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Balbirnie thrilled as patience pays dividends for Wolves

 

By Ian Callender

The Ireland Wolves took more than two hours to take a wicket on the final day at Claremont Road but the remaining seven were even quicker as they completed a convincing 100-run victory.

It was no more than expected from a team fielding nine senior internationals against a young, mainly developmental Scotland A side, but it couldn't have worked out much better with national coach John Bracewell watching.

The Wolves have another three-day game in Southgate, starting on Wednesday week, when even more experienced players will be in action - the O'Brien brothers and George Dockrell to name just three - but for now Peter Chase and Ireland can be happy that he goes into the final match before next month's Intercontinental Cup clash at Malahide in good rhythm and form.

It was Chase who finally took the first wicket of the day in the penultimate over before lunch, a short rising delivery which forced the obdurate Michael Jones to play on.

Breakthrough achieved, it proved much easier after the interval and four wickets in 29 balls effectively ended the Scots' resistance and any notional idea they could score 371 for victory.

Tyrone Kane, uncapped since 2015, Nathan Smith, who continues to impress at this level, and Jacob Mulder, who took five wickets in the first innings, all finished with two wickets and Chase wrapped up the victory with a deserved fourth.

Captain Andrew Balbirnie said: "I thought it was an outstanding effort from our bowlers on a tough day of cricket - just what the Wolves needed. Hopefully we can learn from this and improve against the MCC Young Cricketers in our next game."

Belfast Telegraph

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