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Sharjah Cricket Stadium

22nd Oct 2021

Namibia made history by qualifying for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Super 12 stage in their very first appearance at the tournament after beating Ireland in a winner-takes-all Group A shootout.
The African nation timed their chase of Ireland’s 125 for eight to perfection as a half-century from skipper Gerhard Erasmus and pyrotechnics from David Wiese led Namibia, 19th in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I team rankings coming into the tournament.
The two put on a match winning partnership of 53 in 5.1 overs as Erasmus finished 53 not out from 49 balls and Wiese, the matchwinner against Netherlands, struck an unbeaten 28 at a strike rate of 200 to also secure Namibia’s spot in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in
After only making 27 in the powerplay and sitting at 49 for one at the halfway stage, it looked like Namibia may have left themselves too much to do in reply to Ireland’s innings of two halves.
Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie had elected to bat first at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, and when experienced duo Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien steered them to 55 without loss in the all-important powerplay, he would have been hoping for far more than the 125 they eventually mustered.
Having shared stands of just eight and 27 in their opening two games, the pair made full use of the fielding restrictions, putting on 62 for the first wicket in 7.2 overs, with Stirling looking particularly fluent on his way to a well-made 38 off 24 balls, including five fours and a six.
But when the former Middlesex man was caught at long-on off the bowling of Bernard Scholtz, attempting to land his 250th six in T20 cricket, it triggered a change in fortune for the men in green as they went on to add only 57 runs in the remaining 11.2 overs.
O’Brien soon followed for 25 as he holed out off the bowling of the impressive Jan Frylinck, who finished with Namibia’s best-ever World Cup figures of three for 21, as Ireland lost two wickets for five runs in the space of just eight balls.
Things could have been even better for the tournament debutants as Ireland skipper Balbirnie enjoyed a charmed existence.
The 30-year-old narrowly avoided being run-out before surviving a huge lbw appeal from Pikky Ya France, which Namibia surprisingly declined to review despite DRS showing it would have been overturned.
No-one outside the top three made it into double figures for Ireland the final four overs began with Balbirnie’s dismissal for 21 and Ireland scored just 24 for the loss of five wickets as Wiese, two for 22, and JJ Smit, one for 27, shone at the death with the ball.
Namibia made a steady start in pursuit of 126 and only a phenomenal one-handed catch from Kevin O’Brien saw the back of in-form opener Craig Williams for 15 off 16 balls off the bowling of Curtis Campher.
No.3 Erasmus survived an lbw shout on just two off Mark Adair which would have sent him packing if Ireland had reviewed but he took full advantage steering his side home.
The 15th over proved crucial as two booming sixes from Wiese changed the course of the game before Erasmus again escaped, Craig Young’s delivery clipping his stumps without dislodging the bails.
Fittingly after Erasmus had brought up his 50, it was Wiese who sealed victory with nine balls remaining, smashing a boundary off Young to spark the celebrations.
Scores in Brief
Namibia beat Ireland at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah by eight wickets
Ireland 125/8 in 20 overs (Paul Stirling 38, Kevin O’Brien 25; Jan Frylinck 3/21, David Wiese 2/22)
Namibia 126/2 in 18.3 overs (Gerhard Erasmus 54 not out, David Wiese 28 not out; Curtis Campher 2/14)
Player of the Match: David Wiese (Namibia)


A shocker for Ireland. Outplayed by Namibia in both batting and bowing. Huge disappointment.

Craig Easdown

Sharjah, UAE

21st Oct 2021

SHARJAH, UAE – The Ireland Men’s cricket team continues its ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign tomorrow with a ‘winner-takes-all’ clash against Namibia, starting at 2pm (UAE time) or 11am (Irish time).
Following a win and a loss in their first two matches, Ireland will now meet Namibia in their respective last Group A fixtures that will decide on which team will progress to the Super 12s round of the tournament. Given the current standings – barring extraordinary results tomorrow – the winner of the Ireland v Namibia clash will finish second in Group A, and will progress to the next round to meet New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the highest ranked side in Group B (currently Scotland).
Head Coach Graham Ford and captain Andrew Balbirnie have a full squad to pick from today as there are no fitness concerns within the playing group.

ICC World Cup


18th Oct 2021

Curtis Campher’s devastating four wickets in four balls helped Ireland to romp home to a seven-wicket victory in their opening ICC Men’s T20 World Cup fixture against the Netherlands.
The 22-year-old reduced the Netherlands to 51 for six before Mark Adair mopped up the tail to leave Ireland needing just 107 to win.
Paul Stirling anchored Ireland’s chase and Gareth Delany provided the firepower to give Ireland a first win at an ICC T20 World Cup since 2014.
Having won the toss and chosen to bat, the Netherlands continued the theme of the tournament so far with one of their openers getting out for a duck.
Ben Cooper was run out as Max O’Dowd set off for a quick single from the non-striker's end and Cooper was so far from safety Paul Stirling could take two attempts to dislodge the bails.
The Netherlands reached their 50 in the ninth over and looked to be making steady progress towards the halfway mark before Curtis Campher came on for his second over.
His spell began inauspiciously with a wide but five balls later he had four wickets in four balls and had reduced the Netherlands to 51 for six.
Campher saw off Colin Ackermann for 11 runs before sending veteran Ryan ten Doeschate back to the hutch out lbw. After a review, Scott Edwards was consigned to the same fate before Roelof van der Merwe dragged the ball onto his stumps.
The Netherlands needed rescuing and opener O’Dowd took on that responsibility, crunching back-to-back boundaries off Ben White to move their total to 71 for six from 13 overs.
O’Dowd brought up his half-century off 44 balls seemingly undeterred by the devastation he had just witnessed, but he was not immune to error either, slashing the ball to long-on to depart for 51.
There was still time for more drama as Mark Adair looked to one-up Campher, taking the two of the final three wickets, with a run-out sandwiched in between, to reduce the Dutch to 106 all out and earn himself figures of three for nine.
Needing less than a run a ball, Ireland were gifted their first seven runs from extras by Fred Klaasen before powerful hitting from Kevin O’Brien and Stirling showed Ireland’s intent to wrap up the victory quickly.

O’Brien was caught by Logan van Beek going for a huge heave and a similar end befell captain Andrew Balbirnie who attempted to smash a third four in a row, but his shot was instead snaffled by Van der Merwe.
Gareth Delany joined Stirling out in the middle as a more cautious approach was taken in chasing down the total, bringing up Ireland’s half-century in eight overs.
The pair brought up their 50 partnership in the 12th over, Delaney doing much of the heavy lifting as Ireland looked to score at a decent pace, having missed out on the knockout stages in 2014 due to a low net run rate.
Delany would be dismissed by Pieter Seelaar for 44 with Campher then on hand to steer Ireland home, a victory entirely of his own making.
Scores in brief:
Ireland beat Netherlands at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi by seven wickets.
Netherlands 106 all out, in 20 overs (Max O’Dowd 51, Pieter Seelaar 21; Curtis Campher 4/26, Mark Adair 3/9)
Ireland 107/3, in 15.1 overs (Gareth Delaney 44, Paul Stirling 30; Pieter Seelaar 1-14; Fred Klaasen 1-18)
Player of the Match: Curtis Campher (Ireland)


Well done Ireland!

Craig Easdown


14th Oct 2021

ABU DHABI, UAE - An unbeaten 50-ball 88 from Gareth Delany lifted Ireland to a comfortable 33-run win over Bangladesh in their final warm-up fixture ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Delany showed blistering power in a knock that included eight sixes and three fours, taking Ireland to a total of 177-3. In response Bangladesh were derailed by the loss of three wickets inside three overs, with Ireland’s frontline bowlers all among the wickets in their last run-out before taking on the Netherlands in the World Cup next Monday.
Ireland began strongly with the bat as Paul Stirling showcased his usual explosiveness by hitting five boundaries inside the first four overs. While left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed bowled Stirling for 22 – Stirling failed to connect with a slog sweep from the final ball of the fourth over – Ireland kept attacking through Delany and captain Andrew Balbirnie.
Balbirnie pulled Mustafizur Rahman for six in the fifth over and Delany followed his lead in the sixth, going down the ground for a maximum off Nasum. A fine Taskin Ahmed yorker accounted for Balbirnie (25) and the same bowler dismissed George Dockrell (9) a couple of overs later, but Delany was building towards his flurry of sixes.
A Shoriful Islam slower ball was swatted straight, Soumya Sarkar was lofted over extra cover, and Mustafizur’s third over was greeted with back-to-back sixes. Harry Tector turned over the strike with a run-a-ball 23 as Delany stole the show at the back-end of the innings – the right-hander’s last 38 runs came off 17 deliveries.
With the ball, the opening duo of Craig Young and Josh Little got Ireland off to an excellent start: Young accounted for Mohammad Naim in the first over before Liton Das chopped on from Little’s second delivery of the match. The big-name scalp of Mushfiqur Rahim followed in the third over to leave Bangladesh 15-3.
Soumya Sarkar and Afif Hossain took Bangladesh past fifty, but the latter reverse-swept a Ben White delivery into the hands of Paul Stirling at backward point in the eighth over. Soumya was then run out by Harry Tector in the 12th over, and regular breakthroughs followed.
Simi Singh fired one in to bowl Shamim Hossain for 1, and Mark Adair made hay at the death to pick up three wickets, including Mustafizur with the final ball of the match. Delany was the only bowler on show who didn’t pick up a scalp, but he’d long done his job.
Ireland’s Men’s T20 World Cup campaign begins on Monday, 17 October in Abu Dhabi against the Netherlands.
Ireland Men v Bangladesh Men, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Warm-Up, Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 2, Abu Dhabi, 14 October 2021
Ireland 177-3 (20 overs; G Delany 88*, A Balbirnie 25; T Ahmed 2-26)
Bangladesh 144 (20 overs; N Hasan 38; M Adair 3-33, C Young 2-21, J Little 2-22)
Ireland won by 33 runs

Craig Easdown, CI


12th Oct 2021

Ireland overpowers Papua New Guinea in T20 World Cup warm-up
ABU DHABI, UAE - Ireland continued their build-up to the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with a thumping eight-wicket win over Papua New Guinea.
After PNG won the toss and chose to bat first, Craig Young made Ireland’s first breakthrough with the dismissal of Tony Ura for 2 in the second over, and Charles Amini then fell for 4 to Simi Singh in the final over of the powerplay. Sese Bau and Assad Vala – the skipper who top-scored with 32 – strung together a partnership of 23, but regular breakthroughs meant the PNG innings never caught fire.
Ben White fired in a wide delivery to have Bau stumped for 12 in the 12th over, and the leg-spinner removed Vala minutes later for his second. Jason Kila was White’s final victim, bowled for 2 after failing to connect from his sweep. Mark Adair and Young joined in on the fun of targeting the stumps, with the remaining three wickets in the innings all bowled.

PNG finished on 96-8, with White the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of 3-10 from four overs. Young too claimed a three-for, conceding 15 runs.

With the bat, Ireland lost Kevin O’Brien and Gareth Delany in the powerplay – aiming to go big over the off side, O’Brien (8 off 12) chopped on; Delany (5 off 7) was cleaned up by Simon Atai after failing to connect with a late cut.
But Andrew Balbirnie and Curtis Campher took Ireland home with a substantial unbeaten partnership of 71, with both batters finishing on 42 not out. While the Ireland captain was more patient in batting for 46 deliveries, Campher provided power, cracking three fours and two sixes during his 35-ball stay.
Ireland’s final warm-up match ahead of the World Cup takes place on Thursday against Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi.
After the game, captain Balbirnie said:
“It’s always nice to get a win and put in a solid performance all round. The pitch was a slow, low and tired wicket, but our bowlers were very accurate throughout and executed their bowling plans well.”
“My foot is fine, it’s still not pain free, but certainly having a clear X-ray has been a great boost knowing that not much more damage can be done. I just have to remember, it’s better to use your bat rather than your boot.”
Ireland Men v PNG Men, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Warm-Up, Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 1, Abu Dhabi, 12 October 2021
PNG 96-8 (20 overs; A Vala 31; B White 3-10, C Young 3-15)
Ireland 99-2 (16.4 overs; A Balbirnie 42*, C Campher 42*; S Atai 1-28)
Ireland won by 8 wickets (with 20 balls remaining

Craig Easdown

Harare Sports Club

11th Oct 2021

World record-breaker Amy Hunter leads Ireland to series victory over Zimbabwe
HARARE, Zimbabwe – On her 16th birthday, Ireland’s Amy Hunter hit an unbeaten century and became the youngest cricketer (men or women) to score an international hundred, as Ireland Women claimed a 3-1 series victory over Zimbabwe in emphatic style.
The Belfast-born Hunter scored a near flawless 121* off 127 deliveries, which include 8 fours – her innings total eclipsing the highest individual score for Ireland Women by one run (Karen Young scored 120 v Pakistan in 2000).
However, it was not just Hunter that achieved records and milestones today – the Ireland Women’s total of 312-3 in 50 overs was their highest-ever ODI team score, Gaby Lewis continued her great run of form hitting a third straight half-century of the series, and both captain Laura Delany and wicketkeeper Mary Waldron played in their respective 150th international match for Ireland (across all formats).
The 3-1 series win also represented Ireland Women’s first-ever bilateral ODI series win away from home.
Earlier in the day, captain Delany lost her fourth straight toss of the series and Ireland was put into bat first. This turned out to be a decision that Zimbabwe would rue.
Lewis and opening partner Leah Paul – who together had scored back-to-back century opening stands prior to today – again looked solid in a 40-run partnership, before Paul was bowled for 12.
Lewis and Hunter then came together and put on 104 for the second wicket – Lewis the aggressor of the pair struck 78 from 87 balls (her third straight half-century of the series) before falling to a diving caught & bowled by Loryn Phiri (1-51). Lewis had an outstanding series with the bat finishing top run-scorer with 263 runs at an average of 87.67
That brought captain Delany to join Hunter at the crease and the pair mounted an assault on the home bowlers. Their 143-run third wicket stand came off just 115 balls with Delany hitting 68 from 53 balls, and Hunter registering her maiden international century off 110 balls. While Delany was impressive with her strokeplay and power, Hunter rotated the strike regularly - the 45 singles and 16 twos she registered a testament to her ability to pace her innings well and compile runs with ease.
Orla Prendergast (12 off 10 balls) and Hunter struck 25 off the final three overs and carried Ireland Women’s total to 312-3 after their 50 overs.
In response, the Zimbabwean innings got off to a bad start losing Modester Mupachikwa for 2 in the second over, and while the partnering of Ashley Ndiraya (38) and Josephine Nkomo (66) mounted a 96-run second-wicket stand, the home side never looked in the hunt
Ireland’s bowlers impressed again on what looked a batter-friendly pitch - Jane Maguire (1-24), Cara Murray (1-33) and Celeste Raack (1-24) made key breakthroughs, while impressive spells from Delany (2-32) and Sophie MacMahon (2-44) ensured the Zimbabwe batters found it hard to score freely.

The hosts eventually finished on 227-8 after their 50 overs, with Ireland claiming the match today by 85 runs and the series 3-1.
Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women ODI Series, 4th ODI, Harare Sports Club, 11 October 2021
Ireland 312-3 (50 overs: A Hunter 121*, G Lewis 78, L Delany 68; J Nkomo 1-45)
Zimbabwe 227-8 (50 overs: J Nkomo 66, A Ndiraya 38; L Delany 2-32, S MacMahon 2-44)
Ireland won by 85 runs (Ireland won series 3-1)


Awesome Amy.
Absolutely awesome! Congratulations.

Craig Easdown


11th Oct 2021

Ireland Men v United Arab Emirates Men, 3rd T20I, ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground No 2, Dubai, 10 October 2021
Ireland 134-5 (20 overs; K O’Brien 54, P Stirling 40; R Mustafa 3-23)
UAE 139-3 (16.1 overs; M Waseem 107*, V Aravind 11; C Young 2-29)
UAE won by 7 wickets (UAE wins series 2-1)

Andy Kennedy


10th Oct 2021

Another disappointing result this morning. Seem to be going backwards!


Ed...The Jewels will come later!

Craig Easdown


8th Oct 2021

UAE level series with 54-run win over Ireland
DUBAI, UAE – Debutant Akif Raja and leg-spinner Palaniapan Meiyappan shared seven wickets as UAE dominated Ireland in the second of three T20Is to secure a 54-run win.
After Ireland had been set an imposing target of 164 to win, Raja ripped through the visitors’ top order: Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien and Andrew Balbirnie all fell victim to the right-arm quick in the powerplay. Stirling was out for 1 as he top-edged a delivery to mid-on, Balbirnie (9) departed to an excellent catch at deep square leg and O’Brien was adjudged to have tickled a delivery outside off stump that flew into the wicketkeeper’s hands.
A difficult powerplay meant Ireland faced an uphill task from there and regular breakthroughs followed: Gareth Delany was stumped off Ahmed Raza’s bowling and Meiyappan accounted for the lower middle order of Curtis Campher, George Dockrell and Neil Rock. Campher had briefly offered some hope and resistance for Ireland, moving to 22 off 15, but he was bowled to leave Ireland 74-5 inside 12 overs.
Despite a couple of dropped catches in the field, UAE were not forced to pay for their mistakes as they bounced back impressively from a heavy defeat to the same opponents the previous day – victory was finally sealed in the 19th over, when Craig Young was dismissed by Waseem Muhammad
Earlier in the match, UAE had put together a fine display with the bat after Ireland chose to field, recovering impressively after opening batter Muhammad was dismissed in Josh Little’s opening over for a duck. Chirag Suri top-scored for the hosts with an impressive half-century, his fourth in T20Is and one that included three fours and a six down the ground off Simi Singh’s bowling.
Vriitya Aravind (23 off 15) and Muhammad Usman (32 off 31) helped keep the scoreboard ticking at the other end, but the real fireworks came from Basil Hameed whose cameo saw him take 39 runs off 20 deliveries. His final flourish included 19 runs off his bat in the final over of the innings courtesy of some innovative strokeplay - including a shuffle to the leg-side and fine cut over the keeper’s head for four. Kashif Daud’s 12 off seven added to Ireland’s struggles as they failed to reach the heights of Thursday, when they limited UAE to a total of 123-7.
The pick of the bowlers for Ireland proved to be Little, who followed up an economical display in Thursday’s victory with figures of 1-24 from his four overs, while Campher also kept things tight in the middle overs with 19 runs conceded from his three overs.
With the series level at 1-1, the third and final T20I on Sunday will serve as a decider.
Ireland Men v United Arab Emirates Men, 1st T20I, ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground No 2, Dubai, 7 October 202
UAE 163-4 (20 overs; C Suri 51, B Hameed 39*; J Little 1-24)
Ireland 109 (18.4 overs; C Campher 22; P Meiyappan 4-25)
UAE won by 54 runs (series 1-1)

Craig Easdown


7th Oct 2021

Stirling, O'Brien lead Ireland to victory after Campher stars with the ball in first T20I against UAE
DUBAI, UAE - A disciplined bowling performance followed by a 90-run opening stand between Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien helped Ireland to a seven-wicket win in the first of three T20Is against the UAE.
Having succumbed to defeat against Scotland in a warm-up fixture on Tuesday, Ireland bounced back with a strong all-round performance on Thursday after they were asked to field first. Opening up with the new ball, Mark Adair and Josh Little gave little away, but the star man in the powerplay proved to be Curtis Campher.
Granted the sixth over of the innings, the all-rounder claimed his maiden T20I wicket with the dismissal of Chirag Suri off his second ball of the day. Just three deliveries later he reacted quickly to move to his left and hold on to a return catch from CP Rizwan – a double-wicket maiden saw UAE to 26-3 after six overs, with Adair having taken the first wicket of the day.
Campher remained economical in the middle overs and a top-edged pull from Basil Hameed, with the ball landing in the safe hands of Little at short fine leg, gave the 22-year-old his third wicket of the innings.
For the UAE, Muhammad Usman offered some resistance with a 32-ball 35, but he was stumped after dancing down the track and failing to connect off a Ben White delivery. The leg-spinner was celebrating once more from the very next delivery after he bowled Rohan Mustafa for a first-ball duck, and while he wasn’t to enjoy a hat-trick, he finished with tidy figures of 2-24.
The hosts did end strongly with the bat; Kashif Daud and Ahmed Raza struck some hefty blows to claim 26 runs from the final two overs, but UAE’s total of 123-7 appeared below par and meant Ireland remained in the driving seat at the mid-innings break.
In response, Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien didn’t race out of the blocks but neither did they falter – fifty was reached in the eighth over, with Stirling taking much of the strike in the opening exchanges. While it took him 40 deliveries to reach 38, the power game he is renowned for was on show when he moved to a half-century in spectacular style: the off-spin of Mustafa was deposited for back-to-back sixes, with deep midwicket the target zone of the freewheeling right-hander.
The partnership advanced to 90 before off-spinner Hameed accounted for Stirling, and there were a few minor bumps in Ireland’s path to victory: Andrew Balbirnie was bowled for 3, and O’Brien holed out to long-on for 46 as Hameed’s regular interventions left nine required from 10 deliveries.
But Campher showed his all-round value, entering the fray and immediately settling any nerves with back-to-back boundaries and a single to secure a series-opening win.
The two sides return to the same venue tomorrow for the second match of the series.
After the match, Ireland Men’s captain Andrew Balbirnie said:
“It’s always good to win the first international on tour, and hopefully we can back it up tomorrow. Most pleasing today was the well-controlled bowling performance put in by our bowling unit – it was very accurate in skills execution and they delivered on the plans we had in place.”
“Conditions, as you can clearly see, are very hot – it’s certainly one of the hottest I’ve played in, but we have acclimatised well since arriving and on-the-whole the squad have coped well.”
Ireland Men v United Arab Emirates Men, 1st T20I, ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground No 2, Dubai, 7 October 2021
UAE 123-7 (20 overs; M Usman 35; C Campher 3-19, B White 2-24, M Adair 2-29)
Ireland 124-3 (18.5 overs; P Stirling 53, K O’Brien 46; B Hameed 3-20)
Ireland won by 7 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Almeria, Spain

25th Sep 2021

Ireland Under-19s Men’s side qualify for 2022 Under-19 World Cup with win over Scotland
ALMERIA, Spain – For the second consecutive match, Lisburn’s Matthew Humphreys starred for Ireland Under-19s Men’s team as they defeated Scotland convincingly by 78 runs, booking their place in the ICC Men’s Under-19s World Cup in the West Indies next year.
Humphreys, who took 4-11 on Thursday in his side’s round robin win over the Scots, went one better today claiming 5-25 as Ireland’s bowling unit ran rampant for the second time in three days in back-to-back wins against their Celtic opponents.
While conditions were warm and muggy, Ireland’s captain Tim Tector won the toss and elected to bat first – and in an eerily similar outcome to Thursday’s match, the Irish batters largely struggled to get going. Nathan McGuire was the top-order exception, striking 43 off 50 balls, but by the 23rd over Ireland was 70-5 staring at another low total (at almost the equivalent stage in the last match, Ireland was 58-5).
Scott Macbeth (27) and Liam Doherty (21) forged a much-needed 41-run partnership for the 6th wicket – and late runs were added by Humphreys (11) and Jamie Forbes (12), but the Irish side succumbed to be all out for 144 from 46.4 overs – marginally better than their total of 139 all out last match.
Whilst appearing to be a low target for the Scots to achieve in isolation, in the context of the last match it was the Irish bowlers who went into the second innings full of confidence (Scotland was bowled out for just 44 on Thursday).
And just as he did on Thursday, Humphreys struck in the first over and set the tone for his side as the men in green steamrolled their way once more through the Scottish batting line-up.
Humphreys’ five-wicket haul stood out, however it was – in reality – a complete performance by the whole bowling unit. McGuire (2-14), Forbes (1-1), Muzamil Sherzad (1-2) and Liam Doherty (1-12) took the wickets alongside Humphreys, while Cameron Doak (0-8) went wicketless but bowled important overs to keep the pressure on the Scottish side.
In the end, the Scots scraped through to the 27th over, but finished on 66 all out – 78 runs adrift of the target, handing Ireland Under-19s qualification for the ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup next year.
After the match, Matthew Humphreys said:
“I’m absolutely delighted for the lads – the feeling was absolutely brilliant [when we won], credit to the lads for the way they pulled together. 140 wasn’t a big score, but the passion we showed in the field was absolutely brilliant and it has been an absolutely brilliant experience for the lads.”
“The loss to the Netherlands early on in the tournament was hard to take, but in fairness they were the better side on the day. The lads were brilliant how they pulled together over the following days though – the team culture was really good, and we focussed on doing what we needed to do, that was getting three wins from three to qualify.
Tim Tector said;
“Matthew Humphreys has been unbelievable all week for us – the first two games were pretty unlucky for him in that he didn’t get wickets against Jersey or the Netherlands, but the way he bowled against Scotland was a real reward to how he has been bowling all week. He stuck to his plan and was always threatening the batters. And with the bat as well, he was solid all week and helped a number of times getting us out of tricky situations, so it was great to see that fight and hunger from him.
“I’m just really delighted for the whole squad – but the hard work really starts now, as it’s about three months until we head to the Caribbean for the world cup, so we will just put our heads down and train hard. And then, when we’re out there we’ll be sure to enjoy the experience – as I said earlier, it’s not every day you qualify for a world cup.”
Ireland U19s v Scotland U19s, ICC U19 World Cup European Qualifier Final, Desert Springs Cricket Ground, 25 September 2021
Ireland U19s 139 (46.4 overs; N McGuire 43, S Macbeth 27; O Davidson 3-22, J Jarvis 3-16, L Robertson 3-29)
Scotland U19s 66 (26.5 overs: T Mackintosh 15; M Humphreys 5-25, N McGuire 2-14, L Doherty 1-12)
Ireland Under-19s won by 78 runs


Ed...Well done lads!

Craig Easdown

Almerira, Spain

24th Sep 2021

Matthew Humphreys stars with bat and ball as Ireland Under-19s book finals place with win over Scotland
ALMERIA, Spain – Lisburn all-rounder Matthew Humphreys starred for Ireland Under-19s with both bat and ball to lift Ireland to victory over Scotland, securing a finals place at the ICC Men’s Under-19s World Cup Europe Qualifier today.
After winning the toss, captain Tim Tector decided to bat first – however, big-hitting opener Nathan McGuire was dismissed early for 6, and combined with some accurate early Scottish bowling, Ireland was restricted to 28-1 after the first power-play.
Yesterday’s century-making hero Jack Dickson was bowled soon after for 15, with his dismissal triggering a middle-order collapse. The Irish batting line-up lost 4-21 in 11 overs to be precariously positioned at 58-5 in the 25th over – staring at a big defeat and missing out on the Final of the tournament.
Scott Macbeth and Liam Doherty stabilised the innings with a 6th wicket stand of 44 runs, however both fell within eight runs of each other and Ireland was once again looking at a well below par total, sitting on 100-7 with 14 overs still available.
The Irish team management was looking desperately for one of the lower-order to contribute in the latter overs, and up stepped Humphreys. The Lisburn-man struck two sixes and two fours in a run-a-ball innings of 32. He found some support from Jamie Forbes (2) who held up an end while Humphreys began to find the boundary, and the pair’s 28-run partnership for the 8th wicket gave their side the first glimpse of hope in setting a low, but possibly defendable target.
Scottish left-arm spinner Oliver Davidson eventually cleaned up the tail, claiming a five-wicket haul in the process, and Ireland ended on 139 from 44.4 overs – Humphreys being the last man to fall
If they had any chance of defeating the table-topping Scots, the Irish bowlers needed a positive start, and it was that man Humphreys that struck in the first over – his wicket maiden opening over would then set the tone for the rest of the innings.
Captain Tector effected a run out in the 6th over to have Scotland at 7-2, but Tomas Mackintosh looked to counter-attack. He reeled off five boundaries in a quickfire 24, but man-of-the-moment Humphreys trapped him in front with Scotland looking adrift at 25-3.
Ireland sensed their chance and made it count. The Irish bowlers, backed up by good fielding, never let up the pressure and wickets tumbled as a result. In all, Scotland lost their last seven wickets for just 12 runs in 10 overs as the side in green pressed home their advantage in ruthless style.
Player of the Match Humphreys finished with 4-11 from 10 overs (including four maidens) and McGuire claimed 3-7 from his 4.2 overs – his final delivery which bowled Sean Fischer-Keogh sparked wild celebrations as the Irish camp knew they had booked a place in Saturday’s final, which determines the side that goes through to the Under-19s World Cup in 2022.
Scotland – currently in second place – can only watch on tomorrow as Netherlands meets Jersey in the last match of the round-robin part of this tournament. A big win tomorrow by the Dutch may see them leap over the Scots on net run rate. Meanwhile the Irish squad has a rest day, and can begin preparing for the big decider in two days.
Ireland U19s v Scotland U19s, ICC U19 World Cup Qualifier Group Game 1, Desert Springs Cricket Ground, 23 September 2021
Ireland U19s 139 (44.4 overs; M Humphreys 32, S Macbeth 31; O Davidson 5-23)
Scotland U19s 44 (23.2 overs: T Mackintosh 24; M Humphreys 4-11, N McGuire 3-7, C Doak 1-2)
Ireland U19s won by 95 runs


Well done Matthew. A star on the horizon.

C Boomer

Dromore ( Co Down )

21st Sep 2021

Re: Position of NCU Chief Executive - Job description
and personnel specification -
Please see below General strategic/operational
plan & Curriculum vitae;
1. Over 25 yrs playing NCU cricket ( hopefully a few
more still to come?)

2. Firm believer in hands on approach as opposed to
supervising behind a desk, likewise, will expect
same from staff.

3. Keen to keep 50 & 20 over cricket separate as I see
a worrying trend, shorter version becoming
more accepted at expense of longer version
of game ( It ain't proper cricket ).

4. Will be upping the tempo in regards to junior/youth
cricket, formulating a strategic plan to introduce
cricket to current, non-playing schools throughout
the province.
I feel there a present vacuum exists and a potential
goldmine awaits, worth exploration.
If selected for the post, I shall personally oversee
the smooth implementation of my strategy
eg: how too approach Principals, teachers, youth
leaders etc.

( It's my present view, phone calls, letters, emails, advertising in local papers/shop notice boards, are a poor substitute for 'knock on the door approach')

5. I will endeavour in person to attend a game each
Saturday of all clubs participating in NCU cricket
up to and including their junior teams, should I be
unavailable through other cricket related
commitments, rest assured, I'll delegate
members of my staff paid or otherwise ( but
especially the paid ones) to do so
in my absence.

NB: Failure on their part to attend
without a valid reason my result in summary

6. Cricket Ireland will be regularly updated of
progress of local game, NCU knights, upcoming
talent and club membership numbers, likewise, I'll
expect reciprocal support/feedback from same,
anything less just isn't cricket, (no pun intended).

Qualifications: Just two O-levels, (back then I was
more into sport than academia),
though I possess bags of enthusiasm
and have a fairly reliable motor to get
around the country.

Ps : Address, phone no, email withheld at present
but if shortlisted for vacancy, I can be contacted
anytime here on the Ulster Cricketer forum;

Kind regards & yours in sport CB


Caleb, you are fast to the block these days! LOL
Let the people decide!

C Boomer

Dromore ( Co Down )

10th Sep 2021

Yep, sure was a hot and fiery summer..

Stick or twist

To hit, block or leave, that is the question
first ball dilemma, nagging quandary
that must be resolved, less calamity befall?

Throw kitchen sink, cow corner, clear rope
fortune favours the bold, don't they say?
after all, not lead, just a leather, cricket ball

Yet if missed, dreaded, death rattle, lbw, caught
or mix up, run out? 'Tis fool's folly to
endure skipper's wrath, let side, supporters down

Nope! Steady as she goes, forward defensive
play straight, Rome not built in a day
be a rock, resolute, assured, Boycott, no clown

But what if it's short, what if it's juicy half-tracker
pull, drive, fav shots, guaranteed 4 maybe 6
''what if, what if?' indeterminate, real or illusion?

A fitful sleep, hear morning lark, cockerel's crow
mind made, make mark, leave first delivery
awareness, noble traits, a foregone conclusion!

Alas, woe is me, split hairs, fine lines, fine margins
one more straw, broke the camel's back
swing or seam deviation, tiny edge, back in pavilion

Will there be mind's release from this tumult, disarray
just two hours before bell rings, face executioner..
Mercy me! A pardoned, ping, text from the skipper;

'Sorry lads, match is off ' ... Oh Lord, thx a million!!!

Andy Kennedy

sunny Buckna!!

28th Aug 2021

An old man once told me that if you live long enough you’ll see everything! I saw an incredible performance by Cameron Doak today taking 9 wkts for Lisburn 2s v Carrickfergus 2s including a 5 for 0 in 5 balls. Carrick 73/4 - 73 all out!!