Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Cricket: Irish eyes smiling after swift Canada demolition

After one of the most action-packed day’s cricket imaginable, Ireland hammered Canada in their Intercontinental Cup match at Rathmines with two days to spare.

An Ireland total of 435 for seven on the first day was satisfying enough, but for entertainment it paled in comparison to yesterday’s astonishing proceedings when 23 wickets fell for 478 runs as Canada’s batting matched their poor bowling and woeful fielding.

Set 313 to avoid the follow-on, the Canadians were bowled out in their first innings for 194 and with Ireland claiming the extra half hour to finish the scheduled four-day match in half the time, George Dockrell took the last wicket with six minutes to spare; Canada all out for a second time in the day for 257.

It was kamikaze Canada batting which hurried this game to its conclusion. The first innings lasted only 44 overs.

Riswan Cheema knows only one way to play and yesterday he thumped 97 off 45 balls with 10 sixes and six fours.

Not that it helped his team as Dockrell took five wickets and Albert van der Merwe eight.

Ireland had two substitutes on the field after a horror collision between Stirling and O’Brien, both going for the same catch.

The captain kicked Stirling on the head as they landed, leaving him with a sore neck and O’Brien with a bad shoulder but both expect to be fit to take on Canada in the World Cup qualifying matches at Clontarf on Monday and Tuesday.

Skipper O'Brien said: “I just forgot about my injury there for a while when we got the 10th wicket but it was a great effort from us.

“Although we probably gave a few too many boundary balls but we were always bowling wicket-taking balls. To take 17 wickets in two sessions to win a match in two days is fantastic.

“I'm sure Phil might give us a couple of days off, well I hope he does because I'm planning a little trip away.

“I'm sure when we get back together on Sunday for training we'll have our one-day heads on and obviously the guys will be flying in from England on Saturday, so it's going to be a new-look squad as such.”

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