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Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Dublin

15th Dec 2021

Under 19
The 15-player Ireland Under-19s Men’s squad has been named for the upcoming ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup to be held in the Caribbean in January. Head Coach Peter Johnston spoke about the squad, preparations and the importance of participation in under-age world cups for emerging cricketers hoping to make their mark on the world stage.
Ireland secured qualification to the event by winning the ICC Under-19s Men’s World Cup European Qualifier in September.
Tim Tector will once more captain the side – he is the third Tector brother to captain his country at this event with Jack (Bangladesh 2016) and Harry (New Zealand 2018) leading the last two Irish sides to feature at the Under-19s Men’s World Cup.
Ryan Eagleson, who was Head Coach for the Qualifier tournament, has moved into Ireland Men’s national bowling coach role on an interim basis. Replacing Eagleson is Peter Johnston, the current Academy and Performance Manager and Wolves Head Coach. Johnston has more than a decade’s experience with the Irish Senior Men’s Squad and brings a wealth of experience to the touring party.
The Tournament
The tournament will be held between 14 January and 5 February 2022, with 16 teams competing for the title that is considered the pinnacle for youth cricketers across the world. The competition features four groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the Super League stage of the tournament to decide the tournament winner. Teams finishing in third and fourth place in each group enter a Plate play-off.
Ireland Under-19s Group Stage fixtures are:
15 January: Ireland Under-19s v Uganda Under-19s (Everest Cricket Club, Guyana)
19 January: Ireland Under-19s v India Under-19s (Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago)
21 January: Ireland Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s (Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago)
A warm-up programme preceding the tournament will be announced shortly.
A full fixture schedule for the event can be found here: https://www.icc-cricket.com/u19-world-cup/fixtures
The Squad
The core World Cup squad consists of 15 players, while one travelling reserve and two non-travelling reserves have also been named in line with Covid-19 protocols.
The Ireland Under-19s Men’s squad is:
Tim Tector (captain) (YMCA), Diarmuid Burke (Malahide), Joshua Cox (Paul Roos Gymnasium), Jack Dickson (Instonians), Liam Doherty (St. Andrew’s School), Jamie Forbes (YMCA), Daniel Forkin (Merrion), Matthew Humphreys (Lisburn), Philippe le Roux (Railway Union), Scott Macbeth (St. Johnston), Nathan McGuire (Rush), Muzamil Sherzad (North Kildare), David Vincent (Clontarf), Luke Whelan (North County), Reuben Wilson (YMCA).
Travelling reserve: Robbie Millar (Eglinton)
Non-travelling reserves: Ryan Hunter (CSNI), Ewan Wilson (Muckamore)
The coach and support staff are:
Peter Johnston (Head Coach), Beth Healy (Team Manager), Jay Shelat (Performance Analyst), Darren Nicol (Physiotherapist), Simon Johnston (Assistant Coach), Albert van der Merwe (Assistant Coach).

Response

Ed...
Good luck lads!

Craig Easdown

Cricket Ireland

27th Nov 2021

World Cup Qualifier abandoned; positive outcome for Ireland Women amidst the disappointment
HARARE, Zimbabwe – The International Cricket Council has this morning confirmed that the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe has been abandoned as a result of the introduction of travel restrictions from a number of countries, including Zimbabwe.
The ICC has further advised that qualification for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 and next ICC Women’s Championship will be determined by world rankings.
As a result:
The teams who have qualified for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 to be held in New Zealand from 4 March to 3 April are Australia, England, India, South Africa, New Zealand (hosts), Pakistan, West Indies and Bangladesh.
The number of teams in the third cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship (from 2022-2025) has been increased from eight to ten, and these teams will be Australia, England, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ireland.
Richard Holdsworth, High Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“We are disappointed for all the players and teams who are in Zimbabwe at the moment, but from a health and safety perspective this is the correct decision. We will now concentrate on working with the ICC in getting our squad home as soon as practicable.
“While it’s never the manner in which you hope to qualify for a competition, it is a big result for Ed Joyce and his squad to be part of the 2022-2025 Women’s Championship. It’s not an understatement to say it should see a fundamental change in women’s cricket in Ireland.
“However, today is a time not for celebrations, rather to concentrate on our team’s safe and timely repatriation home.”

Clarence Hiles

UC Headquarters

15th Nov 2021

Cecil Walker
Sad to learn that the great Lisburn stalwart Cecil Walker has passed away earlier this morning. He was a giant in Ulster and Irish cricket reaching the highest level bar international, although I'm certain he would have distinguished himself as well. He was Chairman and President of NCU and Irish Cricket, Lisburn 1st Eleven captain in the halcyon years of 1950s, Chairman and President, sponsor, fundraiser, and chaired the 1986 NCU Centenary celebrations after Ferguson Grainger sadly suddenly died. He was an outstanding President at every level and travelled widely with his good friends Alfie and Mary Linehan. He was a fine batsman and featured in the 1957 Senior Cup against Woodvale with a dashing 53 alongside Raymond Hunter, who hit 133, one of the greatest innings in NCU cricket. Cecil was 'Mr Cricket' at Lisburn and further afield, as he had wonderful charisma and diplomacy. He was an exceptional leader and much loved throughout Ulster and Irish cricket.
Cricket will be sad today but his legacy will last forever.
Rest in Peace, Cecil Walker.
JCH
JK

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Dublin

10th Nov 2021

Cricket Ireland and Provincial Unions launch first-ever national survey to help drive the future of the sport.
Cricket Ireland, in partnership with the five Provincial Unions around Ireland, is today launching its first-ever national survey that will help drive forward the future of cricket across Ireland – from grassroots to representative, as well as the fans perspective on the game. We would also like to hear from those not connected to the sport to get their views on cricket and any barriers to participation or interest that exist.
The Big Irish Cricket Survey is an initiative of Cricket Ireland, in conjunction with Cricket Leinster, Munster Cricket, North West Cricket Union, Northern Cricket Union and Connacht Cricket Union – with a range of questions tailored to capture the views, interests and data that will underpin future growth plans for the sport.
In April 2021, Cricket Ireland released its new Strategic Plan 2021-2023 that identified the need to collate more nationally-focussed data to support both the work of sourcing funding and distributing limited resources in an effective way to grow the game.
The survey
The survey is now live and available at: https://bit.ly/IrishCricketSurvey
It will remain open until 5pm, Friday 10 December 2021.
Andrew Fleming, Chair of Cricket Ireland’s Grassroots Cricket Committee, said:
“The Grassroots Cricket Committee is keen to ensure that every cricket voice from every cricket club, school or organisation on the island is heard. Players, coaches, umpires, fans and volunteers from every level are asked to contribute to help us better understand the needs on the ground and ensure our game can flourish in the years ahead – that is why it is so important that we undertake a survey like this.
If you have a view about Cricket on this island please take a few moments to help Irish cricket by completing this survey.”
Elaine Nolan, Participation Director at Cricket Ireland, said:
“The Big Irish Cricket Survey is part of Cricket Ireland’s current strategic objectives that aim to consolidate the gains of recent years, invest in grassroots, grow the women’s game and ensure we are as diverse, inclusive and welcoming a sport as any.
“A call-out within our strategy is to find that much-needed balance between grassroots and elite cricket, to ensure we can continue to drive forward on solid foundations. The survey encourages the cricket community to actively input on aspects of the recreational game and have an influence on its future development. It's vital that our recreational game continues to grow so we have healthy clubs who can nurture the next generation of players, coaches and volunteers.
"That's why we want to hear from players of all ages and people actively involved in local cricket clubs including coaches, umpires, scorers and volunteers, and we want to hear from the fans of our game - and people with a passing interest in cricket - about how we can make our game stronger.”

Response

Ed...
Time to voice our opinions!
Be constructive and not belly ache. This is an opportunity to reach grass-roots and we often complain that Cricket Ireland is not interested in grass-roots.

Craig Easdown, Cricket Ireland

Dublin

10th Nov 2021

USA Cricket to host Ireland in historic men's tour
Ireland to become the first Full Member of the ICC to play against the United States on American soil, with a five-match series set for Florida next month
The 2 T20I & 3 ODI matches will be played from 22-30 December, set to be the biggest series of international matches for USA ever held on home soil
Agreement for Ireland to host USA for a reciprocal tour in the next three years
Men’s Under-19s sides will also face off in Florida as Ireland’s Under-19s squad prepares for the ICC Under-19s Cricket World Cup in early 2022
DUBLIN & LOS ALTOS, USA – Ireland Men’s cricket team is set to become the first Full Member nation to tour the United States to play against the USA Men’s national team in Florida this December. The tour will be played over the Christmas period and is the first-ever multi-format white-ball series between the two sides.
In addition, the Ireland Men’s Under-19s World Cup squad will accompany the senior squad for a preparation camp and white-ball series against USA Men’s Under-19s, ahead of the Irish team’s participation in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in January being held in the West Indies.
The five-match series between the two senior teams will feature two T20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals, all of which will be played at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Florida.
The series precedes Ireland’s scheduled World Cup Super League Series with the West Indies in January in the Caribbean (venues and match dates to be announced shortly).
The fixture schedule
20 December: T20 Warm-up match (details TBC)
22 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 1st T20I (Florida; start 2pm local time)
23 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 2nd T20I (Florida; start 7pm local time)
26 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 1st ODI (Florida; start 10am local time)
28 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 2nd ODI (Florida; start 2.30pm local time)
30 December: USA Men v Ireland Men – 3rd ODI (Florida; start 2.30pm local time)
The dates for the additional training camp and three Men’s Under-19s matches will be finalised and announced shortly.
The Irish men’s squad will depart from Dublin on 16 December, landing in Miami. Following the series, the squad will depart on 31 December for the Caribbean to prepare for the West Indies series.
As part of the agreement, Cricket Ireland is also pleased to announce their hosting of a reciprocal tour by the USA Men’s team to visit Ireland for a series of international matches in the next three years.

C Boomer

Dromore ( Co Down ) listening to Ind-v-Afgh

3rd Nov 2021

I note the NCU have recently filled the vacancy for Chief Executive, ( I didn't even receive a dear John letter) Anyways, best of luck to Mr Grimes in his new position, though going by Ireland's elimination in the current T20 world cup even before the competition got going proper, I'd say he's got his work cut out ahead! There's just one tiny omission troubles me ...

Who do you think you're kidding Mr ?
The chips were down, that evening in town
at Walmington-on-Sea, church parish,
their tight knit congregation, sought salvation
under siege, Luftwaffe, armed, garish

The army got word, top dog, Brigadier Bird
surrounded outer stone walls,
but that was that, him and his men fell flat
sent for the cops, no balls

Chief of police, his constables & Juctice of the peace
rallied to the Brigadier's cry,
assessing the situation, choked, capitulation
called up MI5, Scotland yard, do or die

When all banded together, stormy weather
morse-code, S.O.S. to Admiral of Navy
meanwhile Home guard, Capt. Mainwaring, vanguard
breeched German's defenses, savvy

Prisoners captured, Vicar, congregation, applauded
bumbling Brigadier, Chiefs, Admiral, limp, lame,
moral of this brave tale, if the ship's to sail
for pity's sake, get someone who's played the game!!!

ICC

Sharjah Cricket Stadium

22nd Oct 2021

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

Response

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

Craig Easdown

Sharjah, UAE

21st Oct 2021

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

ICC World Cup

Dubai

18th Oct 2021

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

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

Response

ED...
Well done Ireland!

Craig Easdown

Dubai

14th Oct 2021

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

Craig Easdown, CI

Dubai

12th Oct 2021

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

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

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

Craig Easdown

Harare Sports Club

11th Oct 2021

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

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

Response

Ed...
Awesome Amy.
Absolutely awesome! Congratulations.

Craig Easdown

Dubai

11th Oct 2021

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

Andy Kennedy

Buckna

10th Oct 2021

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

Response

Ed...The Jewels will come later!

Craig Easdown

Dubai

8th Oct 2021

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