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Dockrell's decision to face Wolves gives Mulder chance to stake Ireland claim

 

By Staff Reporter

George Dockrell will play against the Ireland Wolves for the MCC Young Cricketers in the three-day clash, due to start at Southgate this morning. The 25-year-old, who has already played 131 internationals for Ireland, says he has switched sides "to fulfil my commitments to the MCC and it gives another Irish player a chance to get on the field".

That player is CIYMS leg spinner Jacob Mulder, who took seven wickets in the Wolves' last game against Scotland A and gets the chance to stake an irresistible claim for a place in the Ireland Intercontinental Cup team to face the Netherlands at Malahide next month.

The other change to the original Ireland selection is Jack Tector for James Shannon, the Northern Knights captain, who sat out both Instonians games over the weekend to give himself a chance of making the Wolves side.

However, he has been forced to bow to the inevitable.

His injured knee wouldn't have been up to a three-day game, but on the plus side he now has a real chance of making the AJG Challenge Cup final on Saturday.

Like Mulder, Tector will also be looking to build on his good form against the Scots - he scored a century in the second innings - and another significant knock could put the opening batsman in line for a debut against the Dutch.

Lorcan Tucker has been added to this week's Wolves squad, although Niall O'Brien will keep wicket.

Indeed, with Ireland's most capped player Kevin O'Brien also taking his place in the team, which is captained by Andrew Balbirnie, there are a total of 747 caps in what is almost a full strength senior side.

Wolves: A Balbirnie (capt), J Anderson, P Chase, A McBrine, J Mulder, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, Nat Smith, J Tector, S Terry, S Thompson, C Young, L Tucker.

Meanwhile, the Ireland Under-19s made it two wins out of two at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Jersey with two North West players the stars with bat and ball in the victory over Denmark.

Bready's Reece Kelly scored a run-a-ball 41 from No.8 to propel Ireland from 166 for seven to a 50-over total of 245 for eight, and Ballyspallen's Graeme Kennedy then took five for 17 from 7.2 overs to hurry the Irish to an 85-run victory.

It was a sensational collapse by the Danes - after skipper Harry Tector had broken the second-wicket stand of 80, the last eight wickets fell for 38 runs with Kennedy taking five of the last six in 17 balls for just three runs.

Encouragingly, after their disappointing top-order batting against Jersey on Monday, three of the top four all got past 30 yesterday, although the first half century is proving elusive.

Jamie Grassi top scored with 45 from 47 balls with five fours and a six, and he shared partnerships of 53 for the second wicket with Sam Murphy and 33 with Tector before Ireland lost four wickets for 31 to leave them 166 for six with 14 overs remaining.

Enter Kelly, who after a cautious start broke free and hit four boundaries in his 57-run stand with JJ Garth, enough to put the Irish out of sight.

But the tough test comes tomorrow with Ireland's first game against Scotland, who even put the Ireland bowlers in a bad light yesterday when they dismissed Jersey for 58 inside 23 overs on their way to a six-wicket victory.

Under-19 World Cup Qualifying: Ireland 245-8 (J Grassi 45, R Kelly 41, S Murphy 38, H Tector 32, J Garth 21 not out) Denmark 160 (40.2 overs, J Henriksen 52, S Thanikaithasan 41, G Kennedy 5-17, H Tector 2-31). Ireland U19s won by 85 runs.

Belfast Telegraph

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