed us to experiment a little in live match conditions. It was also the first real opportunity as head coach for me to see the players in action, so was a valuable trip in many respects.”

“Next week’s warm-up tournament in Holland will be our final opportunity to refine our tactics and roles within the squad. What has been important is our need to create a happy team environment – through this will grow confidence both with individuals and within the team. We are obviously a young squad, but what I have seen is a squad of players that is dedicated to the task at hand and responsive to the ideas and feedback they have been given by the coaching staff.”

“We welcome Eimear Richardson back to the squad since her last international appearances at the T20 World Cup last year. Her experience will be important in helping to support the younger players new to the international set-up.”

“We’re also encouraged to see vice-captain Kim Garth back in training. While we won’t rush her back into the squad after her recent injury concerns, it will be a lift for the entire squad to see her on the way back to full fitness.”


Squad



The Quadrangular Tournament, to be played in Netherlands, will see each of the four sides play six T20 matches in seven days, from 8 to 14 August 2019, at Salland Cricket Club in Deventer (www.sallandcc.nl).

The matches will be livestreamed, with links to be made available via Cricket Ireland social media channels on match days.

Match Schedule

8 August: 11.00am Netherlands v Ireland; 3.30pm Scotland v Thailand
9 August: 11.00am Netherlands vs Scotland; 3.30pm Ireland vs Thailand
10 August: 11.00am Thailand vs Netherlands; 3.30pm Scotland vs Ireland
11 August: Rest day                            
12 August: 11.00am Thailand vs Scotland; 3.30pm Ireland vs Netherlands
13 August: 11.00am Thailand vs Ireland; 3.30pm Scotland vs Netherlands
14 August: 11.00am Ireland vs Scotland; 3.30pm Netherlands vs Thailand

The Squad

Laura Delany (captain), Kim Garth, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Louise Little, Hannah Little, Sophie MacMahon, Lara Maritz, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Una Raymond-Hoey, Eimear Richardson, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.

 


IPC Day Two: Tector ton gives Knights upper hand before McLoughlin-Gavin fightback

July 31st 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International

IPC Day Two: Tector ton gives Knights upper hand before McLoughlin-Gavin fightback

Tector's ton was the highlight on Day Two

PEMBROKE CRICKET CLUB - A brilliant hundred from Harry Tector ensured that the Northern Knights posted a highly competitive total, while Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin added 82* late in the day to get Leinster Lightning back in the hunt by the end of the day’s play at Sydney Parade.

After a weather-hit first day in Pembroke, the Knights resumed on 136-4 with Tector and Shane Getkate looking to cash in on the starts they had previously built the day before. Getkate was the more aggressive to start, getting a couple of early boundaries away while Tector was slightly more cautious during Barry McCarthy and Tyrone Kane’s opening spells. However, Tector was soon into his rhythm and brought up his fifty first, with Getkate reaching the same milestone an over later.

The pair brought the Knights past 200 and looked comfortable until Lightning captain George Dockrell struck, removing Getkate LBW to a ball that skidded through off the surface. This brought the Lightning back into the game and they struck again soon, with Kevin O’Brien’s tight spell rewarded with the wicket of Mark Adair.

Tector was losing partners but his quest for a maiden first-class century was getting closer and closer. He brought up the achievement when scraping a single through to mid-on three balls before lunch, reward for a fine innings full of effortless timing and shot selection.

After the lunch break, Cameron-Dow fell to Dockrell which brought David Delany to the crease. Delany and Tector batted gamely in an attritional afternoon session, where runs were hard to come by as the bowling was very tight. It was Simi Singh who eventually struck for the Lightning, when he claimed the final three wickets of Delany, Tector and Matthew Foster. This was just due reward for Singh, who had bowled well throughout. Tector departed for 146 to a fine reception from the local ground, and the Knights finished on 332.


With play entering its final session for the day, the Lightning openers would have been looking for a good start and they got exactly that. Jack Tector and Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin started with good intent and were quick to punish any bad balls in the early overs of the innings. They brought up a quickfire fifty partnership in the first eleven overs. However, the game was to enter an exciting phase due to the fast bowling of David Delany.

Delany bowled a very sharp four-over spell which resulted in taking the wickets of Tector and Stephen Doheny in consecutive balls. It was a hostile spell of fast bowling and showed glimpses of what might be to come from the young paceman. However, McLoughlin-Gavin and Lorcan Tucker stemmed the time, batting very sensibly to see off Delany and then a good spell of tandem bowling from the two spinners Cameron-Dow and Harry Tector. McLoughlin-Gavin brought off his fifty off 82 balls.

 

The introduction of Matthew Foster brought about the end of Lorcan Tucker, when he removed his off stump for 13. Singh joined McLoughlin-Gavin, with the two looking to safely negotiate their side through to stumps.  They did so very effectively, with both of them playing some fine shots on their way through to stumps, with the side finishing on 159-3. McLoughlin-Gavin is 82* and Simi Singh finishing on 26*.

  >> Read scorecard here.

Play resumes tomorrow from Sydney Parade tomorrow at 11 am.


Murtagh makes the Honours Board…officially!

July 31st 2019 | International

Murtagh makes the Honours Board…officially!

T.J. Murtagh 5-13 has been added

LORD’S - The MCC has formally added Tim Murtagh’s name to the Away Team Honours Board at the Home of Cricket following his fantastic bowling performance during the recent Test Match.

Reflecting on his first-wicket haul after Day One of the Test, Tim said:

“It’s special as it gets for any cricketer. Walking off having taken five wickets is as good a feeling as I’ve had in my career.”

“Growing up as a kid I dreamed of being on that honours board, probably not in that [away] dressing room, but as it’s worked out being in the away dressing room makes it that bit more special now.”

We’re all very proud you’re on there Murts!

Tim Murtagh


IPC Day One: Rain interrupts play but match evenly poised

July 30th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International

IPC Day One: Rain interrupts play but match evenly poised

Marc Ellison pulls a boundary

It was honours even between Leinster Lightning and Northern Knights after the first day of their Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Championship match lost playing time due to the weather. The Knights finished the day on 136-4, after only 43 overs were able to be bowled.

On a gloomy morning in Sydney Parade, George Dockrell won the toss and elected to bowl first. Test opener James McCollum started the innings with plenty of intent and was very keen to punish any wayward bowling in the opening overs. He fell for a brisk 24 when Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin held a sharp chance at gully off Peter Chase.

His fellow opener, Marc Ellison, was quite watchful early on, but needed no second invitation to rock ball and pull hard to the square leg boundary when the opportunity arose.

He was joined by Murray Commins, who fell soon after for one after misjudging an inswinger from Tyrone Kane (read an analysts observation of the wicket).


This left the Knights 48-2 but Gary Wilson came in to ease any sort of fears that a wobble may occur in the morning session. Wilson got a few early boundaries away in good style, but the rain came down heavily to end the first session, with the Knights on 76-2.

After a heavy period of rain, it was only at 3.15pm that the players got back onto the pitch. The Lightning were keen to use whatever spice that there might have been in the wicket after the rain break and bowled accordingly well. Barry McCarthy was particularly excellent, with himself and fellow Pembroke clubman Josh Little, bowling superbly in tandem. It was Little who struck first, when catching Wilson out with a short ball, he could only manage to pull it to fine leg, where McCarthy took a good running catch.

Not long after, McCarthy struck to end Ellison’s innings, the opener departing for a well made 36, when edging behind. This left the Knights 86-4 with two men at the crease. It was tough conditions for Harry Tector and Shane Getkate, with the Lightning in top groove during an enthralling hour and a half of play. The two both survived confident appeals from the Lightning but battled and dug in well to be unmoved before the tea interval, with Tector 29* and Getkate 24*.


The score at that stage was 136-4, and unfortunately due to unrelenting rain, that was the end of proceedings for the first day of this game. However, there is still a full two days of action to go, and with the weather set fair, both sides will still be hopeful of forcing a result.

  >> Read scorecard here.

Play resumes tomorrow from Sydney Parade tomorrow at 11 am.

 


PREVIEW: Will Lightning fight back or will Knights roll on?

July 29th 2019 by Andrew Blair White | International

PREVIEW: Will Lightning fight back or will Knights roll on?

Test debutant Mark Adair is in the Knights squad

In a match that will see seven members of the recent Test squad from Lord’s return to red-ball domestic cricket action, Leinster Lightning will face off with Northern Knights in the Test Triangle Inter-Provincial Championship at Pembroke Cricket Club starting Tuesday.

The Inter-Provincial Championship hasn’t received much luck from the weather so far this season, which has left the competition wide open for any of the three teams to stamp their authority on. These two sides have had some very well matched and tight limited-overs games between each other this year, and there is no reason to suggest that it won’t be exactly the same over the coming three days in the longer format of the game.

The two sides go into this game having had a draw apiece against the North West Warriors in the competition, and both teams will be very eager to get a big win on the board.

Leinster Lightning have made two changes from their last squad in this format, with Stephen Doheny, who has been in stellar form of late, coming back into the squad alongside left-arm seamer, Josh Little. Fionn Hand and Gareth Delany have dropped out of the squad for this fixture. Their side includes four men from the Irish squad last week in Lord’s - Andrew Balbirnie, Kevin O’Brien, Lorcan Tucker, and Simi Singh.

Northern Knights will be very happy to be returning to Pembroke, where they had an extremely successful T20 festival earlier this summer followed by a great win against the Lightning in the IP50 competition. Gary Wilson is back to captain this side, with Harry Tector taking the reins of vice-captain. Mark Adair has been named in the thirteen man squad for this game, as well as David Delany, the Clontarf quick who made a name for himself last year representing the Munster Reds in the T20 competition. Test opener, James McCollum is in the side alongside Shane Getkate, who has been brilliant for Ireland in the limited-overs games this summer against Zimbabwe. They will be looking to take Leinster’s scalp in another format of the game this summer and continue their good record at Sydney Parade.

Players to Watch: Leinster Lightning

As previously mentioned, the Lightning has four of the Test squad within their ranks for this game alongside five other fully capped Internationals, so the side bolsters a lot of strength in all aspects of the game. However, so often in these games it is the start of an innings that can be the key to success. Three of Leinster’s uncapped players in Jack Tector, Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin, and Stephen Doheny have all been in good recent form with the bat in club cricket. Tector and Doheny registered centuries for their clubs only two weeks ago, while McLoughlin-Gavin has been scoring regular runs at the top of the innings for the Hills throughout their successful campaign. It will be very interesting to see whether these players can translate their good recent club form into this game.


IPC
Image: Test No.3 Andy Balbirnie is on home turf

Players to Watch: Northern Knights

Due to his eye-catching performance in the Test Match last week, all eyes will be on Mark Adair to see if he will line out this week for the Knights. However, they are a side full of bowling options. Matthew Foster was used to good effect in the recent Irish Academy side tour to play England u19s while the spin twins of James Cameron-Dow and Jacob Mulder have caused Leinster plenty of issues this summer already in different formats. Gary Wilson will be looking to put in a big performance with the bat for his side and could potentially take the gloves with Neil Rock off on Irish u19 duty. Harry Tector’s all-round ability will also be a key asset for the Knights.

Potential Clash: Revenge on the Menu?

This is one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the Inter-Pro series for quite a while. The Knights have already turned over the established guard of the Leinster Lightning twice this season - on both occasions, it was the spin of James Cameron-Dow and Jacob Mulder that caused the biggest issues for Leinster and they will be looking to eradicate those memories by putting in a big batting performance. Will the strong bowling attack of the Lightning keep the Knights at bay, or will be it three in a row for the Knights in a clean sweep this year at Sydney Parade?

Play starts at Pembroke Cricket Club on all three days at 11 am and entry is free.

The squads

Leinster Lightning
George Dockrell (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Stephen Doheny, Tyrone Kane, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin, Kevin O’Brien, Simi Singh, Jack Tector, Lorcan Tucker.

Northern Knights
Gary Wilson (captain), Harry Tector, David Delany, Marc Ellison, James McCollum, Chris Dougherty, Shane Getkate, James Cameron-Dow, Josh Manley, Jacob Mulder, Matthew Foster, Murray Commins, Mark Adair.


The Dragons crowned 2019 Toyota Super 3s champions!

July 29th 2019 | International, Women, Youth

The Dragons crowned 2019 Toyota Super 3s champions!

The Dragons claim the title for 2019

Coming into the last round of the competition, the Dragons had been undefeated throughout. Despite two losses on the last day of the competition, the defending champions lifted the trophy and became the first side to claim back-to-back titles.

On the final day of the Super 3 competition played in YMCA Cricket Club, there were some extremely tight finishes on offer as the Scorchers managed to get two wins on the board from their final two fixtures. However, it was the Dragons who claimed the title for 2019.

Typhoons vs Dragons

In the opening game of the day it was Laura Delany and the Typhoons who won the toss and elected to bat first. Leah Paul, who had such a prosperous time of things midweek for the Irish Academy side, was advertising her good form with a brilliant knock. After getting to 28 without loss, a sudden clump of wickets left the Typhoons at 36-3, Jane Maguire taking the two key wickets of Una Raymond-Hoey and Delany. However, Naomi Matthews came in to join Paul and they immediately set about firstly rebuilding the innings, and then trying to up the scoring rate to post a good score.

Matthews departed for 31 and there were two more late wickets as the Typhoons desperately sought quick late runs, finishing their innings on 132-6. Leah Paul ending on 64* which included ten fours, it was a fine knock to anchor and build the innings. Lara Maritz (2-16) and Jane Maguire (2-23) were the pick of the bowlers used by the Dragons.

The Dragons chase of 133 didn’t start well as Mary Waldron fell in the second over for 5. Yet, they looked in a good position for the majority of the run chase with Kerry Tomlinson and Rachel Delaney at the crease. They both kept the scoreboard ticking along, but they never managed to quite get ahead of the rate. Tomlinson departed for a run-a-ball 44 and Delaney departed for 46, when she was run out.

They need quick runs at 116-3 with just two overs left. Despite a quickfire 19* from 10 balls, the Dragons fell three runs short in their chase, the Typhoons doing extremely well to restrict them to 129-3 from their 20 overs. All of the Typhoons bowling was tight, but it was perhaps a crucial spell of 1-5 from 2 overs from Sarah Condron, which included the big wicket of Tomlinson, that was the key at a very important time in the run chase.

• Dragons v Typhoons (see scorecard)

Super 3s
Image: The Typhoons set the pace early and held on for a dramatic 3-run win


Typhoons vs Scorchers

The Typhoons won the toss again in the second T20 of the day and just like the first, they opted to bat first. It was the two main contributors from the first game that opened up, with Leah Paul and Naomi Matthews putting on a very good opening stand. Matthews in particular took the aggressive route, clearing the ropes twice in her 32 from 27 balls. Another quick wicket brought Delany to the crease and both her and Paul continued to advance the score. Paul didn’t quite make it through to her second half-century of the day, as she fell for 47 with the score on 115-4.

They needed a last little push for late innings runs, and they got exactly that with Delany getting 32 from 24 balls and Niamh Walsh contributing 20* from 14 balls as the Typhoons got up to a highly respectable 155-4 from their allocation of overs. Amy Kenealy was the pick of the bowlers with 1-27 from her 4 overs.

For the Scorchers to have any chance of chasing down this total, they had to start well and with plenty of intent. They did just that with Gaby Lewis and Rebecca Stokell putting down an early marker of intent with plenty of early boundaries. Lewis was the first to go with the score on 33, but not before scoring 23 from just 14 deliveries. Stokell was then joined by Captain, Shauna Kavanagh, and she was in superb touch with the bat. Stokell and Kavanagh continued to press the Typhoons in the field, regularly finding the boundary in amongst quick and forceful running between the wickets. Stokell departed for an over a run ball 32, but the Scorchers were already up to 110-2. Kavanagh then departed for 60, which was made off 43 balls.

The Scorchers at this stage might have been slightly concerned that a wobble may ensue. However, they had Isobel Joyce to steer the side home, she contributed a vital 23* from 13 balls to get the Scorchers over the line by five wickets with seven balls remaining. Cassie Stephens took two wickets with the ball for the Typhoons but unlike the first game, they didn’t quite have enough to defend their total. 

• Typhoons v Scorchers (see scorecard)


Scorchers vs Dragons

In the final game of the day and the Super 3 season, it was Shauna Kavanagh and the Scorchers who won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bat first. Once again, they got off to a brilliant start with Lewis and Stokell putting unrelenting pressure on the Dragons bowling attack. They were both extremely destructive, with Lewis striking ten boundaries in her 45 from just 20 deliveries. When Ava Canning dismissed Lewis, the Dragons must have been hoping for some tight overs, but it wasn’t to come.

Kavanagh came in and took off straight from where she was in the first game, continuing with Stokell and the runs continued to flow. Stokell (47) and Kavanagh (36) both fell in quick succession. Yet, it was similar to the first game and Isobel Joyce (21) came in to give the innings that little bit of impatis required to get the Scorchers up to a large score. Their final total of 189-6 was a massive score even on the brilliant pitch that had been prepared by YMCA. In amongst the carnage, Jenny Sparrow bowled superbly well for her 1-15 from 4 overs.

Chasing 190 was never going to be an easy task for the Dragons, so they sent in Lara Maritz to open with Mary Waldron to try get off to a good start. Waldron started very well but lost Maritz and then Rachel Delaney in the first powerplay, as the Dragons were reduced to 40-2. Kerry Tomlinson came to join Waldron, and they both batted well, but the run rate was constantly climbing. Tomlinson had made it to 32 before she departed and the last chance was Waldron, who when she fell for 43, was the final straw for the Dragons.

The Dragons finished their innings on 146-7, falling 33 runs short in the run chase. The bowling from the Scorchers was good and restricting with Bhavi Devchand taking 2-19 and Cara Murray taking 2-25 as the pick of the bowlers and ensured a very satisfying day for the Scorchers and their coach, Andrew Poynter.

• Scorchers v Dragons (see scorecard)


Winners

Despite losing out in both games yesterday, it was the Dragons who secured the Toyota Super 3s title for the 2019 season, benefiting greatly by some top performances early in the season. Their side was well very captained by Mary Waldron, with Clare Shillington excelling in her player/coach role within the side. The Dragons had a brilliant blend of good experience alongside some very exciting young talent, which showed throughout the 2019 season and should leave them in very good stead going forward.

 

Super 3s
The winning Dragons squad

Super 3s
Mary Waldron captained the Dragons side

More photos to come…

 


Dragons enter final round of Toyota Super 3s in unassailable position, but still plenty to play for

July 27th 2019 | International, Women

Dragons enter final round of Toyota Super 3s in unassailable position, but still plenty to play for

The Dragons are set to claim the title after a to-date unbeaten season

DUBLIN - The final round of the Toyota Super 3s will be a T20 tripleheader at YMCA Cricket Club, and while the Dragons have an unbeatable lead after their near-perfect season to date, with the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier around the corner there is plenty to play for.

The Dragons are the reigning champions after a tight victory in 2018, however this season the side has had an unbeaten run and is set to claim their third title and be the first team to defend their title successfully.

With squads featuring some of the best international talent in women’s cricket in Ireland, the action promises to be highly competitive on the field. Spectators are welcome to come and enjoy three T20s starting from 10am at the wonderful YMCA Cricket Ground in Dublin, with free entry.

The fixtures

  10am: Dragons v Typhoons
  1.30pm: Typhoons v Scorchers
  5pm: Scorchers v Dragons

The squads

Scorchers
Shauna Kavanagh (C), Rebecca Stokell, Gaby Lewis, Caoimhe McCann, Jenny Gray, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, Amy Kenealy, Hannah Little, Isobel Joyce, Mya Naughton.

Typhoons
Laura Delany (C), Leah Paul, Naomi Matthews, Louise Little, Cassie Stephens, Una Raymond-Hoey, Maria Kerrison, Orla Prendergast, Sarah Condron, Niamh Walsh, Louise McCarthy.

Dragons
Mary Waldron (C), Aoife Brennan, Ava Canning, Alana Dalzell, Anna Kerrison, Rachel Delaney, Jane Maguire, Lara Maritz, Staci Maxwell, Cliodhna O’Reardon, Jenny Sparrow, Kerry Tomlinson.

 

The table

The table as it stands is:

Super 3s

  * NB: All teams play 10 matches in the season, however there have been a number of abandoned games due to wet weather not reflected in this table.

The video

 


Under-19s in convincing opening win over Jersey

July 26th 2019 | International

Under-19s in convincing opening win over Jersey

A convincing 113-run win to begin the Irish campaign

The Ireland Under-19s Men’s team have started their ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifier (Europe) campaign with a convincing 113-run victory over Jersey in The Hague today.

With temperatures tipped to hit the mid-30s today, Ireland captain Neil Rock won the toss and elected to bat first.

A wobbly start to the innings saw the Jersey side claim four Irish wickets with just 67 runs on the board, before Will Smale (66) and Tim Tector (26) steadied the ship and put on 58 for the fifth wicket in 12 overs. Smale (who plays King’s College Taunton and Croesyceiliog) hit nine boundaries, but the loss of both batters saw the Irish revival stutter at 148-6 with more than 16 overs still to bat.

Jonathan (JJ) Garth (31) and James Hunter (28) then put on a 59-run stand to take Ireland beyond 200, but the last 14 balls of the innings saw three wickets fall for 12 runs and the boys in green ended with 219-9 off 50 overs.

Seeking early wickets, Alex Neary stepped up and removed both openers, setting Jersey back on their heels at 13-2 in the 8th over. Neary would later claim a third wicket and end with the laudable figures of 3-13 off 7 overs.

Despite a 44-run third wicket stand for Jersey, the Ireland bowlers kept the pressure on and once they claimed the third scalp at 57, the floodgates opened. The last eight jersey wickets fell for just 49 runs, with left-arm YMCA spinner Jamie Forbes running through the middle order and claiming 5-19 from 7.1 overs.

The Jersey innings ended at 106 in the 35th over, giving Ireland a convincing victory to start its qualifying campaign. Forbes was awarded Player of the Match.

Scorecard in brief


Ireland Under-19s v Jersey Under-19s, ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifier (Europe), The Hague, 26 July 2019

  Ireland Under-19s 219-9 (50 overs; W Smale 66; C Carnegie 3-49)
  Jersey Under-19s 106 (34.1 overs; E Giles 28; J Forbes 5-19, A Neary 3-13)

Ireland Under-19s won by 113 runs

Full scorecard found here.

 

Upcoming matches

  27 July - Ireland Under-19s v Denmark Under-19s
  29 July - Ireland Under-19s v Netherlands Under-19s
  30 July - Ireland Under-19s v Scotland Under-19s
  1 August - Ireland Under-19s v France Under-19s

 

The Under-19s Men’s squad

• Neil Rock (c) (Rush)
• JJ Garth (vc) (Pembroke)
• Jamie Forbes (YMCA)
• Gavin Hoey (Pembroke)
• James Hunter (Instonians)
• Kyle Magee (Brigade)
• Gregory McFaul (Bready)
• Nathan McGuire (Rush)
• Oliver Metcalfe (Instonians)
• Marcus Poskitt (Bready)
• Will Smale (King’s College Taunton and Croesyceiliog)
• Alex Stiles (Railway Union)
• Tim Tector (YMCA)
• Mitchell Thompson (YMCA)


Day Three: Ruthless England ends Ireland’s hopes of first Test victory

July 26th 2019 by Yas Rana, Wisden | International

Day Three: Ruthless England ends Ireland’s hopes of first Test victory

Chris Woakes claimed a career-best 6-17

After wrapping up the England innings with the first ball of the day, Ireland succumbed to a special spell of new ball bowling from Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad on a cloudy morning under the floodlights at Lord’s.

Following a delayed start due to heavy overnight rain, Stuart Thompson got Ireland off to the perfect start, uprooting Olly Stone’s leg stump with the first delivery of the day. After England’s lower-order resurgence late on Day Two – Sam Curran and Stuart Broad added 55 runs in the last 9.5 overs of the day - Ireland would have been wary of England’s tenth-wicket partnership taking the game away from them.

That wicket meant that Thompson ended with impressive figures of 3-44 and Ireland needed 182 runs to secure their first victory in Test cricket. Conditions were markedly different to those encountered on day two. The overhead conditions and general humidity were conducive to swing bowling, as was the temperature – some 15 degrees cooler than yesterday’s peak.


Ireland’s run chase was interrupted by the rain after just seven balls with no runs on the board. After an hour off the pitch, Ireland resumed their second innings with intent. James McCollum clipped the first ball after the resumption for three through mid-wicket while skipper William Porterfield drove Chris Woakes for two more a couple of balls later.

An assured McCollum cover drive to the fence in the following oversaw Ireland reach 11-0 in the fourth over, the opening pair negotiating Woakes and Broad’s opening bursts well. Porterfield was then the first to go, falling to a fine one-handed catch by Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps off the bowling of Woakes. Then, in a manic nine-over spell, England picked up the last nine Ireland wickets for just 20 runs.

Bowling with relentless accuracy, assisted by considerable movement both in the air and off the pitch, Woakes and Broad took combined figures of 10-36. The pair attacked the stumps, and all 10 dismissals were either caught at first slip, caught by the keeper, or LBW or bowled.

The victory margin at the end of play belied the drama and entertainment of the match – despite the result, it will live long in the memories of those that were here to witness some key moments in Irish cricket.

Scores in brief

England Men v Ireland Men, Test Match, Lord’s Cricket Ground, 24-27 July 2019

  England 85 (23.4 overs; J Denly 23; T Murtagh 5-13)
  Ireland 207 (58.2 overs; A Balbirnie 55; S Curran 3-28)
  England 303 (77.5 overs; J Leach 92; S Thompson 3-44, M Adair 3-66)
  Ireland 38 (15.4 overs; J McCollum 11; C Woakes 6-17)

England won by 143 runs

Full scorecard here.


Day Two: Ireland fight back to leave Lord’s Test finely poised heading into third day

July 25th 2019 by Ben Gardner, Wisden | International

Day Two: Ireland fight back to leave Lord’s Test finely poised heading into third day

Mark Adair celebrates the wicket of Joe Root

Ireland battled back superbly in the second half of day two to put themselves in position to seal what would be a magnificent victory. England had looked to be stretching out of reach of the tourists before Mark Adair’s three wickets led a spirited Irish fightback. England’s tail wagged to take them past 300, but when thunderstorms ended the day’s play, the game was still in the balance.

England began the day on 0-0, nightwatchman opener Jack Leach having played out a maiden to close out the previous evening. Though he was supposedly a makeshift, he outlasted regular opener Rory Burns, who nicked off to Boyd Rankin for six, and lost little in comparison with Jason Roy as the pair added 145 for the second wicket, England’s highest second-wicket stand in over three years.

By lunch, both had fifties. They were contrasting efforts, Roy’s coming off an ODI-esque 47 balls, and Leach’s off a more sedate 82 balls, but equally valuable, and on the hottest July day ever recorded in the UK, with temperatures nearing 40C, the worry was that Ireland would wilt.

Instead, they rallied, and after the break the chances started to come. Roy survived two LBW shouts, the first thanks to an inside edge and the second thanks to too-prodigious movement, while Leach was dropped by wicketkeeper Gary Wilson and just cleared Rankin at mid-off as the partnership neared 50.


Roy’s luck eventually ran out when he aimed a lavish drive at Stuart Thompson and was beaten by the inswing, his stumps splayed, but when Leach was spilled once more at second slip when on 92, it seemed the gods might be on his side. Instead, three balls later Mark Adair was offered another chance and this time clung on, and the door was truly open.

Neither Joe Root or Denly could find the boundary or rotate the strike, and the pressure told, with a mix-up seeing Denly run out by a distance. Jonny Bairstow was pinned LBW by Adair in the following over to complete a pair before Root fell to a spectacular catch from Wilson, diving in front of first slip, the second time Adair had claimed England’s captain in the game. Adair soon added a third when Woakes edged to slip.

With Rankin having claimed the wicket of Moeen Ali prior to Root’s fall, wafting at a short ball and edging behind, all of a sudden England were 248-8, leading by just 126.

Sam Curran had driven his first ball for four to signal a change of intent, and though he fell attempting to hit his third six, caught in the deep by James McCollum off Thompson, his 29-ball 37 helped reclaim the momentum somewhat. Another maximum, from Stuart Broad, took England past 300 before rain ended the day prematurely with the hosts leading by 181, one wicket left to take, and the result still up for grabs.

Scores in brief

England Men v Ireland Men, Test Match, Lord’s Cricket Ground, 24-27 July 2019

  England 85 (23.4 overs; J Denly 23; T Murtagh 5-13)
  Ireland 207 (58.2 overs; A Balbirnie 55; S Curran 3-28)
  England 303-9 (77.4 overs; J Leach 92; M Adair 3-66)

Stumps – Day Two

 


Day One: Murtagh magic at Lord’s

July 24th 2019 | International

Day One: Murtagh magic at Lord’s

Murtagh claimed an incredible 5-13 from 9 overs

Ireland established a strong position on day one of their historic Test against England at Lord’s, bowling the hosts out for 85 before securing a lead of 122. The records broken were many. Tim Murtagh claimed the cheapest five-for in Lord’s history, England were bowled out before Lunch on day one for the first time ever in a Lord’s Test, and their innings – 23.4 overs long – was their shortest ever at the Home of Cricket.

For a moment early on, such a spectacular collapse seemed a distant possibility. Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, and though Murtagh removed Test debutant Jason Roy early – caught at slip not long after an overstep had cut short a Mark Adair LBW shout – Rory Burns and Joe Denly looked to have blunted the worst of the new-ball threat.

The latter looked particularly settled, striking some assured drives to the cover fence, but his dismissal, pinned in front by Adair for his first Test wicket – his front foot this time safely behind the line – set in motion a slide of six wickets for seven runs, and within 75 minutes of the start, England found themselves 43-7.

Destroyer in chief was Murtagh, who ended the day with over 100 more first-class wickets at Lord’s than any other bowler this century. He utilised the helpful surface to perfection, rarely straying from a good line and length, and finding enough assistance to nick off Rory Burns and Moeen Ali, bowl Jonny Bairstow, and pin Chris Woakes LBW, the nature of the dismissals speaking to his accuracy. He finished with figures of 9-2-13-5 to his name, and a place on the Lord’s honours board deservedly won.

The prize wicket of Joe Root went to Adair, trapped plumb in front, the second of three wickets on a dream-like Test debut. With Murtagh having taken his spell, it was left to Adair and Boyd Rankin to mop up the tail, which wagged only briefly. Rankin had two excellent catches to thank for his pair of wickets, Gary Wilson’s acrobatic grab accounting for Stuart Broad after a review, and some sharp work from James McCollum at short leg ending Sam Curran’s sparky 18.

Adair dismissed Olly Stone, debutant bowling debutant after the No.10 had chiselled out 19 off 18, and just like that England were all out for 85, and Ireland headed in to enjoy their Lord’s lunch to the fullest.


After the break however, they battled like a team who knew the job was only a quarter done. The first run off the bat came from the 16th ball of the innings as William Porterfield and McCollum bedded in, and slowly the pair eased into their work.

The partnership was broken by Curran’s first ball, Porterfield mistiming a pull and offering a catch to midwicket, and McCollum played on to the same bowler not long after, but though neither passed 20, a sufficient platform had been laid, and Andy Balbirnie and Paul Stirling cashed in as the tea interval approached.

The pair looked to accelerate immediately, striking at least a single boundary in each of their first seven full overs together, and soon enough Ireland had a lead. The fifty partnership came up in just 47 balls, and an over before the break Balbirnie brought up his second Test half-century off 56 balls.

As the game entered the final session of the day however, England hit back, with five wickets falling for 17 runs. Stirling was the first to go, a review failing to overturn an LBW verdict against Stuart Broad, before Stone struck twice in an over, bowling Balbirnie with a quick delivery which swung away late, rattling Wilson with a short ball, and then nicking him off with another.

Ireland tried to rebuild, but caution proved Stuart Thompson’s downfall, the all-rounder leaving one from Broad which clipped off stump, and Adair, attempting a pull to break the shackles a ball after drinks, chopped onto Curran.

Andy McBrine scrapped through 36 balls for his 11 before Broad bowled him off the inside edge, while Murtagh swiped four fours in 10 balls to entertain the crowd. All the while, Kevin O’Brien resisted, finishing unbeaten on 28 off 73 balls as Rankin was bowled by Moeen, swinging and missing.

Ireland led by 122, and England were forced to return for one final over, but there was to be no sting in the tail, as nightwatchman opener Jack Leach played out a maiden.

Scores in brief

England Men v Ireland Men, Test Match, Lord’s Cricket Ground, 24-27 July 2019
  England 85 (23.4 overs; J Denly 23; T Murtagh 5-13)
  Ireland 207 (58.2 overs; A Balbirnie 55; S Curran 3-28)
  England 0-0 (1 over)

  Stumps - Day 1


Behind the news: A journalist’s memory of a momentous moment in Irish cricket

July 24th 2019 by Mark Rodden, Journalist | International

Behind the news: A journalist’s memory of a momentous moment in Irish cricket

Mark Rodden will be enjoying this moment and thinking about the journey that has come before

Later this month the Irish men’s cricket team will finally play against England in a Test match – the toughest and purest form of the game – at Lord’s in London.

The journey to get there has been arduous, but it is fitting that some of the players who have toiled for so long – as well as their supporters – will see Ireland compete over four days at the so-called ‘home of cricket.’

Growing up, I spent hours in the back garden pretending to be the world’s best player. In my day, that was Brian Lara, a flamboyant batsman who famously broke the world record for the highest-ever individual score in a Test match.

I got his autograph once, when the West Indies played Ireland in a 1995 challenge game at Castle Avenue in Clontarf. Instead of going on to grace the wicket as a player at that venue, however, I sadly only managed to attend a local junior disco – The Cricket – that was hosted there.

I would, however, have my own – albeit minuscule – role to play in Irish cricketing history. After college I worked in The Irish Times newsroom, where I regularly manned the ‘night town’ shift. This was the late reporting job, which often involved covering an evening press conference or event, or – if you were unlucky – a late-night crime scene. It usually finished around midnight.

The 2007 Cricket World Cup – played in a different time zone in the Caribbean – offered a welcome distraction at the latter end of such shifts, when much of the work involved helping to tweak a headline or root out a typo in between editions.

On March 15th, in their first-ever World Cup match, Ireland faced Zimbabwe in Jamaica. An Irish squad made up mostly of amateurs and part-timers – including a Johnston, two Mooneys, and two O’Briens – hoped to spring a surprise. Most observers did not expect them to.

On a dark evening in Dublin, though, we watched a gripping contest unfold at sunny Sabina Park in Kingston. Ireland competed fiercely but it looked like the more fancied Zimbabweans would prevail.


Andrew White
Image: Andrew White celebrates a wicket - White is today the Chair of National Men’s Selectors

There would be an incredible denouement, however, when Irish spinner Andrew White bowled the last over of the game. Like the final points in a Wimbledon tennis final, each one of the six balls he delivered became an event in itself – with the pressure gradually mounting.

Zimbabwe should have won, but with skill and determination Ireland forced a tie – a rare outcome in one-day cricket, and only the third such result at a World Cup.

“Their coach, Kevin Curran, looked shocked,” Ireland captain Trent Johnston later wrote in his book with Gerard Siggins, Raiders of the Caribbean. “His team had won it, lost it, won it, lost it, won it, won it, won it and finally tied.”

The chief sub-editor and I realised that this was something special. With millions watching across the globe, Ireland had upset the world order to claim a point. By no means familiar with the sport, the night editor nonetheless saw our side of the argument when we pleaded that this deserved extra recognition.

In what was a rare enough event, she decided to call the editor at her home. She, too, was convinced that a front-page photo would be appropriate.

And so the following day’s Irish Times featured a prominent picture of White, finger held aloft in celebration. Who knows, perhaps that image helped inspire the team two days later, when they eliminated Pakistan – population 197 million – from the tournament.

Hallowed Kerry scribe Con Houlihan described that Irish victory – which came on St. Patrick’s Day – as one of the greatest shocks in sport. 

“There might be games almost as thrilling but my heart wouldn’t be so deeply involved,” he wrote. “If Kerry had been playing in the All Ireland Final, the tension couldn’t be more.”

A courageous and talented Irish team also stunned England at the 2011 World Cup, and many of them have since earned themselves professional contracts and Ireland the right to play Test cricket.

The sacrifices and dedication of everyone that made it so should be remembered when Ireland take the field at Lord’s. And, although rarely needing assistance in creating a cheerful atmosphere at a sporting event, Irish fans should find conditions there to their liking.

Lord’s, after all, is the only international cricket venue in the world where spectators can bring alcohol into the ground. According to the official site, the following are permitted: “(i) one bottle of wine or champagne (max. 750ml), or (ii) two cans/bottles of beer/cider (max. 500ml each), or (iii) two cans of premixed aperitifs (max. 330ml each).”

I’ll be bringing my own beer, and thinking of where it all began.


Preview: Ireland aim to make most of any English World Cup hangover

July 23rd 2019 by Ben Gardner, Wisden | International

Preview: Ireland aim to make most of any English World Cup hangover

Ireland's Test squad, July 2019

LONDON - Less than two weeks after England’s euphoric World Cup final victory at Lord’s, Ireland will be hoping to bring them crashing back down to earth. Ben Gardner from Wisden looks ahead to what will be a fascinating encounter.

While the dark glasses and tired faces on show at The Oval the morning after the night before suggested the festivities might have taken some getting over, there is reason beyond an extended hangover to believe Ireland could spring a surprise.

First, there’s the venue. The Home of Cricket might stand as a uniquely English symbol of cricket heritage, but lately, it’s not been the happiest of hunting grounds, with the hosts having lost eight and won seven there across formats over the last five years.

For some of the Irish players it’s a home away from home. Tim Murtagh has almost a hundred more first-class wickets there than any other bowler this century, and Paul Stirling will have more runs there than any other player present on either side.

Ireland comes in in form having beaten Zimbabwe 4-1 across a recent limited-overs visit and shared an ODI series 1-1 with Afghanistan before the World Cup. England received a reminder of the threat Ireland pose earlier in the summer in a tense away side win in an ODI at Malahide.

Experience is also a key - despite the team playing just their third men’s Test in history, Ireland have a playing side with many years of experience in international cricket and playing in English conditions, as well as 10 players with Test caps in their 14. Meanwhile, England has chosen a side that may see up to three debutants.

Of that uncapped Irish quartet, England will be well aware of Mark Adair, who briefly stole the show back in May on ODI debut with a 30-ball 32, while Craig Young is a tall quick who has rediscovered his line, length and top speed. Lorcan Tucker is a highly-rated young wicketkeeper/batsman who has just begun to hit his straps at the top level, and Simi Singh is an experienced off-spinner who’s capable with the bat.

Perhaps foremost among Ireland’s concerns will be dealing with the occasion of it all. A Lord’s Test brings with it its own prestige and customs, and care has to be taken that after the red carpet has been rolled out and the bell rung they don’t take their eye off the ball, figuratively and literally.

But if they can get a foothold and start scrapping, a seismic win isn’t beyond them.

Key battle – Ireland’s seamers v England’s top order

England’s squad isn’t just green, it’s also bowler-heavy, with Moeen Ali set to bat at six, and Sam Curran at seven. With England’s likely top three of Rory Burns, Jason Roy and Joe Denly sharing just eight Tests’ experience between them, plenty will rest on Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the middle order.

The pitch too looks set to assist the seamers, and with the game a four-dayer, the groundstaff may well leave more on it to aid a result. Test wickets have cost less than 25 runs apiece for quicks at Lord’s since the start of 2016. In a way, it’s set up perfectly for Ireland’s seamers – among them one of Lord’s’ most prolific in history – to come in and wreak havoc.

But should they not, England will have struck a psychological blow as much as anything, blunting Ireland’s most potent weapon and laying a platform for a big score to boot.

Conditions

Pack the sunscreen, because London will be ablaze. Temperatures could reach highs of 35 degrees Celsius on Day One, and clouds will be few and far between.

Squads

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (c), Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Andrew McBrine, James McCollum, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes

 


Join the Test match build-up

July 23rd 2019 | International

Join the Test match build-up

The Test match begins 11am, Wednesday 24 July 2019

The Ireland Men’s squad has been busy in London preparing for the historic first-ever Test match between Ireland and England at Lord’s Cricket Ground. You can keep up-to-date with the build-up and see some great behind-the-scenes footage below.

Sunday 21 July 2019

A great training day at Lord’s:

We chat to Gary Wilson:

We chat to Mark Rausa:

 

Monday 22 July 2019

We head to the ground:

Official squad photo:

Go behind-the-scenes on photo time:


The lads training hard:

We talk to Andrew White:

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