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Craig Easdown

Harare

22nd Jan 2023

Little goes large as Ireland knocks Zimbabwe off Ballance to level series
Zimbabwe – Ireland Men won a closely fought match by 46 runs in Harare to level the ODI series 1-1 with one to play. Josh Little took career-best ODI figures of 4-38 to close out Zimbabwe’s hopes of victory, along with milestone performances with the bat from Stephen Doheny and Harry Tector, which helped Ireland post 294-7 in the first innings.
Despite strong resistance from Gary Ballance and Innocent Kaia, who both registered fifties, the home side were bowled out with two overs and three balls left in the match.
Following Wednesday’s thrilling match in which Clive Madande was the hero, hitting a boundary off the last ball to shatter Irish hearts, today’s game in Harare was also evenly matched until a late flurry of Zimbabwean wickets, with the series now still alive going into its final act.
Paul Stirling captained in the absence of Andrew Balbirnie, who suffered a concussion in the first ODI. Ireland lost the toss and was asked to bat, with Murray Commins making his international debut.
Creating a good platform first up, Stirling and Doheny combined for a 100-run partnership in 20 overs, including two huge sixes from Stirling on the leg side. After he was dismissed in the 21st over and Commins departed soon after for six, Doheny combined with Harry Tector to score the bulk of runs. In just his second ODI appearance, Doheny registered his maiden half-century off 76 balls.
Coming in four runs short of 1,000 ODI runs, it took Tector just eight balls to break Stirling’s record and become the fastest Ireland player to reach the milestone in men’s ODIs, taking just 25 innings to do so.
Zimbabwe turned to the short-ball tactic with few other options to limit Tector and Doheny, but the two batters cashed in, with the team’s 150 coming up in the 31st over – in which Sikandar Raza was hit for two boundaries. Doheny was finally dismissed for 84 by Ryan Burl, top-edging a reverse sweep, and Ballance taking a good, low, diving catch.
Continuing from his brilliant hundred in the first match of the series on Wednesday, Tector went on to smash 75 from 61 balls, giving Ireland hopes of a 300-plus score. In a fiery moment of frustration, Victor Nyauchi threw the ball at Tector in his follow-through, despite the batter never leaving his crease, hitting him on the shoulder and prompting the umpires to intervene and calm tensions down. Tector followed up a few overs later with a huge six straight down the ground off Brad Evans and a four off the following ball.
Once Tector was finally dismissed, Ireland fell just short of the 300-run mark, despite useful cameos from George Dockrell (30) and Lorcan Tucker (11).
The ever-present threat of rain held off, and Zimbabwe began their innings with Little dismissing Tadiwanashe Marumani LBW with his second delivery.
A promising partnership from Kaia and Chami Chibhabha worth 90 may have had Ireland fans worried early on in the chase, but nerves would have steadied after Andy McBrine got Kaia's wicket, thanks to a brilliant diving catch from Graham Hume, with Little continuing his magic to dismiss Chimhabha.
Despite Zimbabwe keeping up with the required run rate through the majority of the innings, Ireland’s bowlers kept making crucial inroads to peg them back. Mark Adair got the all-important wicket of Raza before Campher effected a fortunate run out of Ryan Burl at the non-striker’s end. Campher got a small touch on a straight drive from Ballance in his follow-through, which deflected onto the stumps with Burl out of his ground. It was a big moment going into the last ten overs with Zimbabwe needing 88 more runs.
There was to be no end of match heroics from Madande this time though, with Little taking out his off stump with a hooping delivery and claiming Richard Ngarava as his final victim to complete his career-best ODI figures.
Mark Adair took the final wicket to complete another thrilling match in Harare, with the series decider set to be a blockbuster on Monday.
MATCH SUMMARY
Zimbabwe v Ireland, 2nd ODI, Harare Sports Club, Harare, 21 January 2023
Ireland 294-7 (50 overs; S Doheny 84, H Tector 75, P Stirling 45; T Chatara 3-51)
Zimbabwe 248 (47.3 overs; G Balance 52, I Kaia 51; J Little 4-38)
Ireland won by 46 runs

Response

Ed...
Terrific display!

Craig Easdown

Harare

18th Jan 2023

Zimbabwe edge final-ball thriller over Ireland despite Balbirnie and Tector centuries
Centuries from captain Andrew Balbirnie and Harry Tector – as part of a record third-wicket stand of 212 - weren’t enough as Zimbabwe won a thrilling first ODI of the series in Harare by three wickets (DLS), with Clive Madande winning the match with a four off the final ball.
A lengthy rain delay reduced the target from 115 off 102 deliveries to 39 off 22. Wickets tumbled and sixes sailed over the rope in a chaotic twenty minutes of play, which ended with Zimbabwe needing four off the final ball of the match. Heartbreakingly for Ireland, but to the delight of the home crowd in Harare, Madande pumped Graham Hume’s final ball down the ground to the boundary, completing a famous win.
Zimbabwe won the toss and sent Ireland in to bat first, with Balbirnie top scoring in his 200th match for Ireland with 121 not out from 137 balls. He timed his innings superbly after Ireland lost two wickets within the first ten overs, including that of Stephen Doheny who was out for three on his ODI debut. Balbirnie, aided by Tector at No. 4, rebuilt superbly, accelerating during the last ten overs to set Zimbabwe 289 to win.
The captain’s innings came to an unfortunate end in alarming fashion, when he was struck on the head by a chest-high beamer from Brad Evans, which deflected off Balbirnie’s bat and into his helmet. Although the stretcher was brought out Balbirnie was eventually able to leave the field under his own steam but took no further part in the match.
After Balbirnie departed, all eyes turned to Tector to see if he could complete his third ODI hundred in just his 24th innings in the format. He was joined for brief cameos by George Dockrell and Curtis Campher, who each looked to attack from the get-go.
Tector reached his three-figure milestone in the last over of the innings, roaring in delight as he came back for a second run to take him to the hundred. He fell just four runs short of breaking the Ireland record for the fastest batter to score 1,000 ODI runs, although he has another five innings leeway to claim Paul Striling’s record of 29 innings.
Zimbabwe lost Wesley Madhevere early in their innings, after he was caught by substitute fielder Tyrone Kane, Mark Adair making the breakthrough inside the first five overs.
From there Innocent Kaia and Craig Ervine built a watchful partnership, scoring 40 off the next 49 deliveries to steady the Zimbabwe ship. There was a reprieve for Kaia when he was dropped by Josh Little off Adair, seemingly squandering some good pressure built by the bowler but the reprieve wasn’t too costly. Campher held onto a chance in the very next over to send Kaia on his way.
A stunning caught and bowled gave Ireland their third, Tector back in the game and nearly colliding with his teammate in the field but managing to just cling on to the ball to dismiss Craig Ervine. Gary Ballance was next to go after a good partnership with Sikandar Raza, courtesy of another fantastic catch this time by Graham Hume on the boundary.
The match continued to swing one way and then the other. Zimbabwe ramped up the pressure once more with Raza and Ryan Burl at the crease. Burl hit Dockrell for consecutive boundaries, including a huge six back over his head, to reduce the equation to 136 from the last 20.
With rain starting to fall, Ireland were two runs ahead on the DLS as the covers came on, with play unable to continue for over an hour. When the players were finally able to get back on the field, with Zimbabwe chasing a reduced target, the fans were treated to a hugely entertaining final passage of play.
Sikandar Raza was out second ball going for the big shot, before Ryan Burl was six and out in the final over, leaving the equation down to 11 off four. With Clive Madande the senior batter, some good running brought it down to four off the last ball with him on strike to complete the tightest of victories. A tough loss for Ireland but an incredible game of cricket.
The sides will do it all again at the same venue on Saturday, 21 January with a 7.15am start (Ireland time).
MATCH SUMMARY
Zimbabwe v Ireland, 1st ODI, Harare Sports Club, Harare, 18 January 2023
Ireland 288-4 (50 overs; A Balbirnie 121*, H Tector 101*; V Nyauchi 2-65)
Zimbabwe 214-7 (37 overs; R Burl 59, S Raza 43; M Adair 2-40)
Zimbabwe won by 3 wickets (DLS Method)

Response

Ed...
Terrific match from all accounts.

Zimbabwe v Ireland

Harare

15th Jan 2023

Zimbabwe win series 2-1 in T20
Ireland 141-9 (20 overs): Tector 47, Campher 27; Madhevere 2-8, Burl 2-28, Chatara 2-26
Zimbabwe 146-4 (19 overs): Ervine 54, Burl 30*; White 2-26, McCarthy 2-34
Zimbabwe won by four wickets
Scorecard
Ryan Burl's late big hitting helped hosts Zimbabwe clinch a 2-1 win over Ireland in the T20 series in Harare.
Harry Tector's 47 contributed to Ireland posting 141-9 with Curtis Campher hitting 27 before becoming one of leg spinner Burl's two victims.
Despite skipper Craig Ervine's 54, Ireland kept Zimbabwe's batting in check until Burl's 18th over heroics.
Burl fired two sixes and a four off successive George Dockrell deliveries to help the hosts win by four wickets.
Luke Jongwe, who also took two wickets in the Ireland innings, hit the winning four in the final ball of the 19th over but it was Burl's knock which proved key.
The sides will begin a three-match one-day series in Harare on Wednesday.

Cricket Ireland

Harare

14th Jan 2023

Ross Adair half-century guides Ireland Men to a thrilling victory in Harare
The game ended in a six-wicket victory for Ireland, after Ross Adair smashed his maiden T20I half-century to set up Ireland’s run chase and level the series againstZimbabwe.
With Ireland set 145 runs to win after bowling Zimbabwe out in their 20 overs, Adair and Andrew Balbirnie looked set to cruise to the total with a 48-run opening stand. Two quick wickets saw Harry Tector take over as Adair’s partner, and the two took Ireland to within 26 runs of the target with four overs to go.
Some scintillating death bowling from Tendai Chatara and Ryan Burl briefly turned the game, with the equation reducing to nine off eight. But Curtis Campher and George Dockrell saw them home with two balls to spare: Dockrell finished the innings with a six to set up the series decider on Sunday.
Earlier, Zimbabwe got off to a flying start after losing Tadiwanashe Marumani thanks to Tector’s new-found bowling success in T20Is, this being only the second time he has bowled in 53 games. Craig Ervine and Innocent Kaia – into the Zimbabwe’s XI after Gary Ballance withdrew ahead of the game following a concussion – blasted 48 off 29 in the powerplay, including a flat-batted smash from Kaia down the ground off Mark Adair for six.
Ireland rang the bowling changes to limit the scoring rate, with Campher completing a brilliant run out of his own bowling in the sixth over to break the partnership. It was the first of three run outs for Zimbabwe in the innings. A period of rebuilding saw them get to 115-4 with five overs to go. Ervine top-scored with 42 off 40.
Graham Hume, the only change in the XI from Ireland’s loss in the first T20I, took two wickets in the 16th over, including his maiden T20 international scalp to dismiss Ervine and then Burl.
An engaging passage of play followed where Ireland took three wickets in three balls including two consecutive run outs to rip through Zimbabwe’s tail. After Mark Adair dismissed Brad Evans, the fielders took advantage of some poor running from the Zimbabwe batters to complete a team hat-trick and leave the home side nine down in the final over.
Hume finished the innings off with the wicket of Wellington Masakadza off the final ball of the 20th over.
Ross Adair’s innings stood out in the chase. Opening the innings with Balbirnie, he initially took a back seat as Balbirnie did the bulk of the scoring, including hitting a massive six off Richard Ngarava onto the roof of the Harare Sports Club. When Balbirnie was dismissed for 33, Adair was on 15 off 21. But it was only once Tector came to the crease that Adair really upped his rate, swatting a four off Burl in the 11th over to get going.
His next four boundaries were all sixes as he took on the Zimbabwe bowlers, reaching his fifty off 39 balls with a six over square off Evans. A powerful blow over the long on rope of Ngarava was his last of the innings, as he was dismissed for 47-ball 65 the following delivery.
He had done the majority of the damage though. Despite a few nervy moments towards the end of innings, Adair’s knock set up a brilliant win for Ireland, keeping the series alive ahead of the final match on Sunday.
MATCH SUMMARY
Zimbabwe v Ireland, 2nd T20I, Harare Sports Club, Harare, 14 January 2023
Zimbabwe 144 (20 overs; Craig Ervine 42, Innocent Kaia 25; Graham Hume 3-17)
Ireland 150-4 (19.4 overs; Ross Adair 65, Andrew Balbirnie 33; Ryan Burl 2-26)
Ireland won by 6 wickets

Response

Ed...
Well done Ireland and congrats Ross!

Craig Easdown

Harare

13th Jan 2023

Poor start for Ireland
Zimbabwe v Ireland, 1st T20I, Harare Sports Club, Harare, 12 January 2023
Ireland 114 (19.2 overs; Gareth Delany 24, Curtis Campher 20; Ryan Burl 3-29)
Zimbabwe 118-5 (18 overs; Sean Williams 34*, Gary Ballance 30; Mark Adair 2-12)
Zimbabwe won by 5 wickets

Response

Ed...
Ugh!

Clarence Hiles and John Kerstens

UC Headquarters

24th Dec 2022

Happy Christmas to everyone.
JCHJK

Craig Easdown

Dublin

24th Dec 2022

JOSH TO PLAY IN IPL
Cricket Ireland has agreed to grant Irish international Josh Little permission to join the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2023 after he was picked up by the Gujarat Titans in today’s IPL Draft – Little becomes the first active Irish international to be offered a contract to play in the world’s biggest franchise tournament.
Little, 23, made his international debut for Ireland in 2016. The left-arm seamer from Dublin has since played 2 ODIs and 53 T20Is for his country.
While local Irish fans were aware of Little’s potential for many years, he burst onto the international radar in May 2019 in his ODI debut when he claimed 4-45 in a devastating spell of pace bowling against England in Dublin – which saw him remove three of the top four batters, including Eoin Morgan for a duck (Morgan is the only other Irish-born cricketer to feature in the IPL previously, however, he was playing for England at that time of his involvement).
Little’s most recent bowling exploits for the national team were in the ICC T20 World Cup against New Zealand when he became the sixth bowler ever to register a hat-trick in a T20 World Cup.
Little has also featured in several franchise leagues – Lanka Premier League and The Hundred – while last month he was picked up in the Pakistan Super League draft and has been offered a deal in the SA20.
Aware of the potential for Little to be successful in today’s draft, Cricket Ireland had indicated to both the player and the tournament organiser that a No Objection Certificate (NOC) would be issued that would allow Little to participate in the entire IPL season, however with one brief exception that covers the three World Cup Super League ODIs against Bangladesh in May 2023.

Response

Ed...
Well done Josh!

Craig Easdown

DUBLIN

21st Dec 2022

ROSS ADAIR IN IRELAND SQUAD
Northern Knights’ Ross Adair will join brother Mark in the Ireland Men’s squad that departs for Zimbabwe in early January, while Lorcan Tucker and Harry Tector have been granted permission by Cricket Ireland to play in T20 franchise tournaments.
Adair, 28, is the brother of current Irish international, Mark Adair – if selected to play, it will make the pair the first set of brothers to play for Ireland in an international since Niall and Kevin O’Brien in the Test match at Malahide in 2018.
Before turning seriously to cricket, Adair - a right-handed batter and left-arm spinner - had forged a professional rugby union career and appeared for Ulster in the Pro12 competition in the 2014-15 season.

Response

Ed...
Well deserved Ross. Congrats!

Craig Easdown

Dublin

2nd Dec 2022

Ireland Under-19s women's squad announced for first-ever Under-19 World Cup
Cricket Ireland has today named a 15-player Ireland Under-19s Women’s squad that will participate in the first-ever ICC Under-19s Women’s T20 World Cup in January 2023 in South Africa.
Instonians’ and Malahide’s Amy Hunter has been named the captain (in 2021, Hunter became the youngest player to score an international ODI century when she struck 121* for Ireland Women against Zimbabwe in Harare).
The Ireland Under-19s Women’s squad is:
Amy Hunter - captain (Instonians/Malahide), Siúin Wood – vice captain (YMCA), Zara Craig (Eglinton), Georgina Dempsey (YMCA), Rebecca Gough (The Hills), Abbi Harrison (Waringstown), Jennifer Jackson (Eglinton), Joanna Loughran (Leinster), Niamh MacNulty (Merrion), Aimee Maguire (The Hills), Kia McCartney (Coleraine), Ellie McGee (Rush), Julie McNally (Clontarf), Freya Sargent (Clontarf), Annabel Squires (Merrion)
Non-travelling reserves: Aoife Fisher (CSNI), Alice Walsh (Clontarf)
The coach and support staff that will travel to the tournament are:
Glenn Querl (Head Coach), Aideen McGuinness (Team Manager), Jay Shelat (Performance Analyst), Julia Webster (Physiotherapist), Robyn Lewis (Assistant Coach), Alison Cowan (Team Doctor)
The Tournament
The 16-team tournament will be held between 7 January and 24 January 2023 (it was originally scheduled for 2021, however the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the event twice).
The 16 teams are divided into groups of four as below:
Group A: Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and USA
Group B: England, Pakistan, Rwanda and Zimbabwe
Group C: Indonesia, Ireland, New Zealand and West Indies
Group D: India, Scotland, South Africa and the UAE
The top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six round, where teams will be pooled in two groups of six. Group 1 will comprise the three teams each from Groups A and D, while Group 2 will have three teams each from Groups B and C. The top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals, which will both be played on 27 January. The final will take place at the same venue on 29 January.
Ireland Under-19 Women’s fixtures
Ireland will play two official warm-up matches:
9 January: Ireland Under-19s v Pakistan Under-19s (Tuks Oval, Pretoria)
11 January: Ireland Under-19s v Namibia Under-19s (Hammanskraal Cricket Club, Gauteng)
Ireland Under-19s Group Stage fixtures are:
15 January: Ireland Under-19s v West Indies Under-19s (North West University Oval, Potchefstroom)
17 January: Ireland Under-19s v New Zealand Under-19s (JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom)
19 January: Ireland Under-19s v Indonesia Under-19s (JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom)
The squad will depart on 1 January for a preparation camp at the University of Pretoria (during this week they will play unofficial warm-up fixtures against Zimbabwe and the UAE).

Response

Ed...
Good luck Amy and the squad.

Craig Easdown

Lahore

16th Nov 2022

Historic Series win for Ireland Women in Pakistan
LAHORE, Pakistan – A commanding win over Pakistan in the final T20I in Lahore saw Ireland clinch a historic first T20I series victory over Pakistan, with a brilliant half-century from Gaby Lewis setting up the triumph.
Her opening partner Amy Hunter contributed 40 in a 110 run stand, falling just three runs short of an Irish record T20I partnership.
Ireland bowled Pakistan out for 133 after setting them 168, finishing their innings just four wickets down.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Amy Hunter and Lewis vindicated Laura Delany’s decision straight away, putting on a huge partnership of 110 for the first wicket.
Four boundaries off the first three overs signalled Ireland's intent right from the start, Lewis the main aggressor, bludgeoning a slog-sweep off Nida Dar over the rope for the first six of the match. She followed up with a four off the last ball of Dar’s over before smashing two more boundaries off the fourth.
Hunter took a back seat early in her innings to let Lewis occupy centre stage. After they smashed 56 runs from the powerplay, Lewis reached her fifty in style, reverse sweeping a full ball from Fatima Sana through third man for four, bringing up her ninth T20I half-century off 26 balls.
With the hundred up for Ireland in the 12th over, a big total looked on the cards. Hunter played a good supporting innings before she was bowled by Nashra Sandhu for a 35-ball 40, bringing Orla Prendergast to the crease with licence to swing. She attacked straight away, hitting a six off her second ball over long-on.
Lewis was well set, continuing to hit boundaries, and advancing past 70 before she was caught at mid-on by Aliya Riaz, unable to get enough height on the ball from Sana to clear the fielder. She finished her innings on 71 off 46 with 12 boundaries.
Despite the loss of Lewis and then of Eimear Richardson, Prendergast continued to push Ireland up towards 170. She crunched ten off the final over to set Pakistan 168 to win and send Ireland into the break full of confidence. Pakistan would have to pull off their highest-ever T20I chase to stop Ireland from claiming a historic win.
A tight start from the bowlers made it an even tougher task with Jane Maguire and Prendergast only conceding eight off the first two overs before Maguire made the breakthrough, dismissing Sidra Ameen in the third over.
Pakistan looked to take the chase deep, accumulating off the rest of the powerplay to take their total to 41. A big breakthrough for Ireland came in the seventh over, however, Arlene Kelly delivering a clever slower ball to outsmart Muneeba Ali.
With some nerves flying around for Ireland, the final two overs before the drinks break went for 25 as Pakistan continued to keep themselves in the run chase. Javeria Khan was the key, reaching fifty off 36 balls before Maguire took the crucial wicket to steady Irish hearts. Khan got an inside edge on a ball she was looking to cut, her stumps disturbed. The wicket brought the dangerous Dar to the crease, with Pakistan’s chase largely resting on her wicket.
A four and a six by Dar from Cara Murray showed the match was still very much in the balance with Pakistan needing another 80 runs from the last eight, a target possible with Bismah Maroof and Dar at the crease. But a run out from Richardson to dismiss Maroof opened the floodgates for Ireland, and a steady flow of wickets followed.
Two wickets in each of the last two overs from Kelly and Delany respectively, both finishing with three wickets apiece, sealed a comfortable win by 34 runs for Ireland and gave Ed Joyce’s side a historic series win. The first time Ireland women have won a series against Pakistan, their first series win overseas against a Test playing nation and the first for any Ireland side in Pakistan.
MATCH SUMMARY
Pakistan v Ireland, 3rd T20I, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, 16 November 2022
Ireland 167-4 (20 overs; Gaby Lewis 71, Amy Hunter 40, Nida Dar 1-27)
Pakistan 133 (18.5 overs; Javeria Khan 50, Nida Dar 26, Arlene Kelly 3-19)

Response

Ed...
Terrific. Well done Ladies.

Craig Easdown

Adelaide

4th Nov 2022

Men’s T20 World Cup: Ireland’s heroes bow out of World Cup, despite sensational Josh Little hat-trick
Australia - Josh Little claimed a historic T20 World Cup hat-trick, but Ireland slipped to a 35-run defeat against New Zealand to bring the curtain down on a memorable 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
With qualification for the semi-finals still mathematically possible but unlikely, Ireland came into the game, however, knowing that victory would virtually guarantee a top-four finish in the group – thereby gaining automatic qualification to the Super 12s of the next T20 World Cup.
After Andrew Balbirnie won the toss and elected to bowl, Ireland kept New Zealand to 185 in their 20 overs, with Little’s hat-trick the highlight of the innings.
Ireland began strongly, conceding just 16 runs from the first three overs. Finn Allen then struck five fours and a six off the next nine balls, before Mark Adair dismissed the explosive opener with the penultimate ball of powerplay, Fionn Hand catching a flat, powerful drive at mid-off.
Ireland’s bowlers mixed up their pace to limit New Zealand to under a run a ball from overs six to 10, restricting the Black Caps to 75-1 at the halfway stage. Devon Conway and Kane Williamson switched gears, hitting 15 runs from the 11th over, before a Gareth Delany googly – part of a plan to bowl wide outside off stump to the left hander – was swatted to Mark Adair at long-on.
Following scores of 104 and 62 in his past two games, it was no surprise that Glenn Phillips started quickly, blasting a second-ball six and hitting boundaries off consecutive deliveries soon after.
Phillips could only find George Dockrell at deep extra cover, when trying to hit the Delany out of the park, the Dubliner cannily slowing his pace and making Phillips reach for the ball. The New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, at this point on 26 from 19 balls, began to show his class, scoring 35 off his next 15 balls to give the Black Caps the impetus they wanted.
On 173-3 with two overs to go, the Black Caps were eyeing up 200, but Josh Little was having none of it. The left armer dismissed Williamson for 61 before combining pace, accuracy, and a hint of reverse swing to pin both Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner LBW and complete a moment that will live long in the memory.
The hat-trick was just the sixth in men’s T20 World Cup history, and the second for Ireland, with Curtis Campher having taken four in four in the 2021 tournament. Ireland is now the only men’s side to claim more than one T20 World Cup hat-trick.
With Adair ensuring New Zealand were unable to find the fence in the final over, Ireland would have felt firmly in the game, requiring 186 to win.
Balbirnie got the innings off to a perfect start, depositing a Trent Boult length ball for six in the first over, and while the remainder of the powerplay wasn’t explosive, Ireland would have been content to take the shine off the new ball and reach 39 without loss after six overs.
The pair then upped the ante, scoring 29 runs from the following two overs, with Paul Stirling reverse-sweeping four and smashing sixes off consecutive Mitchell Santner deliveries, before Balbirinie hit two sixes from Ish Sodhi’s first over.
New Zealand persevered with the spin of Santner and Sodhi, who dismissed Balbirnie, Stirling and Tector in a 14-ball period that turned the tide on the game.
Delany cut his first ball for four to get Ireland moving again, with another boundary coming in Santner’s next over, but he was soon dismissed by Lockie Ferguson, edging a leg-cutter to the keeper. Lorcan Tucker scored 13 before finding long-off off Sodhi while trying to keep up with the run rate and while Curtis Campher and George Dockrell hit three boundaries in the following overs, they soon fell in pursuit of quick runs.
Ferguson claimed two more wickets in the 17th over, but Ireland fought till the end, ultimately finishing 150-9. The match rounds off Ireland’s 2022 World Cup campaign, one which included three memorable wins and saw many of its young stars make their presence firmly felt on the world stage.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v New Zealand, T20 World Cup, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 4 November 2022
New Zealand 185-6 (20 overs; K Williamson 61, F Allen 32; J Little 3-22)
Ireland 150-9 (20 overs; P Stirling 37, A Balbirnie 30; L Ferguson 3-22)
New Zealand won by 35 runs

Response

Ed...
Another fine performance albeit in defeat. After, all they are playing against the best in the world! We should be very pround of them.
Thanks again for the reports from Craig. Much appreciated.

Craig Easdown

Brisbane

31st Oct 2022

Ireland battled hard but ultimately fell to a 42-run loss to Australia in their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup fixture at the Gabba in a blow to their semi-final hopes.
Ireland won the toss, elected to bowl and began well, keeping the runs down and dismissing David Warner early. The left-hander pulled Barry McCarthy’s first delivery firmly, but straight to fine leg where Mark Adair completed the catch. The first four overs contained just two boundaries, with Australia scoring at below a run a ball early on.
The T20 World Cup champions began to click through the gears, with Aaron Finch striking Australia’s first six, off Adair, before driving the same bowler through cover. Gareth Delany closed out the powerplay with a four-run over, but two sixes from Mitchell Marsh off Fionn Hand got the hosts moving again.
Ireland was able to hit back, and an intriguing battle unfolded through the middle overs. A boundary-less George Dockrell over was followed by McCarthy’s second wicket, Marsh nicking off. Twice in two balls Ireland thought they had the third, but two lbw reviews went against them. Glenn Maxwell was the twice-reprieved batter and responded with a drive down the ground for six, but Josh Little soon saw him off, a wide sucker ball enticing the Australian into the drive, and two more quiet overs followed.
With 13 overs bowled, Ireland had stuck to the task, keeping the run rate to a tick over seven an over while striking regularly. But the next three overs, costing 53 runs, changed the complexion of the contest. This despite McCarthy supplying arguably the highlight of the evening, a leaping grab and fling on the boundary saving four runs. He helped to limit the death-overs damage too, dismissing Finch, caught in the deep, with Dockrell and Little capitalising on the opening to sneak through two overs for seven runs.
The final over went for 17 as Australia finished with a flourish but chasing 180 to win did not look out of the question, and Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie began with the intent of two batters eyeing something special, each striking a six inside the first two overs. However, the latter’s dismissal, bowled by Pat Cummins as he shuffled across his stumps, began a stretch of five wickets in 13 balls that effectively decided the result. Maxwell and Mitchell Starc each broke through twice, the former having both Stirling and Harry Tector, playing his 50th T20I, caught in the infield and the latter seeking out the stumps to devastating effect.
Lorcan Tucker ensured there was something to cheer from an Irish point of view. He raced out of the blocks, hitting three of his first nine balls for four, before taking stock to move to 25 at a run a ball and then kicking on again.
Tucker received support from Delany, caught off Stoinis for 14, and Adair, who made a run a ball 11, but there was no doubt that he was the star. By the time he swung Josh Hazlewood away to reach a well-earned half-century, he had begun to toy with the bowlers. Tucker was particularly severe on Starc, scoring 37 off the 18 deliveries he faced off the left-armer, scooping and driving with impunity.
By the time he took 17 runs off the 17th over, leaving Ireland needing 44 to win off the last three, there was a flicker of hope of something remarkable transpiring. However, McCarthy pulled Cummins to deep midwicket and Little was run out to close out a 42-run reversal for Ireland.
The defeat leaves Ireland able to reach a maximum of five points, a mark already achieved by Australia and New Zealand. Therefore, if Ireland are to qualify for the semi-final stage, they need to win their final game against the Black Caps, hope other results go their way, and rely on net run rate.
Their Super 12 campaign will conclude on Friday 4 November against New Zealand.
MATCH SUMMARY
Australia v Ireland, T20 World Cup, The Gabba, Brisbane, 31 October 2022
Australia 179-5 (20 overs; A Finch 63, M Stoinis 35; B McCarthy 3-29)
Ireland 137 (18.1 overs; L Tucker 71*, G Delany 14; G Maxwell 2-14)
Australia won by 42 runs

Response

ED...
Another great display from Ireland despite the batsmen failed in the top order with the exceptopn of Tucker. He was brilliant. The bowlers did their bit too with McCarthy, Dockdrell and Little exceptional. McCarthy's athleticism was a feature trying to catch on the boundary. Wow!
Ireland have done us proud and everyone now knows they can beat the best. Unfortunately, Australia proved to be too strong.

Craig Easdown

Melbourne

26th Oct 2022

FAMOUS VICTORY
Ireland secured a famous five-run (DLS) win over England, with a fifty from captain Andrew Balbirnie and an excellent team bowling performance boosting their T20 World Cup hopes.
After Balbirnie’s half-century boosted Ireland to 157, the seamers gave Ireland the perfect start in their defence, striking three times in the powerplay. From there, Ireland contained England, striking twice more and withstanding a Moeen Ali flurry to keep their noses in front when the rain returned.
Josh Little gave Ireland the perfect start, nicking off Jos Buttler with his second ball and removing Alex Hales, top-edging to short fine leg, soon after. England’s regrouping attempts were undone by a beauty from Fionn Hand, playing his first game of Ireland’s T20 World Cup campaign. He sneaked his second delivery back through Ben Stokes’ bat-pad gap to rattle the stumps.
Ireland continued to restrict England - the first 11 overs contained just three boundaries - and the dismissal of Harry Brook, caught by Gareth Delany off George Dockrell after two drops earlier in the over, put them even more on top. Dawid Malan and Moeen struck a pair of boundaries as England hit back, before McCarthy removed Malan to edge Ireland ahead again.
From there, Moeen was competing against not just Ireland, but the incoming, inclement weather. He slashed McCarthy for four and pumped Delany for six and four, but it was too late. The rain fell with England five runs behind the DLS par score. Victory, deservedly, was Ireland’s.
Earlier, Ireland had posted 157, with Balbirnie’s 62 the standout knock, and sterling support coming from Lorcan Tucker, who put on 82 with his captain. While Ireland endured a slide towards the end of their innings, the strong platform laid by the pair ensured they had a total to defend.
With rain delaying and then interrupting proceedings, Paul Stirling fell early after giving Ireland a fast start. He used the pace of Mark Wood to slice the England quick for a six that just evaded Sam Curran at third man, but was caught in the same position attempting to repeat the trick. Tucker ensured there was no loss of momentum, scooping Chris Woakes for four before thrashing him to the point boundary.
The pair continued to motor, with perhaps the shot of the day capping off the powerplay, Tucker driving Sam Curran sweetly back down the ground for six. With the fielding restrictions lessened, Ireland took stock, only one boundary coming in the next three overs. But when Woakes was reintroduced, Balbirnie pounced. The right-armer took advantage of some leg-side bowling to tickle and pull a four and a six, with an advancing blow bringing another boundary.
At 92-1 at the halfway stage, Ireland might have been dreaming of pushing up towards 200, but they were pegged back in unfortunate fashion, a Balbirnie straight drive catching Adil Rashid’s finger on the way through to the stumps and catching Tucker out of his ground. Two balls later, Wood cranked the pace up to 153kph to nick off Harry Tector for a duck.
Curtis Campher joined Balbirnie for a brief riposte, carving his first legal delivery for four and scooping Livingstone effectively, with the captain nailing a pull shot off Curran for six in between. But from 132-3, a late-order slide saw Ireland bowled out for 157 with four balls unused.
Livingstone began the fightback with two wickets in two balls, Balbirnie holing out and Dockrell yorked. Campher bravely scooped Wood but managed only faint contact with an attempted pull next ball, with Buttler completing the catch. Delany sliced Wood for four, but that was the last boundary Ireland managed. Livingstone struck again, Mark Adair holing out, with Curran striking twice, and Stokes dismissing Little to end the innings.
A total just under 160 was less than Ireland might have managed at one point, but still appeared defendable. It ended up being just enough in a famous win.
Ireland now has one win and one defeat from two T20 World Cup Super 12 games. Their next game is against Afghanistan on Friday.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v England, Game 20, T20 World Cup, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, 26 October 2022
Ireland 157 (19.2 overs; A Balbirnie 62, L Tucker, 34; L Livingstone 3-17)
England 105-5 (14.3 overs; D Malan 35, M Ali 24*; J Little 2-16)
Ireland won by five runs (D/L method)

Response

Ed...
Wow! Wow!
Ireland are living the dream.

Peter Whitten

Brussels

26th Oct 2022

I’ve been an Irish cricket fan my whole life and have followed literally every single international match in the past 40 years, albeit mostly online. That’s now 3 wonderful wins over England that I never thought I’d witness!
I’d like to congratulate the players who have really made the most of their talents and the coaches who have instilled so much self-belief that, remarkably (and it is truly remarkable considering our playing numbers and the fact that nearly all players are home-grown), we are able to compete occasionally with the best teams in the world. Every such win is to be savoured, including ones against the likes of Afghanistan and Bangladesh with their huge playing numbers.
And I’d like to pay tribute too to all those believers in Irish cricket, the ones who, back in the day, had a vision and made it happen. I recall a conversation with Robin Walsh in a Manchester bar in 1999. I am sure I laughed (and thought the drink was talking) when he predicted that Ireland would soon be playing ODI cricket and even participating in World Cups. He had spoken to people like Ricky Ponting who was behind the idea. Yeah, yeah, I thought. But he was right. It may have been a long-shot but Robin and a few others had spotted an opening and went for it. I’ll be forever grateful.
Peter Whitten
Cliftonville Academy CC

Response

Ed...
A lot of Irish cricket has happened in the lasttwo decades!

Craig Easdown

Australia

22nd Oct 2022

Super 12s stage matches:
23 October: Ireland v Sri Lanka (Hobart; starts 3pm)
26 October: Ireland v England (Melbourne; starts 3pm)
28 October: Ireland v Afghanistan (Melbourne; starts 3pm)
31 October: Ireland v Australia (Brisbane; starts 6pm)
4 November: Ireland v New Zealand (Adelaide; starts 2.30pm)
* All times are local to venue (nb: need to allow for different time zones in Australia)
For the full tournament schedule, see: https://www.t20worldcup.com/fixtures
Broadcast
Broadcast details for:
Ireland/UK – Sky Sports