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Wolves bowlers lack bite in rain-affected draw

 

BY Ian Callender

The Ireland Wolves batsmen enjoyed themselves in the pre-lunch session but the bowlers could take only one wicket afterwards as their three-day game against the MCC Young Cricketers petered out into a rain-affected draw.

When the teams shook hands at the start of the last hour at Southgate, the hosts, who had a deficit of 161 to make up, were 123 for one.

Whether Andrew Balbirnie's dropped catch in the second over would have made a difference will never be known but Joe Barrett cashed in to thwart the Irish attack and finish 73 not out.

Nathan Smith was the unlucky bowler and in six overs he could not add to his five-wicket haul in the first innings, while the bowl-out between Andy McBrine and Jacob Mulder for probably only one place in the Intercontinental Cup squad against the Netherlands next month was inconclusive; neither threatened a breakthrough.

John Anderson, though, continued his love affair with red-ball cricket, hitting 83 with eight fours and sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 140 with Niall O'Brien, who also passed 50.

With the declaration always planned for the lunch break, Kevin O'Brien was then given licence to thrill and duly did so with 36 from 25 balls, including two sixes.

What a difference a day made for George Dockrell, however. After his eight overs for 11 on Thursday night, his eight overs yesterday cost 51 as the Wolves scored at 6.5 an over.

Meanwhile, the difference between Ireland and Scotland and their two rivals for a place in the Under-19 World Cup was highlighted by two more emphatic victories for the Big Two yesterday.

While the Scots defeated Denmark for a second time by six wickets, Ireland rolled over Jersey for just 52 and a crushing 175-run victory. It still wasn't big enough to overtake the Scots on run-rate but they will hold top spot on points until the teams meet again on Monday.

Ireland's next match is against the Danes tomorrow.

Senior international Josh Little took four wickets and Aaron Cawley, in his first match of the tournament, and Coleraine's Varun Chopra each picked up two as Jersey were bowled out in 25 overs with a top score of 14, the only one of which was in double figures.

Scores: FB Fields: Ireland 227 (49.5 overs, J Grassi 66, J Little 35, H Tector 30, G Kennedy 27; D Bourne 4-53, J Sumerauer 3-53) Jersey 52 (25 overs, J Little 4-28, V Chopra 2-9, A Cawley 2-10). Ireland U19s won by 175 runs.

OVERNIGHT: MCC 1st Innings 165 (N Smith 5-32)

IRELAND WOLVES 1ST INNINGS

(overnight 157-3, S Terry 78)

J Anderson c Dockrell b

van Vollenhoven 83

N O'Brien c Hurt b Dockrell 63

K O'Brien not out 36

L Tucker not out 12

Extras (4b 2lb 2nb 2w) 10

Total (5 wkts dec, 74 overs) 326

Did not bat: S Thompson, A McBrine, J Mulder, N Smith

Bowling: L Hurt 16-2-71-1, J Duffy 21-3-76-2, A Hazeldine 11-1-43-0, F Allen 4-0-10-0, G Dockrell 16-1-62-1, K van Vollenhoven 6-0-58-1

MCC YC 2nd INNINGS

B Curran c Mulder b Chase 10

J Barrett not out 73

S Imtiaz not out 35

Extras (4b 1lb) 5

Total (1 wkt, 39 overs) 123

Fall: 1-22

Bowling: P Chase 10-1-37-1, N Smith 6-3-10-0, A McBrine 9-2-23-0, K O'Brien 3-0-9-0, J Mulder 11-1-39-0

Match drawn

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