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Craig Easdown

Hobart

21st Oct 2022

RESOUNDING WIN BY IRELAND
Ireland secured their passage to the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup with a consummate all-round team display, emerging victorious by nine wickets with 15 balls to spare against West Indies.
The game was a virtual knockout, with every team in Group B on two points heading into the final day of fixtures. West Indies won the toss and elected to bat.
Ireland began strongly, conceding one boundary, 11 runs, and taking the wicket of Kyle Mayers in the first three overs. Barry McCarthy made the early breakthrough, the pressure telling as the West Indies opener skewed the ball in the air to mid-off.
The fourth over, bowled by Curtis Campher, changed the momentum somewhat, Johnson Charles notching 14 runs in three balls, but Simi Singh soon saw him off, with Campher taking the catch at backward point.
Ireland continued to keep things tight, with the run rate hovering around seven runs per over for much of the innings. Brandon King was the only West Indies batter to make it to 25 as Ireland struck regularly, and King was still kept quiet through the innings.
Ireland’s spin pair of Singh and Gareth Delany combined to restrict West Indies through the middle overs, with the latter reaping the rewards of the pressure built. He enticed all of Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell to hole out into the deep, with his final over, costing just a single, capping off career-best figures of 3-16.
West Indies received a late flourish from the blades of King and Odean Smith, who hit three sixes between them in the final three overs. However, having conceded totals in excess of 170 in the first two games of the tournament, keeping West Indies to 146-5 marked a significant improvement for Ireland.
Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie quickly set about breaking the back of the chase. The captain was the aggressor, getting off the mark with a superbly timed sweep for six over deep backward square, and continuing to express himself with four, six and four off three consecutive Smith balls. A scythe over cover point off Obed McCoy for six in the following over was arguably the shot of the day.
Stirling was not to be outdone, slashing and sweeping a pair of fours of his own, pulling an Alzarri Joseph slower ball for six, and closing out the powerplay with consecutive boundaries off the same bowler. At the end of the first six overs, Ireland had scored 64-0 - the highest powerplay score of the tournament so far - with the required run rate under a run a ball.
The bulk of the work had been done, and Ireland showcased all their game management skills to see through to the target without fuss. Balbirnie fell for a 23-ball 37, cutting Kyle Mayers to point, but Lorcan Tucker’s sweetly struck second-ball sweep for four eased any nerves.
The only hint of drama was a reprieve for Tucker, who was caught off Smith only for replays to reveal the bowler had overstepped. That moment came two balls after Stirling brought up his half-century, and, fittingly, he saw Ireland home, in the process becoming Ireland’s leading men’s T20 World Cup run-scorer.
Tucker swung away a pair of sixes, one slog-swept and one high and handsome over long-on, and it was he who hit the winning runs, flaying through cover to cap off a special performance.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v West Indies, Game 11, T20 World Cup, Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 21 October 2022
West Indies 146-5 (20 overs; B King 62*, J Charles 24; G Delany 3-16)
Ireland 150-1 (17.3 overs; P Stirling 66*, L Tucker 45*; A Hosein 1-35)
Ireland won by nine wickets with 15 balls remaining

Response

Ed...
What a terrific win from both batting, bowling and fielding! And a return to form from Paul. We'll need him in the games to folllow.

Craig Easdown

Hobart

19th Oct 2022

Men’s T20 World Cup: Curtis Campher, George Dockrell combine to lead Ireland to dramatic victory
A special century partnership between George Dockrell and Curtis Campher saw Ireland Men complete a stunning comeback against Scotland, keeping them firmly in the hunt for a place in the T20 World Cup Super 12s.
At the halfway point of their chase, Ireland’s T20 World Cup hopes were hanging by a thread. The required run rate was up past 11 runs per over, they had lost four wickets, and defeat would leave their progress to the Super 12 stage dependent on both other results and net run rate.
But Campher and Dockrell combined to put on a stand for the ages, scripting another entry in the ever-expanding volume of great ‘Irish World Cup moments’. The pair put on an unbroken stand of 119, their partnership replete with inventive shots, classical strokeplay, and hard running aplenty. They struck 11 fours, three sixes, and faced just seven dot balls between them. Victory was completed with an over to spare.
Campher played the dominant hand, but it was Dockrell who kickstarted the recovery, driving Brad Wheal square before heaving Chris Greaves onto the Bellerive Oval banks. When a slog-swept six, four wides and some hard running secured 17 off the next over, bowled by Mark Watt, Ireland began to believe. From there, there was no stopping them.
The milestones began to tick up as the equation eased. Campher scooped Michael Leask for four and swung Wheal for six. The fifty stand came up. The boundaries continued to flow. Campher’s maiden T20I fifty arrived. In a flash, the target was at a run a ball. In another, with three hits to the fence in three balls from Campher’s blade, it was over.
The stand was Ireland’s biggest at a T20 World Cup, and the joint-highest by any side for the fifth wicket at the tournament.
The first three-quarters of the game had seen Scotland build an advantage that was whisked away in an instant, and Ireland had Campher to thank again that the Saltires weren’t further in front. As against Zimbabwe, Ireland struck early, with Mark Adair pinning George Munsey in front, the not out decision overturned on review.
And as against Zimbabwe, a score in excess of 80 helped put on a big total. Michael Jones, playing his third T20I, extended his maiden half-century to 86, receiving support from Matthew Cross, Richie Berrington, and Leask.
Campher’s two overs saw him take two wickets and concede just nine runs, accounting for Cross and Berrington with a pair of slower balls, but some dropped catches, half-chances, and an overturned decision after Simi Singh seemingly had Jones lbw counted against Ireland.
In reply, regular wickets dented Ireland’s hopes. Andrew Balbirnie struck a pair of sweet boundaries but was the first to go, seen off by a low catch at point. Paul Stirling was victim of another review, UltraEdge revealing a thin spike off the toe-end. Lorcan Tucker and Harry Tector attempted a rebuild, but when each fell in successive overs, Ireland was sinking. Then Dockrell and Campher provided the perfect recovery act.
Ireland’s First Round schedule will conclude against West Indies on Friday.
MATCH SUMMARY
Scotland v Ireland, Game 7, T20 World Cup, Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 19 October 2022
Scotland 176-5 (20 overs; M Jones 86, R Berrington 37; C Campher 2-9)
Ireland 180-4 (19 overs; C Campher 72*, G Dockrell 39*; M Leask 1-16)
Ireland won by six wickets with six balls remaining

Response

Ed...
Magnificent Ireland!

Craig Easdown

Hobart

17th Oct 2022

Men’s T20 World Cup: Ireland succumb to Zimbabwe in tournament opener
Ireland Men succumbed to Zimbabwe by 31 runs in the opening game of their T20 World Cup campaign, with Sikander Raza’s 82 the difference between the sides.
The start of the game was delayed by over an hour due to rain during the earlier Scotland-West Indies clash, with both fixtures staged at the same venue. Andrew Balbirnie won the toss, chose to bowl, and was rewarded instantly: Josh Little struck with his second ball, a short-of-a-length delivery ducking inwards and catching Regis Chakabva’s thumb on its way to the keeper.
It was Little, the pick of Ireland’s bowlers, who struck next as well, re-introduced for the fifth over and this time needing six balls to force an in-road. Wessly Madhevere, after a lively cameo, attempted to pull a short ball, but could only pick out Gareth Delany - playing his 50th T20I - on the rope.
When Simi Singh - also bringing up a half-century of T20I caps - broke through again in the next over, skidding the ball past the advancing Craig Ervine for Lorcan Tucker to complete the stumping, Ireland were well on top. But the entrance of Raza changed the complexion of the contest, with the Zimbabwean all-rounder showing why he is one of the form batters in world cricket.
He played the dominant hand in a pair of middle-order partnerships to help Zimbabwe recover from 37-3 to 137-4, with Luke Jongwe then adding a late flourish. Two sixes in Curtis Campher’s second over signalled Raza’s intent, with Sean Williams falling within inches of replicating the feat in the following over. Instead, Singh won out, enticing the Zimbabwean into a second consecutive slog sweep, with a top-edge swirling into the leg-side. Mark Adair, fielding in the deep, had plenty of work to do, but managed to take the catch and lob the ball back inside the field of play to Harry Tector, who completed the formalities.
Little returned to keep things quiet in the following over, but Raza was soon on the attack again, hitting Adair for 10 runs in two balls in an over which also included a missed run-out chance. Another six and four followed in the next over, bowled by Delany, and Raza had raced to a 26-ball fifty.
After another big over, and another Raza six, Zimbabwe were 125-4 with 36 balls to come, and looking to push on towards 190. Instead, Ireland responded well, building pressure and reaping the rewards. Three boundary-less overs followed, with Milton Shumba falling in the second of those as he attempted to break the shackles. He went down on one knee to attempt to hoist Adair over square leg, but only succeeded in offering a catch to Little at short fine leg.
When Little claimed his third, Ryan Burl holing out to long-on on the first ball of his final over, Ireland might have hoped to run through the lower order. Instead, Jongwe’s sparky knock pushed Zimbabwe up to 174-7, with his 10-ball 20 containing three fours. Raza eventually fell, bowled by Adair to close out the innings, with his 82 the highest score for Zimbabwe in a T20 World Cup.
Ireland’s reply got off to a rocky start, with Richard Ngarava and Blessing Muzarabani each taking two early wickets. Paul Stirling chopped the former on to his stumps second ball, with Tucker bowled in Ngarava’s second over. Muzarabani then nicked off both Balbirnie and Tector, each caught by Ervine at slip, and Ireland were four down inside four overs.
From there, Ireland was faced with balancing the twin tasks of net run rate preservation and attempting an unlikely chase. George Dockrell and Campher helped rebuild, taking the score to 64-4 at the end of the ninth. Dockrell slashed two fours through third man while also whipping a boundary through square leg, with Campher running hard and sweeping to the rope through Muzarabani at short fine leg.
Raza continued his excellent day with the wicket of Dockrell, yorking the right-hander with his second ball, and Zimbabwe continued to make regular breakthroughs. Campher was bowled behind his legs by Williams attempting a sweep, Tendai Chatara claimed two in two, Delany holing out and Singh bowled, and Adair was caught by Raza off Muzarabani.
Barry McCarthy gave Ireland fans something to cheer late on, clubbing two slower balls, from Chatara and Muzarabani, into the Bellerive Oval stands, and driving Ngarava sweetly down the ground. His hitting, and a sumptuous last-over boundary from Little at No.11, reduced the eventual margin of victory to 31 runs.
Ireland’s next T20 World Cup game will be played against Scotland on Wednesday 19 October.
MATCH SUMMARY
Zimbabwe v Ireland, Game 4, T20 World Cup, Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 17 October 2022
Zimbabwe 174-7 (20 overs; S Raza 82, W Madhevere 22; J Little 3-24)
Ireland 143-9 (20 overs; C Campher 27, G Dockrell 24, G Delany 24; B Muzarabani 3-23)
Zimbabwe won by 31 runs

Response

ED...
Not what we wanted, but we are in the big league! Ask the West Indies or Sri Lanka!

Craig Easdown

Hobart

14th Oct 2022

ICC MEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2022
Fixtures
First Round matches:
17 October: Ireland v Zimbabwe (T20 World Cup Round 1; Hobart; start time 7pm)
19 October: Ireland v Scotland (T20 World Cup Round 1; Hobart; start time 3pm)
21 October: Ireland v West Indies (T20 World Cup Round 1; Hobart; start time 3pm)
* All times are local to venue
For the full tournament schedule, see: https://www.t20worldcup.com/fixtures
Broadcast
Broadcast details for Ireland/UK as they stand are:
17 October: Ireland v Zimbabwe – Sky Sports Cricket
19 October: Ireland v Scotland – Sky Sports Cricket
21 October: Ireland v West Indies – Sky Sports Main Event
Ireland Men’s squad
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Paul Stirling (vice-captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Fionn Hand, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker.
CRICKET IRELAND’S SUPPORT COVERAGE
Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland’s Media & Communications Manager, will be with the squad for the duration of Ireland’s tournament involvement.
Email: craig.easdown@cricketireland.ie
Mobile: +353 (0)85 804 7696
JOIN OUR MEDIA WHATSAPP GROUP
A WhatsApp Group for media stories, news and content has been established. Simply reply to this email with your mobile number to join the Group.
RESOURCES and LINKS
Download our handy guide to covering cricket – written specifically for those with limited knowledge of the sport: Download here
This includes more details and contacts for the international and domestic game in Ireland
Sports journalist Nick Royle also put together a handy tutorial for journalists on cricket reporting that you may find useful: watch tutorial now
The Cricket Ireland website: www.cricketireland.ie – we post all media releases and news stories on here
Cricket Ireland’s social media channels:
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Match Centre: https://live.nvplay.com/ireland/
Cricket-specific websites:
International Cricket Council: www.icc-cricket.com
T20 World Cup: www.t20worldcup.com
ESPN Cricinfo: www.espncricinfo.com – a great stats engine for the international game
Podcast:
The Green Ball podcast show covers interviews and latest news – latest episode features Andrew Balbirnie. The podcast is available on your favourite app or can be heard here.

Ricky Finlau

Belfast

13th Oct 2022

Afternoon all

The Ulster Grasshoppers CC are intending to tour La Manga in a 20/20 pre season tournament 30th March - 3rd April 2023.

The package for the event is as follows:

4 nights twin share B&B 4* hotel 15 mins from the ground.
3 days of cricket including net access - minimum of 4 games .
x3 return trips from hotel to ground as a team.
Sunday night presentation dinner.

Price based ay £315 per player / £265 per non player.

Flights will be approx £250pp.

If you are interested please contact either myself or Andy Beattie.

richard@finlaygrahamproperty.com
andrew.beattie1980@hotmail.com

Cheers

Ricky Finlay

ICC

Australia

11th Oct 2022

Ireland are now part of the furniture at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as they head into their seventh consecutive appearance at the showpiece.
A First Round exit in 2021 was a disappointment for Heinrich Malan’s side, and they will head into the 2022 edition hoping to make it past the first hurdle for the first time since 2009.
Ireland booked their place in Australia thanks to finishing runners-up in ICC Global Qualifier A behind the UAE.
They must navigate a group stage of Scotland, West Indies, and Zimbabwe in order to reach the Super 12 - so what can we expect from Ireland at the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup?
2022 Prospects
Progressing to the Super 12 will be the aim for Ireland. Having won just one of their three games in 2021, Ireland will be hopeful of going one better in 2022.
Two wins will almost certainly be enough to extend their stay in Australia, with the games against Scotland and Zimbabwe the most likely sources, and victory in their opening two fixtures would take pressure off the final game against West Indies in Hobart.
This year’s squad is largely similar to last year’s, with household names such as Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie once more leading the side.
But Ireland will be buoyed by a summer spent playing against some of the world’s best sides in both T20 and ODI formats, and hope that will stand them in good stead.
T20 World Cup History
Ireland are regular qualifiers for the group stage of the T20 World Cup, appearing in seven of the past eight editions, but have only gone further than the landing pad on one occasion.
A Niall O’Brien-inspired win against Bangladesh was enough for progression to the Super 8 on debut in 2009 despite defeat to India.
But the next stage proved a step too far for Ireland, losing all three of their matches against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and New Zealand to exit the tournament.
Since then, it has been a case of fine margins with a rain-affected match against England meaning they agonisingly exited the groups in 2010 via net run rate.
It was to happen again too in 2012, this time West Indies the beneficiaries but Ireland will be hoping their performances in 2022 mean they will need no slice of fortune.
Current Form
Ireland have embarked on a busy summer of T20 cricket in order to get in the best shape for their time Down Under.
Two losses to India, including a narrow four-run defeat, gave Ireland plenty of heart before another narrow loss against 2021 runners-up New Zealand.
More valuable exposure to top opposition in a two-game series against South Africa before a 3-2 series win against Afghanistan bolstered hopes of making it through the group stage.
Best batters
Andrew Balbirnie and Paul Stirling will hope to lean on all their experience and help Ireland put big totals on the board.
The duo have nearly 200 T20I appearances between them and will hope to combine for a solid opening partnership and set strong foundations for Harry Tector.
Tector, 22, has been playing at No.4 for his country and his unbeaten knock of 64 against India was a snippet of what he can potentially bring on the big stage.
Best bowlers
Mark Adair will lead the attack with ball in hand, with the seam bowler taking 72 wickets in T20Is since his debut in 2019.
The 26-year-old will be joined by medium pace all-rounder Curtis Campher and fellow seamer Josh Little, who made his T20I debut aged just 16 in 2016. Sami Singh and Gareth Delany will bring the spin options.
Fixtures
Ireland face Zimbabwe on Monday 17 October, followed by the Scotland match on 19 and the final fixture against West Indies on Friday.

Response

Eds...
Good Luck Ireland
JCH
JK

Clarence Hiles

Beady

28th Aug 2022

CIYMS won the an all-Ireland club cup double after trouncing Lisburn by 225 runs. Lisburn won the NCU Senior League the previous Saturday but it was a long distance from the champions. The Bob Kerr Senior Cup sits proudly at Belmont after a huge total 321 which was never threatened.
On home territory Chris Dougherty (93) and John Matchett (94) scored highest but the cameo from Ross Adair set the tone of what was to follow. Lisburn's 96 was an anti-climax but the day out for the CI and Lisburn followers was well attended. The Bready club should be thanked for their facilities as everyone enjoyed the occasion.
Footnote...As an observer, I have to ask why is Ross Adair is not on the Ireland T20 team? His perfomances have been phenomenal this season.
John Matchett was deservedly MOM.
MATCH SUMMARY
Lisburn v CIYMS, Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup Final, Bready, 27 August 2022
CIYMS 321-6 (50 overs; J Matchett 94, C Dougherty 93; N Whitworth 2-63)
Lisburn 96 (26.2 overs; F Fazal 30; N Jones 3-15)
CIYMS won by 225 runs

Craig Easdown

Cork

21st Aug 2022

CIYMS dominates Cork Harlequins to claim All-Ireland T20 Cup honours
An aggressive yet disciplined bowling display by the Belfast-based CIYMS led them to a six-wicket victory over Cork Harlequins at The Mardyke – giving CIYMS their second Clear Currency All-Ireland T20 Cup after their first title win in 2019.
CIYMS’ opening pace bowler Keith Dudgeon delivered a T20 bowling masterclass to claim 4-10 from four overs to set his side on the road to victory, before the NCU club’s batters completed the run chase in 12.2 overs.
Earlier in the day, after winning the toss and electing to bowl first, CIYMS started with a vigorous spell of new ball bowling, backed up by sharp fielding to have the hometown side at 8-2 in the 3rd over. Ross Adair grasped a spectacular diving catch at cover to remove Quins captain Matthew Brewster for a golden duck, and Keith Dudgeon nicked off Mubeen Ali for 1.
Ryan Joyce sought to wrestle the initiative back with several slashes for four over and through point, but Brandon Kruger – batting hero in last week’s semi-final – fell for 4, and the Cork side were 28-3 after 4 overs.
Devon Joyce joined his brother and the pair looked to navigate the tight bowling by the CIYMS attack. They put on 29 for the 4th wicket before Ryan was deceived by a Jacob Mulder delivery that spun, beat the bat and crashed into off stump.
That led to a middle order collapse of 5-13 to leave Harlequins 70-8 in the 14th over – Dudgeon with three wickets (to that point) and Mulder with two were the main destroyers.
Jack Buss and Adam Hickey eked out late runs, but when Mark Adair claimed the final wicket Cork Harlequins were only able to set 94 for their Belfast opposition to claim their second All-Ireland T20 Cup crown.
The dangerous Ross Adair began the run chase aggressively, smashing 14 off the first over of Seanan Jones, after being hit in the chest advancing down the pitch at the third ball of the innings.
Zubair Hassan Khan delivered several early thunderbolts that had the parochial Cork crowd cheering loudly, but two half-trackers to end the over saw Adair strike a four and six to have CIYMS sitting comfortably at 27-0 after two overs.
The switch to the spin of Brandon Kruger produced an instant result, trapping Adair’s opening partner Chris Dougherty (3) leg before wicket, then Jones had Adair himself caught at deep mid-wicket for a 16-ball 35 – and the crowd were once more on their feet.
John Matchett and captain Nigel Jones sought to complete the run chase in style – Matchett hitting six boundaries in his innings of 26 but fell caught at cow corner trying to pull Brewster for his seventh boundary. A neat running catch by Ryan Joyce exciting the slowly deflating home fans.
Kruger struck again three balls later to have CIYMS 79-4 in the 10th over, but Jones ensured there was to be no dramatic ending by blasting three late boundaries to finish 25* from 23 balls.
The win continues CIYMS’ almost too good to be true season, having won three of five provincial and all-Ireland titles they have competed for this season, with a fourth title up for grabs next weekend when they face Lisburn in the final of the Clear Currency Irish Senior Cup.
The win today also sees CIYMS become Ireland’s representative at the 2023 European Cricket League in Spain.
MATCH SUMMARY
Cork Harlequins v CIYMS, Men’s All-Ireland T20 Cup Final, The Mardyke, Cork, 21 August 2022
Harlequins 93 (18.5 overs; R Joyce 32; K Dudgeon 4-10, J Mulder 2-23)
CIYMS 97-4 (12.2 overs; R Adair 35; B Kruger 2-20)
CIYMS won by 6 wickets

Response

Ed...
Well done CI.

Craig Easdown

Stormont

17th Aug 2022

Ireland claim T20I series win over Afghanistan in rain-affected thriller
BELFAST - Ireland Men sealed the T20I series against Afghanistan with a thrilling, rain-affected win in the decider at Stormont.
Ireland won the toss and elected to bowl first in the final game of the five-match series, making an excellent start thanks to an opening burst from Player of the Match Mark Adair.
After a quiet first over from Josh Little, Hazratullah Zazai looked to have got Afghanistan moving with two consecutive boundaries, the first streakily skewed past point, and the second smoked through the covers. However, Adair struck back, enticing the explosive opener to miscue high into the air, with Simi Singh taking the catch at mid-off. Three balls later, he claimed another, Rahmanullah Gurbaz poking outside off and edging through to the keeper.
Little snuck through a second quiet over before Adair struck again, once more hitting back after a first-ball boundary. This time he was cut through point by Ibrahim Zadran before bouncing out the No.3, a cue-end flying to short third man, where Barry McCarthy claimed an excellent diving catch.
Afghanistan found themselves 26-3 after four overs and took their time to rebuild. The ball only reached the fence once in the next five overs, and that came courtesy of an overthrow reaching the boundary. With nine overs gone, Afghanistan were 42-3, scoring at a tick over 4.5 runs per over.
The tourists changed tack as Simi Singh was introduced, with Usman Ghani, previously becalmed on eight off 21, smashing 20 runs off the 10th over of the innings, with a pair each of fours and sixes giving Afghanistan a much-needed boost.
Andrew Balbirnie turned to Little in pursuit of a breakthrough, and the left-armer obliged. Two short balls dismissed Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi in the space of two balls, with Lorcan Tucker completing the catches on both occasions. The second was a special effort, with the keeper running forward and taking a one-handed grab inches from the turf to see off the Afghanistan captain.
Once again Afghanistan rebuilt, putting on 29 in the next four overs to lay the platform for the last five overs. However, it was at this point that the rain fell, and with the score reading 95-5, a lengthy delay curtailed the first innings, also lopping off 13 overs from the reply.
That left Ireland needing 56 runs in seven overs for a series win, a last-lap sprint to the finish befitting a contest between two sides jockeying for supremacy. And even in the space of 42 balls there was space for a twist or two.
Afghanistan began strongly, a four and a six bookending the otherwise boundaryless first 12 balls, and after Mujeeb Ur Rahman claimed the wicket of Andrew Balbirnie, pinned lbw, and conceded just six runs from the third over, the required rate had ticked from seven an over to nine an over.
Rashid Khan was introduced and tempted Paul Stirling with a tossed-up delivery. The opener took the bait, but successfully so, smashing high over long-on. When Lorcan Tucker shuffled and smashed the first ball of Mujeeb’s next over up and over the leg-side, Ireland were well on top. But the dismissal of Stirling brought Afghanistan back into it. He holed out off Mujeeb, having become the fourth man in history to the milestone of 3,000 T20I runs during his innings.
Harry Tector punched his first ball, a low full toss, through the covers for four, to ease the Irish nerves but the dismissal of Tucker, mistiming a slog sweep off Rashid, put the game back in the balance.
But it was Ireland who held firm. Some scampered ones and twos brought the requirement down to five needed from four, with a sweetly timed George Dockrell pull shot finding the fence to all but confirm the result. One ball later, victory was sealed with two deliveries to spare, giving Ireland a 3-2 series win.
George Dockrell was named Player of the Series for his unbeaten batting exploits having scored 141 runs across five innings without being dismissed.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v Afghanistan, 5th T20I, Stormont, Belfast, 17 August 2022
Afghanistan 95-5 (15 overs; U Ghani 44*, A Omarzai 15*; M Adair 3-16)
Ireland 56-3 (6.4 overs; P Stirling 16, L Tucker 14; M Rahman 2-17)
Ireland won by seven wickets with two balls remaining (DLS Method)

Response

Ed...
Terrific display from Ireland but totally deserved. They were coasting until Simi Singh was introduced to the attack and it swinged to the hosts. Thankfully he had only one over! A thriller despite the weather.
JCH
JK

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Dublin

17th Aug 2022

Ireland Men to play a Test match and ODI series against England in first year of new ICC Future Tours Programme
DUBLIN – The International Cricket Council today released a new four-year Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the men’s game which will see Ireland Men play 113 matches against Full Members between May 2023 and April 2027.
In an action-packed start to the new year, Ireland Men start 2023 with tours of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as part of the current 2019-2023 FTP, before the new 2023-2027 FTP begins in May.
The announcement of the new FTP, a result of a collective effort of Full Members with ICC’s support, ensures certainty of cricket fixtures with the confirmation of all bilateral series across the three formats. The exact dates of the series are for the Members to announce in due course.
The announcement of the new Men’s FTP comes a day after the first ever Women’s FTP was announced.
OVERVIEW OF FTP 2023-2027
Ireland starts the new FTP with a home white-ball series against Bangladesh, then immediately travel to England for a one-off Test match in June 2023.
Ireland will also tour England for three ODIs before taking on Zimbabwe for one Test, three ODIs and three T20Is later in the year. January 2024 will then see Ireland play Afghanistan away for one Test, three ODIs and three T20Is, one of their four series against the Asian team during the five-year cycle.
Ireland, who gained Test status along with Afghanistan in 2017, will also play Tests against New Zealand and Zimbabwe at home, while their other limited overs fixtures include those against Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
In all, Ireland Men are set to play 12 Test matches, 54 one-day internationals and 47 T20 Internationals against fellow Full Member sides. The programme outlined does not include the fixtures against Associate Members, of which will be announced in due course. The FTP fixtures are all outside of further international matches to be played as part of ICC events – the first such ICC event may be the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in June-July 2023 (if Ireland doesn’t automatically qualify through the World Cup Super League).
IRELAND MEN’S PLAYING SCHEDULE 2023-2027
Remaining fixtures under the 2018-2023 FTP:
2023
January 2023: Zimbabwe v Ireland Men in Zimbabwe (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
March 2023: Bangladesh v Ireland Men in Bangladesh (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
April 2023: Sri Lanka v Ireland Men in Sri Lanka (1 Test)
Ireland Men’s playing schedule under the new 2023-2027 FTP:
2023
May 2023: Ireland Men v Bangladesh in Ireland (3 ODIs, 4 T20Is)
May 2023: England v Ireland Men in England (1 Test)
September 2023: England v Ireland Men in England (3 ODIs)
November 2023: Zimbabwe v Ireland Men in Zimbabwe (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
2024
January 2024: Afghanistan v Ireland Men in India (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
May 2024: Ireland Men v Pakistan in Ireland (3 T20Is)
July 2024: Ireland Men v South Africa in Ireland (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
August 2024: Ireland Men v Zimbabwe in Ireland (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
September 2024: Ireland Men v Australia in Ireland (3 ODIs, 1 T20I)
2025
January 2025: Zimbabwe v Ireland Men in India (2 Tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
June 2025: Ireland Men v West Indies in Ireland (3 ODIs)
June 2025: Ireland Men v England in Ireland (3 ODIs)
July 2025: Ireland Men v Afghanistan in Ireland (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
September 2025: Pakistan v Ireland Men in Pakistan (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
October 2025: Sri Lanka v Ireland Men in Sri Lanka (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
November 2025: Bangladesh v Ireland Men in Bangladesh (2 Tests, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
2026
May 2026: Ireland Men v New Zealand in Ireland (1 Test)
July 2026: Ireland Men v South Africa in Ireland (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
August 2026: Ireland Men v Bangladesh in Ireland (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
August 2026: Ireland Men v Afghanistan in Ireland (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
2027
March 2027: Afghanistan v Ireland Men in India (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)

Response

Ed...
Terrific news!

Craig Easdown

Stormont

15th Aug 2022

Afghanistan wins rain-shortened match to square series making Wednesday a decider

BELFAST - Afghanistan triumphed in the rain-affected fourth T20I by 27 runs to set up a series-deciding match on Wednesday.
In an 11-overs-a-side contest, the tourists put up a monumental total of 132-6 after hard-hitting knocks from Najibullah Zadran (50 off 24) and Rashid Khan (31 off 10). In response Ireland lost regular wickets as Fareed Ahmad starred with figures of 3-14, with the hosts bowled out for 105 from the final ball of the innings.
Rain meant a delayed start, with the match beginning at 17:30 local time, two hours after the scheduled start.
Ireland won the toss and chose to bowl first but it was Afghanistan who took the early initiative; Rahmanullah Gurbaz hooked a six to make it 17 runs off the opening over, bowled by Josh Little. Gurbaz smashed 24 off 13, eventually perishing in the third over when he gifted Mark Adair with a catch at short fine-leg off the bowling of Barry McCarthy.
The dismissal prompted a stumble from Afghanistan’s top order; Gareth Delany then struck with his first two balls of the day as the batting side went from 37-0 to 38-3 in the space of five deliveries. Fionn Hand then accounted for Mohammad Nabi in the fifth over, with the Afghanistan captain finding Andrew Balbirnie at cover for 5.
But Afghanistan recovered well from 55-4, led by Najibullah, who followed up his 18-ball 42 from the previous T20I with another sparkling knock. His 24-ball stay saw him strike four fours and three sixes, and Rashid joined in on the fun too, smashing three sixes in an effective cameo.
For Ireland leg-spinner Delany finished with his career-best figures, his three overs resulting in a haul of 3-33.
Like Afghanistan, Ireland had a brief but blistering opening stand. A Paul Stirling cover drive got the innings moving from ball one, and Balbirnie went four, four, six in the second over as Ireland moved to 28-0 after nine deliveries.
But Balbirnie fell for 15 from the 10th ball of the innings, and the losses of Stirling and Lorcan Tucker a couple of overs later left Ireland in serious trouble.
Harry Tector got a start but was Fareed’s third of the day. Ireland, in the end, were in debt to the in-form George Dockrell in ensuring they reached three figures. Having hit his first T20I half-century in the previous T20I, Ireland’s No.5 smashed 41 off just 27 deliveries, his knock including four fours and two sixes.
He couldn’t find support from elsewhere, however, with no one in Ireland’s bottom six able to cross 3.
Rashid completed a Player-of-the-Match performance with figures of 2-21, helping level the series at 2-2. The two sides will now contest a decider in the fifth and final T20I on Wednesday.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v Afghanistan, 4th T20I, Stormont, 15 August 2022
Afghanistan 132-6 (11 overs; N Zadran 50, R Khan 31*; G Delany 3-33)
Ireland 105 (11 overs; G Dockrell 41*; F Malik 3-14, R Khan 2-21)
Afghanistan won by 27 runs

Response

ED...
All square 2-2 and next Wednesday will be the decider. Come on Ireland and be there at this historic finale.

C Robinson

West Belfast

13th Aug 2022

Congratulations lisburn well done

Response

Ed...
Yes, Lisburn were terrific all season!

Craig Easdown

Stormont

12th Aug 2022

The Afghans fight back
Afghanistan sealed a 22-run win in the third T20I of the ITW Ireland v Afghanistan T20I Series to keep their hopes of a series win alive – despite late batting heroics by the Irish lower order.
The touring side’s top four batters delivered to put up a strong total of 189-5, and Ireland were quickly reduced to 36-4 in their run chase.
The hosts looked down and out at 85-7 in the 13th over, but George Dockrell (58* off 37) and debutant Fionn Hand (36 off 18) kept Ireland’s hopes alive with a stunning eighth-wicket partnership worth 74 – just six runs short of a world-record 8th wicket stand in T20I cricket. In the end, though, Afghanistan held on to celebrate their first win of the series.
Afghanistan were quick to put aside a difficult performance with the bat in the second T20I – 11 runs from Mark Adair’s opening over set the base for a 90-run opening partnership between Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai.
Gurbaz was the more expansive presence at the top of the order, hitting eight fours and a six on his way to a 31-ball half-century, the landmark reached from the final ball of the 10th over.
Ireland were finally able to celebrate in the 12th over, when Gurbaz slashed hard at Josh Little – the ball met the edge of the bat, ballooning up high and eventually into the safe hands of Adair at short third man.
A couple of overs later Hand was able to celebrate his first international wicket, with Zazai finding Paul Stirling at short third, who took a fine tumbling catch low to his right.
But the loss of the openers didn’t hinder Afghanistan, with Ibrahim Zadran stepping up in an enterprising cameo – he smashed a quickfire 36 before an attempted lap to the leg-side saw him guide a Little delivery to the keeper.
But more destruction was to come: Najibullah went on a six-hitting spree in the final two overs as he smashed 42 off just 18 deliveries. There were no fours hit from the left-hander – his desire for the aerial route resulted in five sixes.
Set a steep target of 190, Ireland were in trouble quickly in their chase, losing Stirling for a duck in the first over – the right-hander couldn’t take advantage of a full toss, hitting Fazalhaq Farooqi to Usman Ghani at cover.
A couple of overs later Farooqi was celebrating the wicket of the other Irish opener – Balbirnie also fell victim to a full toss, toe-ending a wide delivery to backward point to depart for 1.
The loss of Harry Tector – the right-hander feathered behind a wide Naveen-ul-Haq delivery to the keeper for 3 – left Ireland in serious trouble on 22-3 in the fourth over.
Curtis Campher picked up a couple of boundaries but he too fell to Naveen, for 8, and while Tucker continued his fine form at No.3 to advance to 31, an excellent catch by Naveen at deep midwicket ended the gloveman’s innings to leave Ireland 58-5 in the ninth over.
Wickets continued to tumble, but Ireland still had the power of Dockrell and Hand at the crease. Together the pair turned the tide, launching some huge hits to bring Ireland back into the game.
Dockrell went to a half-century off just 28 balls and Hand hit four fours and two sixes to get himself to 36 off 17, leaving 31 required from nine deliveries. But Naveen soon celebrated his third wicket of the day, with Hand scooping his delivery to a running Zazai at short fine leg.
Graham Hume – also on T20I debut – was run out at the end of the penultimate over, and while Dockrell finished on a new career-best in the format, Afghanistan were the side celebrating at the close.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v Afghanistan, 3rd T20I, Stormont, 12 August 2022
Afghanistan 189-5 (20 overs; R Gurbaz 53, N Zadran 42; J Little 2-29)
Ireland 167-9 (20 overs; G Dockrell 58*, F Hand 36; F Farooqi 2-11)
Afghanistan won by 22 runs

Craig Easdown

Stormont

11th Aug 2022

IRELAND TWO UP
A fine bowling performance set Ireland up for a five-wicket win over Afghanistan to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series.
The hosts limited to the visitors to 122-8 after 20 overs, with four bowlers taking two wickets apiece to ensure Afghanistan’s batting effort never gathered any serious momentum.
While Ireland briefly tumbled in the middle overs of their chase, falling from 72-1 to 86-4, George Dockrell held his nerve with an unbeaten 19-ball 25 to secure victory.
Mark Adair got the ball rolling after Afghanistan chose to bat first, taking a wicket with the first ball of the second over; Rahmanullah Gurbaz found the hands of Barry McCarthy to depart for 1. Josh Little then bowled Usman Ghani in the next over to lea
Ibrahim Zadran was getting going in the powerplay, taking three boundaries off McCarthy’s first over, but Curtis Campher struck from the final ball of the sixth over – Zadran’s flick to the leg-side saw Andrew McBrine sprint in from deep midwicket to take an excellent catch.
Campher switched ends and struck from his next over, accounting for Najibullah Zadran, and Mohammad Nabi was the next man to go – attempting to go big off Gareth Delany’s leg-spin, the Afghanistan captain holed out to Dockrell at long-on for 9.
Afghanistan’s biggest partnership of the innings followed, when Hashmatullah Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai put on 30, but Delany struck again – Shahidi’s reverse sweep found McBrine at backward point.
Afghanistan failed to find much firepower at the end of their innings – just 26 runs came off the last five overs as Little (2-18 off four overs), Adair (2-12 off three) and Delany (2-19 off four) put the finishing touches to a fine display.
Paul Stirling departed early in the chase for 4 to Naveen-ul-Haq, but Andrew Balbirnie – who found form in the first T20I of the series with a half-century – rattled along, driving Rashid Khan through the covers for to move to 18 in the fifth over of the innings. He later swept Mujeeb Ur Rahman for six, but the Afghanistan spinner eventually got his revenge, dismissing Balbirnie for 46 off 36 balls to leave Ireland 72-2.
Then came a bit of trouble for the Irish, with Mohammad Nabi striking twice in the 14th over, Harry Tector (5) and Lorcan Tucker (27) both sent on their way.
But Dockrell eased any nerves, keeping calm even as Campher was dismissed for 7 in the 17th over. Victory was sealed with the final ball of the 19th over, Fazalhaq Farooqi deposited for six to give Ireland their second win of the week.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v Afghanistan, 2nd T20I, Stormont, 11 August 2022
Afghanistan 122-8 (20 overs; H Shahidi 36; M Adair 2-12, C Campher 2-13)
Ireland 125-5 (19 overs; A Balbirnie 46, G Dockrell 25*; M Nabi 2-15)
Ireland won by five wickets

Response

Eds...
Roll on the 3rd!
JCH
JK

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Stormont

9th Aug 2022

Andrew Balbirnie leads Ireland to win in first T20I against Afghanistan.
Ireland held on for a thrilling seven-wicket victory in the first T20I against Afghanistan, securing the result with a ball to spare.
Chasing 169, Lorcan Tucker and Andrew Balbirnie hit quickfire half-centuries before Harry Tector (25 off 15*) and George Dockrell (10 off 5*) took Ireland over the finishing line.
Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat first, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz hitting three boundaries off the fourth over of the innings – bowled by Andrew McBrine – to get the visitors moving. Gurbaz perished in the very next over though, swatting a Barry McCarthy delivery to Harry Tector at mid-off to depart for 26
Usman Ghani and Hashmatullah Shahidi put aside that setback to keep the scoreboard ticking along, building a partnership that took Afghanistan to 75-1 after nine overs. But Dockrell’s entry into the attack proved pivotal; the left-armer got Shahidi to top-edge a delivery safely into the hands of Paul Stirling at short fine leg for 11.
Ghani advanced to his fourth T20I half-century, helping Afghanistan past 100, but spin brought another breakthrough – Gareth Delany struck with the last ball of the 14th over, with Najibullah Zadran top-edging the leg-spinner to McBrine at backward point.
The wicket prompted a tumble in the Afghanistan middle order, with four wickets falling in four overs to leave the visitors 134-6 after 17 overs. McCarthy accounted for Rashid Khan in the penultimate over for 2, but Mark Adair took some punishment from Ibrahim Zadran in the final over of the innings, conceding 16 runs off three consecutive deliveries as Afghanistan finished on 168-7.
In response, Balbirnie looked in fine touch from the get-go, swivel-pulling Fazalhaq Farooqi from the final ball of the third over to move 19 off just 10.
Paul Stirling, playing his 300th T20, was watchful to begin with, seeing off a Naveen-ul-Haq maiden in the powerplay. But he eventually found his feet, smashing Azmatullah and Naveen for sixes as Ireland motored to fifty inside six overs.
Stirling eventually departed for 31 to Mohammad Nabi, but Ireland remained in control: Tucker and Balbirnie motored along, with the latter reaching his half-century from 34 balls at the end of the 14th over.
But Player of the Match Balbirnie then swept Mujeeb Ur Rahman straight to Najibullah in the deep to depart for 51 and, and a couple more tight overs followed to leave Ireland requiring 41 from the final four overs.
Tucker advanced to a half century from just 31 balls, but Naveen accounted for him at the end of the 18th over, leaving Ireland in serious trouble.
But Harry Tector, having started slowly, delivered a timely six off Farooqi in the penultimate over, launching the ball over deep midwicket, leaving 13 needed from the final over.
A boundary from Tector eased the pressure, and Dockrell was the man to finish the job, hitting consecutive boundaries to seal a thrilling victory.
MATCH SUMMARY
Ireland v Afghanistan, 1st T20I, Stormont, 9 August 2022
South Africa 168-7 (20 overs; U Ghani 59, I Zadran 29*; B McCarthy 3-24)
Ireland 171-3 (19.5 overs; A Balbirnie 51, L Tucker 50; M Ur Rahman 1-22)
Ireland won by seven wickets

Response

Eds...
A thriller! And we won!
JCH
JK