Brilliant Balbirnie Keeps Ireland on Top
August 17th 2017 by Cricket Ireland | Other
Andrew Balbirnie became just the third Ireland player after Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce to record an International double century at Malahide on Wednesday as William Porterfield’s team took a firm hold after two days of their Intercontinental Cup clash against the Netherlands.
The former Middlesex batsman was in sublime form as he hit 23 fours and 2 sixes in a marathon, 336-ball 205 not out that allowed the home side to declare their first innings on 477-6.
Balbirnie shared a 183-run stand with Leinster Lightning team-mate John Anderson (74), before teaming up with Gary Wilson (39) to add another 76 for the fourth wicket. The in-form batsman rounded off an impressive showing with an unbroken 60-run partnership with Jacob Mulder (38)as Ireland piled on the runs.
“It’s a pretty big knock in my career, the highest score obviously, said Balbirnie. “It’s just great to gt us in a good position at the end of the second day’s play. I was only taking it down in tens, not really looking at my score but where the team was, 450 was always on our mind and luckily I had partners to push the score.”
Shane Snater was by far the pick of the Dutch bowlers as he claimed what was an impressive 5-116 in the circumstances but elsewhere the batting side were thoroughly dominant.
Boyd Rankin (2-26) gave his side a dream start early in the Netherlands reply as he reduced the visitors to 9 for 2 before an 83-run third wicket partnership between Ben Cooper and Dan ter Braak (32) repaired much the damage. A couple of late wickets for Mulder (2-38) put Ireland back in the box seat however and although Cooper remains unbeaten overnight on 81 (13 fours), Ireland will feel it was very much their day.
“We wanted a half hour before Tea,” said Balbirnie and Ireland took advantage of that and the extended evening session due to the early morning rain.
Day 3 will start at the slightly earlier time of 10.30 on Thursday as the sides bid to recover overs lost to rain in Dublin throughout the day.
ICC Intercontinental Cup, (Day 2) at Malahide
Ireland 477-6 declared (131 overs; A Balbirnie 205*, J Anderson 74, W Porterfield 60, E Joyce 43, G Wilson 39, J Mulder 38*, S Slater 5-116)
Netherlands 140-5 (41 overs; B Cooper 81*, D ter Braak 32, B Rankin 2-36, J Mulder 2-38)