Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Cricket: Canada crushed by Irish batting power

Paul Stirling bowls for Ireland as his side crush Canada in the first of two one-day internationals at Clontarf yesterday

If this is all Ireland have to do to reach the World Cup finals then start planning a winter holiday in Australia in 2015.



Canada were swept aside in the first of the two back-to back one-day internationals at Clontarf yesterday by 133 runs and victory today will give them four wins out of four in their bid to finish in the top two of the One-Day League, which guarantees qualification for the finals.

It will, of course, get harder down the line with Afghanistan and Scotland lying in wait, but for gentle openers — they have already beaten Namibia twice — it doesn’t get much easier than this.

Ireland at full strength are a match for most Full Members so against fellow Associates they are expected to show off and once Ed Joyce and William Porterfield put on 119 for the second wicket, yesterday’s result was never in doubt.

Indeed the last 17 overs, when Ireland added 151, were a batting exhibition.

They failed by one run to match their record total in an ODI — the 329 against England in Bangalore — but Canada, who conceded 325 when the teams last met in a 50 overs clash, in Toronto last September, were never going to get anywhere near that. Even with Riswan Cheema in their line-up.

Cheema, who scored a memorable 97 from just 45 balls in the Intercontinental Cup match at Rathmines last week, duly came in at No 6 and hit 36 off 31, but that was as good as it got for Canada.

Indeed while Ireland struggled for seven overs to take the last wicket it appeared as if the visitors had got their games mixed up.

Last week they tried to hit everything out of the ground in a four-day game which was over in two. Yesterday their last wicket partnership of 10, in a one-day game already lost, used up 44

balls! John Mooney finally ended their resistance to give him his fourth wicket of the day and his best figures for Ireland.

But of the seven bowlers used, all bar Paul Stirling took a wicket and the first two were taken by Trent Johnston. While Boyd Rankin struggled to find a consistent length, 37-year-old Johnston, who had bowled only 18 overs since the end of May because of his knee problem, was straight back in the groove. He opened with two maidens and then took two wickets in three balls in his fourth over. Johnston is only playing these games thanks to a cor

tisone injection and will undergo an operation at the end of the month, but if it keeps him going through another four World Cup qualifiers and into the Twenty20 finals this time next year, then Ireland will be grateful.

Ed Joyce reached a stylish 88 before holing out to long-off.

The straight boundary also accounted for the dismissals of Porterfield (67 off 75), Niall O’Brien (37 off 44) and Mooney before he could get going but Wilson finished the innings in some style (56 not out from 36 with four fours and two sixes) and with Kevin O’Brien (35 off 15!) added 64 in the five-over batting powerplay.

O’Brien also became the first Ireland player to hit 100 sixes, a landmark which only Stirling, who hit his 65th yesterday, is likely to threaten.

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