Ruthless batting display puts Ireland Wolves firmly in control of Sri Lanka A
HAMBANTOTA – A record-breaking total by Ireland Wolves have put the visiting side in firm control after Day Two of the Ireland Wolves v Sri Lanka four-day match at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.
Resuming their overnight score of 286-4, the Wolves continued to punish the Sri Lankan bowling attack, adding 224 runs in just under two sessions.
After the not-out overnight partnership of Lorcan Tucker (80) and Neil Rock (85) was broken, the home side would have been seeking to clean up the tail quickly, but met strong resistance from determined tail-end batting. Mark Adair (32) added quick runs, while James Cameron-Dow (76*) and JJ Garth (45) put on 108 runs for the 8th wicket – a record at the Ireland Wolves / Second XI level.
After losing Garth, the final Wolves pair of Cameron-Dow and Josh Little put on a rapid 33 runs from just over three overs, however with his side passing the 500-mark captain Harry Tector called a halt to the innings at 508-8 (dec). The score easily surpassed the previous highest Wolves highest team total of 393, and the sixth highest-ever first-class team total in Ireland’s history.
With their tails up, Wolves opening bowler Craig Young – returning to on-field action after recovering from a niggle that kept him out of the last match – claimed two early wickets, and the 18-year old leg-spinner JJ Garth claimed his first-ever first-class wicket, picking up the Sri Lanka A captain Ashan Priyanjan on what proved to be the last ball of the day after umpires called off play due to bad light.
Image: Neil Rock on his way to 85
After play, James Cameron-Dow said:
“A great day for us – it was a pretty good batting deck and it was important we took advantage of that and pile on first innings runs, which we weren’t able to do in Colombo. Conditions were quite tricky early on but once you got in it was a really nice deck to bat on.”
Asked about his 108-run partnership with JJ Garth, he said:
“JJ was initially the aggressor and took a lot of pressure off me, so I was just able to get myself going. Then it ebbed and flowed who was aggressor and who was the patient one and we managed to re-build it quite nicely.”
Asked about the Wolves bowling response by the end of Day Two, he said:
“Youngie’s [Craig Young] spell there was excellent, there’s a bit of extra pace and bounce in this deck which I’m sure the seamers will love. I think they’ve got a big job to do for us tomorrow with short, sharp spells and trying to be aggressive - trying take a couple of wickets that way.”
SCORECARD IN BRIEF
Sri Lanka A v Ireland Wolves, 13-16 January 2019, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota
Ireland Wolves 508-8 dec (138 overs; N Rock 85, L Tucker 80, J Cameron-Dow 76*, J McCollum 72, S Doheny 58; C Karunaratne 3-99)
Sri Lanka A 99-3 (23 overs; A Perera 50*; C Young 2-18)
Stumps on Day Two
A full scorecard is available here.