Forum

Please click here to leave a message.

The Ulster Cricketer reserves the right not to publish submissions written under pseudonyms or which make gratuitous personal attacks.

Craig Easdown

Pembroke

1st Aug 2023


Leinster Lightning and Northern Knights in big wins on first day of final T20 Festival

The third and last three-day Rario Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy Festival of 2023 opened with defending champions Leinster Lightning and Northern Knights having big wins over their respective opponents at Pembroke today.

Match 1: Leinster Lightning v Munster Reds
Leinster Lightning’s Tim Tector (64* off 37 balls) and Riley Mudford (54 off 22 balls) led the charge to victory, with the pair putting on a 69-run stand for the second wicket from just 30 balls. Player of the Match Mudford struck six maximums and three boundaries in his 22-minute knock, while Tector carried his bat, striking a 4, 4 and 6 off three of the last four balls he faced.
The Lightning chased down the 168-run target in 15.1 overs with six wickets to spare – however, the T20 defending champions are still rooted to the bottom of the table with two games to play after not winning a game from their first six fixtures (albeit three were rained off).
Earlier, the Reds’ Murray Commins (62 from 37 balls) and Alistair Frost (61* from 37 balls) gave the Munster side an energised start, before Simi Singh (4-18) took vital late wickets to limit the damage and ensure the home side was in with a chance. A chance that the Lightning duly took.
MATCH SUMMARY
Lightning v Reds, Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy, Pembroke CC, 1 August 2023
Reds 167-6 (20 overs; M Commins 62, A Frost 61*; S Singh 4-18)
Lightning 171-4 (15.1 overs; T Tector 64*, R Mudford 54; B White 2-31)
Lightning won by 6 wickets

Match 2: North West Warriors v Northern Knights
Table-toppers Northern Knights put on a powerhouse display with the ball in the second match of the day, demolishing the Warriors batting line-up, led by Player of the Match Matthew Humphreys who took 5-13.
The Warriors innings started poorly, losing a wicket on the fourth ball of the match with Liam Doherty having his leg stump knocked back by Tom Mayes. Circumstances did not improve from there, with only two batters registering double-figures – Jared Wilson with 29 and Graham Hume with 17. The Knights’ left-arm spinners, Humphreys and Theo van Woerkom, holding sway as the North West side was rolled for 78.
Humphreys’ figures were the equal second-best in List A T20 cricket in Ireland, while he was ably supported by van Woerkom who finished with 3-27.
In the chase, Paul Stirling and Ross Adair started with great intent to finish the game early, but on a slow pitch they struggled to find the boundary with regularity. At 28-0 nearing the end of the fifth over, the Knights still looked comfortable. However, up stepped Graham Hume (2-9) and Craig Young (2-20). The international bowling duo grabbed two wickets apiece in a three over spell – the Knights losing 4-10 and looking a little precarious at 38-4.
Sensing increasing nervousness in his team, the Knights’ stand-in skipper Neil Rock was determined to kill off the game quickly and hit five fours and a six in a late flurry as the Knights completed the run chase with seven overs to spare.
MATCH SUMMARY
Northern Knights v North West Warriors, Inter-Provincial T20 Trophy, Pembroke, 1 August 2023
Warriors 78 (15.1 overs; S Harbinson 45*, A Rosslee 45; L McCarthy 2-27)
Knights 81-5 (13 overs; N Rock 29*, P Stirling 19; G Hume 2-9)
Knights won by 5 wickets

Response

Ed...
Rain permitting!

Clarence Hiles

Edinburgh

29th Jul 2023

T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier

Scotland beat Ireland by eight runs to protect their unbeaten record at the T20 World Cup qualifier. And in doing so, Scotland have moved above Ireland in the pecking order of world cricket, which will bitterly disappoint the Irish against their rivals of many years. It would be fair to say that Scotland have improved significantly in ODI and T20 cricket and at the same time, Ireland have been distracted with Test matches in the midst of shorter games. I question, is there any mileage in furthering Test cricket for Ireland as their status pales in comparison to virtually every other Test country?
As for the match in Edinburgh, Brandon McMullen hit 68 and Richie Berrington 54 murdered the Irish attack with only Mark Adair impressing. Posting 213 was challenging and as usual the Irish batsmen were confident. However, with six wickets down on 89 it was unlikely to beat them. But once again, Adair starred with a swashbuckling 72 which could have won an unlikely victory. Unfortunately, it was eight runs short.
Brad Currie was the home hero, removing Adair in the 19th over with excellent figures of 5-13.
Ireland achieved their main objective to Qualify, but in fairness the quality of the opposition was poor and the only real test was against the Scots.
As a footnote, Mark Adair is a genuine all-rounder with both bat and ball and perhaps merits a higher place in the pecking order!
Match Summary
Scotland: 213-6 (20 overs): McMullen 68, Berrington 54; McCarthy 2-42, White 2-45
Ireland: 205-9 (20 overs): Adair 72, Currie 5-13
Scotland win by eight runs

Cricket Ireland

Dublin

28th Jul 2023

Arachas All-Ireland T20 Cup semi-final draws revealedThe draw for the semi-finals of the Arachas All-Ireland T20 Club Cup has been unveiled.

The Men’s competition features clubs from four provinces, North West Cricket Union (NWCU), Northern Cricket Union (NCU), Munster Cricket Union (MCU), and Cricket Leinster (CL), with the winners* of their respective provincial T20 competitions all moving on to the All-Ireland semi-finals
Leinster representatives Balbriggan won the LHK Group Alan Murray Cup for the first time, beating The Hills by 54 runs in the final, while Cork County were the winners of the MCU Premier T20 League.
The finals of both the NWCU and NCU are down for decision this weekend, with Killyclooney taking on Brigade at The Bleechgreen in the BW White Horse Hotel Faughan Valley Cup Final at 6pm on Monday 31 July, while 2022 All-Ireland Champions CIYMS take on Waringstown in the Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup Final at 3pm at their home ground The Lawn on Sunday 30 July.
The Women’s competition features clubs from Cricket Leinster, the NWCU and NCU. CSNI – finalists in 2022, won the Gallagher Women’s T20, beating North Down in the final. They have been drawn to will meet the winners of the NWCU’s Women’s Senior Cup – between Bready and Fox Lodge, which is due to take place on Monday 31 July, at 6pm in Magheramason. The winners of that tie will meet either 2022 winners Merrion, or Pembroke in the All-Ireland Final. That match is due to take place on Monday 7 August.
The finals of both the Men’s and Women’s competitions will be held in Malahide Cricket Club on Sunday 27 August, with the Women’s final at 11am, followed by the Men’s final at 3pm.
Both games will be livestreamed by our broadcast partners, HBV Studios.
Arachas All-Ireland T20 Cup Semi-finals draw.
Men’s
CIYMS or Waringstown v Cork County
Killyclooney or Brigade v Balbriggan
Women’s
Bready or Fox Lodge v CSNI
Winners will face either Merrion or Pembroke in the final.
* If the NCU Final does not proceed this Sunday, a representative for the All-Ireland T20 Cup semi-finals will be determined by a coin toss

Craig Easdown

Edinburgh

27th Jul 2023

Ireland Men qualify for the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup

Ireland Men have qualified for the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup after today’s game against Germany was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain.
Having won their previous four matches, against Italy, Denmark, Austria, and Jersey, Ireland needed just one more point to mathematically ensure qualification. Due to today’s abandonment the points were shared, and Ireland’s passage to the USA and the West Indies next summer was secured.

Ireland still have one match left to play in the qualifying tournament, as they are set to face hosts Scotland in Grange Cricket Club tomorrow, Friday 28 July at 3.30pm. That game will decide who wins the tournament outright.

Paul Stirling, Ireland Men's captain, said:
"While it's true that we'd rather have achieved qualification on the field today, we're delighted to have achieved our primary objective of qualifying for next year's T20 World Cup. We came to Scotland with a clear plan and style of play we wanted to implement, and I think we delivered on that front.
"So, we'll celebrate job done this afternoon, but there is a trophy on the line tomorrow and we are keen to continue that winning momentum going into the India T20 series next month."

Response

Ed...
Well done!

Craig Easdown

Edinburgh

24th Jul 2023

Ireland Men made it four wins from four games as they produced a dominant bowling display in a nine-wicket victory over Jersey in their ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier at the Goldenacre Sports Ground.
After Ireland’s seam attack of Barry McCarthy, Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, and Josh Little had demolished the Jersey batting unit, the top-order took care of business, and comfortably reached their target inside eleven overs
Ireland made one change to yesterday’s team that beat Austria, as Andrew Balbirnie came back in to replace Ross Adair.
While chasing a modest 79 runs for victory Ireland got off to an excellent start, with nine runs off the first over, which included a well-executed punch through the off-side field for four by Balbirnie.
Balbirnie, showing renewed confidence with the bat, then struck back-to-back sixes followed by a cover drive for four as Ireland looked in cruise control, as they moved onto 29-0 after three overs. However, while trying his favoured sweep shot he succumbed to a slower ball from Benjamin Ward for 25.
Lorcan Tucker came in at three, and with a single first ball brought up 1,000 career T20I runs.
Ireland were never in any trouble in the chase, and it was only fitting that it was the skipper Stirling who finished the game off in style with a six towards mid-wicket.
Earlier in the day, and having been put in to bat, Jersey found life difficult from the very first ball, with just one of their batters reaching double figures.
Left-arm seamer Little claimed two wickets in his first over - Julius Sumerauer and Nick Greenwood both for the dreaded duck.
Harrison Carlyon (7), Jonty Jenner (7), and Ward (3) all fell as Jersey were in all sorts of trouble at 25-5 inside just seven overs.
Teenager Asa Tribe did play some quality shots, including knocking Little for six - their first of the match in the tenth over - and followed it up with a boundary as he moved onto 23 from 21 balls.
Josh Lawrenson then decided to target leg-spinner Ben White in the next over, but he fell to a comfortable catch by George Dockrell – who was making his 300th appearance for Ireland across all formats - in the deep.
The Tribe brothers Asa and Zak went in successive overs as Ireland eventually restricted Jersey to 78-9, with McCarthy taking an excellent 3-7 for his four overs.
Ireland will have a well deserved day off tomorrow before returning to the same venue to take on Germany at 10.30am Ireland time.
MATCH SUMMARY
Jersey 78-9 (20 overs; A Tribe 26, Z Tribe 8; B McCarthy 3-7)
Ireland 80-1 (10.2 overs; P Stirling 35*, A Balbirnie 25; B Ward 1-23)
Ireland won by 9 wickets

Response

Ed...
Obviously the opposition was not strong, but Ireland don't pick them so keep on winning
Well done again.

Craig Easdown

Edinburgh

24th Jul 2023

Austria v Ireland, ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier, 23 July 2023

Lorcan Tucker scored an unbeaten 94 as Ireland Men posted their highest T20I total - comfortably making it three wins from three in the ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier with a 128-run victory over Austria at the Grange Cricket Club.
Tucker’s innings was a career best T20I score, while Neil Rock’s quickfire 36 was his highest total in the format and Mark Adair took career-best T20I figures of 4-13.
It was also Ireland’s biggest ever margin of victory in T20Is – beating the previous best of 98-runs against Scotland in 2017.
Captain Paul Stirling lost his third straight toss and Ireland were sent in to bat first. There was one change to the starting line-up, as Ireland took to the field without Andrew Balbirnie, after he was ruled out of the game as a precaution after picking up a slight niggle in the warm-up. Ross Adair coming in to replace him alongside Stirling at the top of the order.
Austria came into the game off the back of heavy defeats to Germany and Jersey, while Ireland had back-to-back victories over Italy and Denmark.
In cold and windy conditions, Austria started with their spinner Amit Nathwani – while his opening delivery surprised Ross Adair and almost knocked over the Northern Knights’ opener, Adair proceeded to smash his second delivery for six towards long on giving impetus to the Irish batting assault.
Austria did manage an early breakthrough when their captain Razmal Shigiwal claimed a great catch off Nathwani’s bowling in the third over to end Stirling’s innings on nine. However, Adair and Tucker then combined well as Ireland moved on to 75-1 at the end of the power play.
Their partnership of 65 ended when Adai, on 46, was beaten by a brilliant yorker from left-arm medium pacer Abdullah Akbarjan.
Player of the Match Tucker kept playing his shots, driving balls to the off-side, sweeping down leg side, blasting sixes over the leg-side boundary, and clipping balls over the wicket-keeper for four. He brought up his sixth career T20I half-century in the twelfth over, off just 29 balls, with a single to extra-cover.
Harry Tector fell to catch by Mark Simpson-Parker at long-on, with Ireland 138-3 in the 14th over.
Neil Rock came in at number five and scored his highest T20I score with a six down towards third - passing his previous best of 22 - but was fortunate to continue as he was dropped by Iqbal with the very next ball. His partnership of 71 with Tucker eventually came to an end when Rock was beaten by a slower ball from Iqbal.
Austria would eventually rue three dropped catches as Ireland finished up with 226-4, one run higher than their previous best of 225-7 against Afghanistan in 2013.
Ireland’s bowlers got their defence off to the perfect start, with Mark Adair taking a wicket with his first ball, as Curtis Campher grabbed the ball at backward point to remove Iqbal Hossain. Josh Little then forced Mark Simpson-Parker into feathering an edge to Tucker in the fourth over.
Austria captain Shigiwal, who came in at number three, scored freely, and hit their first six down to fine-leg off the bowling of Campher.
Shigiwal’s innings came to an end on 33, after Little was brought back into the attack, slapping one straight to Rock at mid-wicket.
Three wickets then fell in ten balls, as Mark Adair, Ben White, and Barry McCarthy all took wickets, reducing Austria to 56-6.
Austria did construct a nice partnership of 37 - their highest of the day - between Iqbal and Mehar Cheema, before Campher returned and removed both in the space of five balls in the eighteenth over.
Mark Adair finished off the tail with back-to-back wickets as Austria were bowled out for 98 with eight balls remaining.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland 226-4 (20 overs; L Tucker 94*, R Adair 46; A Iqbal 2-47)
Austria 98 (18.4 overs; R Shigiwal 33, A Iqbal 29; M Adair 4-13)

Ireland won by 128 runs

Response

Ed...
On a roll Ireland. Keep it up!

Craig Easdown

Edinburgh

21st Jul 2023

Denmark v Ireland, ICC T20 World Cup Europe , 21 July 2023
Half-centuries from openers Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling secured a comprehensive nine-wicket victory for Ireland Men in their second match of the ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifiers at the Grange Cricket Club.
It was an excellent all-round performance from Ireland, with the bowling attack of Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Ben White, and Curtis Campher all taking wickets.
Ireland started the day with an unchanged line-up from Thursday’s win over Italy, while Denmark took the field minus their captain Hamid Shah, having had to return home for personal reasons. They did include Nicolaj Laegsgaard, who plays in Ireland for The Hills Cricket Club, and who has also featured for the Munster Reds in the Rario Inter-Provincial competition.
After winning the toss Denmark opted to bat first, and opener Laegsgaard took the game to Josh Little in the second over, following up a six with a boundary down towards the leg-side as Denmark moved on to 22-0 after two overs.
McCarthy made the breakthrough when Musa Shaheen nicked one behind to Lorcan Tucker with just his fourth delivery, before Adair took the big wicket of Laegsgaard (20) in the fourth over, when he skied a slower delivery straight down the throat of Balbirnie, with Denmark 29-2.
McCarthy was causing all sorts of problems for the Danish batters in his opening two-over spell, and forced a leading edge from Taranjit Bharaj to Ben White at third, who took a nice catch.
White continued Ireland’s impressive bowling when he removed Saif Ahmad, as Denmark found it hard to build any notable partnerships, and at the midway point of their innings were struggling on 59-4.
Oliver Hald, who also plays his cricket in Ireland with Phoenix CC, showed plenty of resolve at number eight, scoring 21, before Mark Adair was brought back in the 18th over and removed him first ball.
Ireland were very clinical with their bowling – with the slower ball doing most of the damage – McCarthy (3-16) and Adair (3-22) the most economical, as Denmark finish on 122-9.
Ireland captain Stirling opened the batting for Ireland alongside Balbirnie, and they got off to a similar start to the Danes, with 32 runs on the board after the first three overs. Stirling’s fast hands brought up three successive boundaries, while two excellent slog-sweeps from Balbirnie went for six.
The fifty came up as Balbirnie smashed a boundary on the leg side, as they quickly moved onto 52-0 after five overs.
Both openers did have some good fortune, as Stirling was dropped by Hald, while Balbirnie was dropped on 41 after Denmark introduced spin and almost made an immediate impact.
Balbirnie scored his ninth T20I half-century, off 35 balls, with the last ball of the tenth over, hitting a single to long-off. However he departed in the next over while trying to scoop the ball over the wicketkeeper, and the ball crashed into the stumps.
Stirling scored a fifty of his own - his 23rd career T20I half-century - off 38 balls, including nine fours, before he and Tucker steered Ireland home with 5.3 overs to spare.
MATCH SUMMARY
Denmark 122-9 (20 overs; O Hald 21, N Laegsgaard 20; B McCarthy 3-16)
Ireland 123-1 (14.3 overs; P Stirling 55*, A Balbirnie 53; J Henricksen 1-28)
Ireland won by 9 wickets

Response

Ed...
Much better Ireland. Well done!

Craig Easdown

Edinburgh

21st Jul 2023


Italy v Ireland, ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier, Goldenacre, Edinburgh, Scotland, 20 July 2023

A quickfire half-century from Curtis Campher helped Ireland Men to victory over Italy in their opening game of the ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier at Goldenacre today.
After stumbling to 46-3 in the eighth over, Ireland’s innings was bolstered by a 76-run fourth-wicket partnership between Campher and Harry Tector (playing in his 100th international match).
After losing the toss, Ireland was sent in to bat, losing captain Paul Stirling early for 2 and Lorcan Tucker for 8, beaten by an excellent yorker which removed his middle stump.
Italy were very sharp in the field early on, and Cork County’s Stefanos di Bartolomeo (making his Italy debut) almost took a blinder of a catch off an Andrew Balbirnie sweep. While Balbirnie survived the scare he didn’t survive the next ball - clean bowled by Jaspreet Singh for 26.
It was then that Tector and Campher came together. They settled quickly into a nice rhythm, spraying the ball around the ground with ease, posting 76-runs between them. Tector passed 1,000 career T20I runs during his innings of 41 – becoming only the sixth Irishman to do so. When he fell, adjudged LBW to Henry Manenti, Ireland was 122-4 in the 17th over.
Campher brought up his fifty with a reverse scoop shot towards third for a boundary. He was dropped very next ball, but followed it up with a six off the next delivery. However, his luck ran out when he slapped one straight to Anthony Mosca and was walking back to the pavilion for 61 from 39 balls. Several late wickets fell, and Ireland finished on 158-8.
In response Italy found themselves three wickets down at the end of the powerplay, with Mark Adair and Josh Little taking the wickets of Benjamin Manenti and Marcus Campopiano, while Justin Mosca was run out by an excellent throw from George Dockrell in the deep, while attempting a third run.
Ben White then came on and trapped Anthony Mosca LBW in his first over. Despite being four wickets down, Italy were well ahead of Ireland at the midway point of their innings - 74-4 compared to 59-
Harry Manenti and Gina-Piero Meade took the game to Ireland and brought up a 50-run partnership in the 12th over, but both were removed in the space of three balls by White and Campher as Italy were reduced to 94-6.
After a good performance with the ball, Jaspreet Singh backed that up with the bat as he tried valiantly to bring Italy close to their target. However, Little removed him in the 17th over with a delivery that ricocheted off his pads and onto the stumps, with Italy 122-7 and Ireland’s bowling attack on top.
Adair came back into the attack and claimed the wickets of Syed Naqvi and Gareth Berg as Italy finished seven runs short of their target, with Adair claiming 3-33.
Ireland will return to action tomorrow morning where they will face Denmark at the Grange Cricket Club, with a 10.30am start (Ireland time).
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland 158-8 (20 overs; C Campher 61, H Tector 41; G Berg 3-24)
Italy 151-9 (20 overs; G Berg 26 GP Meade 26; M Adair 3-33)
Ireland won by 7 runs

Response

Ed...
Come on Ireland. You are capable of more than beating Italy by 7 runs!

Craig Easdown

St Lucia

7th Jul 2023

Ireland Women battled hard but ultimately fell to an eight-wicket loss in Game Two of the three-match T20 International (T20I) series against West Indies at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground today.
Ireland captain Laura Delany won the toss and decided to bat first – but despite some positive intent in the opening overs, Ireland soon suffered a double blow with Gaby Lewis (2) and Orla Prendergast (2) both falling early. Lewis was the first of four run outs in the Irish innings as the Girls in Green finished on 113-7 from 20 overs – one run more than their score in the first match of the series on Tuesday.
Amy Hunter impressed in a return to form striking 33 from 25 balls, which included four boundaries. The 17-year old Belfast opener was the only batter that seemed to get to grips with conditions playing a mix of deft shots behind square on either side, and several ‘aerial route’ shots which underscored her growing confidence as her innings progressed.
Delany (20), Eimear Richardson (16), Rebecca Stokell (15) and Arlene Kelly (13) all got starts, but wickets fell regularly, denying the visitors the chance to build a competitive total.
In reply, Windies skipper Hayley Matthews top-scored again, this time with 50, as her side powered to victory with 20 balls to spare.
While a fairly straightforward run chase, there was one moment of mild controversy when Matthews struck an uppish cover drive to Lewis’ left. The Dubliner lunged low and appeared to get her hands under the ball, but in the next frame of the replay the ball looked to have bobbled out of Lewis’ grip and touch the grass before the fielder scooped the ball up again. It was a close call, but after several minutes of replay reviewing by the third umpire, not out was given.
The two sides meet again on Saturday at the same venue for the last of three T20Is.
MATCH SUMMARY
West Indies Women v Ireland Women, 2nd T20I, St Lucia, 6 July 2023
Ireland 113-7 (20 overs: A Hunter 33, L Delany 20; C Fraser 1-16)
West Indies 114-2 (16.4 overs; H Matthews 50; L Delany 1-12)
West Indies won by 8 wickets

Clarence Hiles

Zimbabwe

5th Jul 2023

Harare, 4 July.

Ireland 7th in the World Cup Qualifying...just about!

Ireland barely made it to defeat Nepal, as it went to the last over. In this tournament a win is a win, but there's plenty to reflect on what could have happened in the past few weeks. One thing is certain, there are no minnows as West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland took a tumble in the process. Scotland and Netherlands were on a high and Oman and Nepal had their moments too.
Back to porridge for Ireland with India looming in August. Let India bat first and at least the fans will enjoy their day out. We are not at this level by a mile!
Match Summary
Nepal 268-9 (50 overs; G Jha 57*, A Saud 48, K Malla 44, S Lamichhane 32, R Paudel 29; C Young 2-36, M Adair 2-47, B McCarthy 2-63)
Ireland 269-8 (49.2 overs; C Campher 62, H Tector 60, G Dockrell 33; Karan KC 3-55, K Mahato 2-55)

Ireland won by 2 wickets

Craig Easdown

St Lucia

5th Jul 2023

Unlucky Ireland goes down in last ball thriller against West Indies

ST LUCIA – Ireland Women fought back in a low-scoring contest but fell just short of what would have been a remarkable win in the first T20 International (T20I) against West Indies at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground today.
Ireland started sprightly after being put in to bat first with 28 runs flowing from the first 23 balls of the innings, courtesy of openers Gaby Lewis (17) and Amy Hunter (15). Both batters looked comfortable early, finding the boundary four times as the visitors looked to set the pace.
However, the pair were soon back in the pavilion within five balls of each other and the bowlers then set about drying up the runs. Captain Laura Delany (34) and Eimear Richardson (22) put on 31 for the fourth wicket, but looking to accelerate, Richardson was caught at square leg.
Delany battled hard, striking two boundaries and a six over long off, but she eventually fell in the last over and Ireland finished 112-7 from 20 overs – seven runs shy of what is considered par score for the ground.
The West Indies reply started badly with a batting mix up leading to a run out by Orla Prendergast – the Pembroke all-rounder chased the ball in her follow-through, spun around and threw down the stumps at the non-strikers end.

Hayley Matthews (37) led the batting recovery as the home side made their way to 40-1 in the 9th over. Quick hands by Hunter behind the stumps removed Gajnabi – and a second direct hit run out by Prendergast – saw West Indies stumble again at 59-3 in the 13th over.
With tension building, the last seven overs saw the momentum of the game shift radically – runs flowed but regular wickets tumbled, including great piece of bowling by T20I debutant Aimee Maguire (1-18). The 16-year old left-arm spinner was smashed to the boundary by Afy Fletcher off the third ball of her third over, but bounced back with a ball that was faster, flatter and deceived Fletcher and crashed into her leg stump.
With one over to go the West Indies needed 7 to win with three wickets in hand. Cara Murray was handed the ball and snared a wicket with the third ball, but Ireland’s dreams of a come-from-behind win were shattered with a wide and a single off the last ball saw the Caribbean side triumph by two wickets off the last ball.
The two sides meet again on Thursday at the same venue for the second of three T20Is.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland 112-7 (20 overs: L Delany 34, E Richardson 22; H Matthews 3-22)
West Indies 113-8 (20 overs; H Matthews 37; A Kelly 3-21)
West Indies won by 2 wickets

Response

Ed...Bad luck Ladies!

Craig Easdown

ZIMBABWE

4th Jul 2023

Balbirnie steps down as white-ball captain; Stirling named interim captain

HARARE- Ireland Men’s captain Andrew Balbirnie has this evening announced that he will step down from the captaincy of the One-Day International and T20 International squads effective immediately. Paul Stirling will step into the role on an interim basis.
Balbirnie, 32, has led his country 89 times across formats (four Tests, 33 ODIs, 52 T20Is) since taking over the reins in late 2019.
He informed his teammates shortly after today’s final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier for Ireland – signing off his white-ball captaincy tenure with a win.

Response

Ed...
A good decision. Balbirnie has suffered with loss of form these days and Ireland need him as a batsman first and foremost right now. His experience is also crucial and its good that Stirling has stepped up to the table.

CWI Media

St Lucia

2nd Jul 2023

GROS ISLET- The West Indies Women took the three-match CG United One Day International series 2-0, defeating Ireland by 6 wickets in the final match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia.
Winning the toss and batting first, posted 203 all out in 50 overs. The star of the Irish innings was Gaby Lewis, who got stranded on 95 not out of 121 deliveries, she shared a 50-run partnership with Cara Murray which was crucial in steadying the ship after Ireland lost quick wickets. Afy Fletcher 10-0-37-3 and Shamilia Connell 4-0-16-2 kept the Irish batters in check.
In response, the West Indies Women started their innings shakily, losing a few early wickets. However, it was Stafanie Taylor who once again rescued her side. Taylor notched her 40th ODI half-century, she showcased her experience and composure in a challenging situation, constructing her innings carefully.
Taylor found a reliable partner in Chinelle Henry, who carried on her good form from the first ODI, hitting her second consecutive half-century. Together, they put on a match-winning 104-run partnership, steering their team to a comfortable 6-wicket victory with 8.4 overs to spare.
Full scorecard here
This was captain Hayley Matthews first series win and she told CWI Media, “I’m happy that we were able to get over the line in a series that we were looking to dominate. We earned valuable ICC Women’s Championship points, Stafanie is back in form and Chinelle is coming into her own along with debuts from our youngsters, I’d say those are some serious positives we can take away from this series. We all knew the potential Chinelle has and what we have been expecting from her, it’s great to see her scoring runs and I know there’s more to come.”
The Player of the Match was awarded to Stafanie Taylor for her outstanding knock of 79 not out under pressure, while the Player of the Series was given to Hayley Matthews for her all-round performance.
The two teams will now switch to the shorter format when the three-match T20 International series starts on Tuesday at the same venue. All matches will start at 5pm Eastern Caribbean time (4pm Jamaica time).
Match tickets are available online from the Windies Tickets service, presented by Mastercard - Tickets.windiescricket.com - at a discounted price of US$6/EC$16 (USS3/EC$7.50 children and seniors) with tickets available on the day at the box office at a price of US$7.50/EC$20 (US$3.75/EC$10 for children and seniors).
For fans unable to get to the games in St. Lucia, the CG United ODI Series will be exclusively live on Flow Sports in the Caribbean and on BT Sport in the UK & Ireland. The matches will also be shown around the world on FanCode (India), ESPN+ (USA), Sky NZ (NZ), SuperSport (sub-Saharan Africa) and in all other countries on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel.
Match Schedule
(All matches played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia)
CG United ODI Series:
Monday 26 June: 1st CG United ODI – 10am (9amJamaica Time)- West Indies won by 58 runs
Wednesday 28 June: 2nd CG United ODI – 10am(9am Jamaica Time)- Match abandoned due to rain
Saturday 1 July: 3rd CG United ODI – 3pm (2pmJamaica Time)- West Indies won by 6 wickets
T20 International Series:
All matches start at 5pm Eastern Caribbean Time (4pm Jamaica Time)
Tuesday 4 July: 1st T20I
Thursday 6 July: 2nd T20I
Saturday 8 July: 3rd T20I

Response

Ed...Another magnificent performance from Gabby Lewis. Unfortunately the batting struggled from the outset but Cara Murray starred in the late order. However, the West Indies have some fine players including Stafanie Taylor who proved to be the winner.
Let's hope Ireland bat better in the T20 Series.

Craig Easdown

Harare, Zimbabwe

30th Jun 2023

IRELAND WIN AGAIN

Three wickets from returning paceman Craig Young, and a belligerent half-century from opener Paul Stirling, helped Ireland Men to a six-wicket win over USA in their seventh-place playoff semi-final at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.
During what was the first-ever One-Day International (ODI) between the sides, an opening partnership of 84 off 83 balls set the tone for Ireland’s run chase after being set 197 for victory. Stirling was the main aggressor, with nine fours and two sixes being the dominant scoring shots in his 45-ball 58. He brought up his 28th career ODI fifty in the eleventh over, with a reverse sweep for a boundary.
Fortune was a little bit on his side throughout, dropped on seven, and lucky again on 27, he nevertheless backed up his last knock of 162 against the UAE with another assertive innings. Most of his boundaries came through the off side – punching cover drives or flashing cut strokes behind point, but his two sixes were stand-and-deliver pull shots over the legside boundary. Stirling eventually fell on 58 when he was trapped lbw trying to sweep in the 14th over, with Ireland 84-1.
Captain Andrew Balbirnie – playing in his 100th ODI - came in at number three and posted a 39-run partnership with Andy McBrine before the left-hander was caught and bowled by Nosthush Kenjige with Ireland 123-2.
Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker both made 25, before Balbirnie and Curtis Campher guided the side home with over 15 overs to spare. Balbirnie ended on 45* - after his 66 in the last match – has seen the skipper register not only much-needed runs, butt also valuable time in the middle.
Earlier in the day the USA saw Saiteja Mukkamalla and Sushant Modani score half-centuries as they posted 196 all out. Opener Steven Taylor played with plenty of freedom early on, before a seventh over double-wicket maiden from Craig Young – in his first over of the tournament - took care of both Taylor and US captain Monank Patel.
Mukkamalla and Modani then combined for an 88-run partnership before Mukkamalla was unfortunate to get run out in the 23rd over - McBrine getting his index finger to a shot from Modani that clipped the stumps, with Mukkamalla caught out of his crease.
Having been 121-3, Ireland’s bowlers ran through the lower order with Barry McCarthy, Young, McBrine, and Mark Adair all taking wickets, with Young the best of those with 3-35 from his seven overs.
Ireland will now face the winners of Nepal v UAE in the seventh-place playoff final next Tuesday, 4 July.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland Men v USA Men, ICC World Cup Qualifier, 7th place playoff semi-final, Harare, 30 June 2023
USA 196 (42.4 overs; S Mukkamalla 55, S Modani 55; C Young 3-35)
Ireland 197-4 (34.2 overs; P Stirling 58, A Balbirnie 45*; N Kenjige 2-41)
Ireland won by 6 wickets

Response

Ed...
Another boost to confidence for the batsmen. Roll on Nepal!

Craig Easdown

Zimbabwe

27th Jun 2023

Ireland will now move on to Harare to play the USA on Friday in the seventh-place playoff semi-final.