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Chance for debutants to impress in T20 side

By Ian Callender

A big crowd is expected at Bready this evening for Ireland's opening Twenty20 international against Scotland (5.30pm) with no fewer than five North West players in the 12-man squad.

The game is the first in a three-match series - the other games are on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, also at Bready - and gives two of the home-based squad players the chance to perform before World Cup players George Dockrell and Andrew Balbirnie fly in tomorrow.

And in a selection top heavy with pace bowlers, it could mean a debut for the local boy David Rankin, only called into the squad on Tuesday but who has followed up his player of the series award in last season's Twenty20 inter-pros with two more impressive displays this year.

"It's a great honour to be called up but the fact that the series is being held at Bready and with Craig (Young) involved too makes it extra special," he said.

"Obviously now that I've made the squad I'd love to play as well so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the game"

Young will lead an attack which could also include debutant Tyrone Kane, Graeme McCarter, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson and recalled Alex Cusack so it would be a surprise if all six get the nod and means that John Anderson, another top-order batsman, could also play his first T20 international.

Ireland squad: K O'Brien (capt), J Anderson, A Cusack, T Kane, A McBrine G McCarter, A Poynter, S Poynter, D Rankin, M Sorensen, S Thompson, C Young.

Meanwhile, Waringstown will have to reach the final of the Ulster Bank Challenge Cup the hard way after being drawn away to the winners of this Saturday's delayed quarter-final between North Down and CIYMS.

If CI win for the second time this season at Comber it will be a repeat of last year's semi-final at Belmont which the Villagers won by eight wickets to reach their fourth final in the last five years.

Holders Civil Service play their postponed quarter-final against Muckamore on Sunday with the winners at home to Instonians on Saturday week.

Belfast Telegraph

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