Cricket: Irish U19s blast their way to a place in the finals
Ireland Under-19s sealed their place at next year’s World Cup finals in Australia last night with fittingly with their most impressive batting performance of the tournament.
Set 246 to win their rearranged game against Namibia at Coleraine yesterday, the Irish made their usual faltering start, slumping to 32 for three, but lost only one more wicket as they won with three overs to spare.
Jason van der Merwe made 72 and Shane Getkate, showing his all-round ability, finished 61 not out from 53 balls, with three fours and a six.
Straddling partnerships of 99 and 117 was the captain George Dockrell who again proved why he is batting at No5 in this line-up.
Dockrell hit an unbeaten 82, with just five fours, but on the day it was the perfect innings to get the job done.
And that, along with his bowling figures of three for 35 there was no doubt who deserved the man of the match.
Graeme McCarter was fit to take his place in the team after pulling out of the original game on Sunday but he was not required to either bat or bowl as Holywood’s Ross Adair was one of seven bowlers used.
He made quite an impression with a wicket in his first over, to bowl Namibia’s opener and their top scorer, Pelham Myburgh for 66.
Adair had already starred in the field with a superb stop on the boundary followed by a brilliant throw which left Justin Baard short of his ground going back for a third.
Ireland will not win the tournament because leaders Scotland play pointless Vanuatu today but they look good to sign off with another victory against Papua New Guinea, who have hopes of qualifying themselves, at Eglinton.
Now the fight for Ireland places on the plane to Australia will begin this week.
With so many batsmen out of touch in this tournament, the Under-17s three-game Challenge Series against Scotland in Cork, starting tomorrow, becomes a shop window with North Down’s Alistair Shields among the contenders.