If Max Sorensen wants to keep his place in the Ireland squad for next week’s one-day international against Australia, he made the perfect start with three wickets in the A international against Scotland in Uddingston.
It was always going to be a difficult match for Sorensen, who played in the World Twenty20 qualifying final, but not the last ODI, against Kenya in February.
With the injured Boyd Rankin’s place up for grabs, Sorensen had the opportunity in these three days to bowl himself into the attack to face the world’s leading one-day side. Paradoxically, he could also bowl himself out of the match with the newly qualified, uncapped Middlesex seamer Tim Murtagh waiting in the wings.
But it’s so far, so good for Sorensen who made the initial breakthrough when Ireland began their defence of a desperately disappointing first innings of 181 and when he added a second wicket in the first over of his second spell, having the Scottish captain Moneeb Iqbal caught behind for 38 (six fours and a six), it brought Ireland back into the match.
After a 30 minutes delay for bad light the teams returned to complete the last 18 overs and Sorensen added a third wicket to complete an impressive 15 overs as the Scots ended the first day level, with four wickets standing.
Trent Johnston’s first over disappeared for 16, but the Ireland veteran, a certain starter against the Aussies and only playing in this match to get match overs under his belt, stormed back with figures of one for 10 in his next seven overs.
Johnston has already starred with the bat, top scoring with an unbeaten 42 as he and No. 11 Allan Eastwood enhanced Ireland’s perilous position of 122 for nine by what could still be a valuable 59 runs, comfortably the highest and longest partnership of the innings.
Eastwood’s 28 included four boundaries, a figure matched only by Chris Dougherty, who faced 59 balls, more than anyone apart from Johnston as the three Scottish seamers dominated the morning session.
Ireland A 1st innings 181 (58.2 overs, T Johnston 42 not out, C Dougherty 32, A Eastwood 28, J Shannon 21, A Poynter 21; C Burnett 3-42, A Bailwal 3-63, G Goudie 2-31) Scotland A 1st innings 181-6 (43 overs, M Iqbal 38; M Sorensen 3-46, P Eaglestone 2-59).
FIXTURES: Tonight:; Lagan Valley Steels Twenty20 Cup (6pm): CIYMS v Instonians, Ballymena v Waringstown.