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Balbirnie and Joyce aiming to help Wolves bounce back


By Ian Callender

Ireland Wolves get a chance to redeem themselves this week after a disappointing loss to Gloucestershire II when they take on Scotland A in a three-day game starting in YMCA today.

The return of Andrew Balbirnie from injury and the inclusion of Ed Joyce must strengthen the top order batting which was exposed in Rockhampton last week while Peter Chase and Craig Young, who had to be satisfied with six wickets across the two innings, get another chance to prove they are the present and future Ireland opening bowlers.

Simi Singh, the batting star against the county, and Jacob Mulder are retained as the front-line spin combination but will be replaced for the Wolves' final three-day game against the MCC Young Cricketers in Southgate, starting two weeks tomorrow.

Gloucestershire II defeated Afghanistan on Sunday - preparation for the new Full Member's game against MCC at Lord's today - which perhaps puts last week's result in perspective.

Meanwhile, Cricket Ireland have given former Leicestershire professional Ben Smith a 100-day-a-year contract as specialist batting and fielding coach. He was with the squad in the UAE and India earlier this year.

Ireland Wolves: A Balbirnie (capt), J Anderson, P Chase, D Delany, E Joyce, J Mulder, J Shannon, S Singh, Nat Smith, J Tector, L Tucker, C Young.

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