Craig Young has hailed Harry Tector as “one of the best batsmen I have ever played with” after watching his third and highest T20 international half-century for Ireland, against the might of India on Sunday.
Tector produced what was, in effect, a one-man show hitting 64 from 33 balls, with six fours and three sixes, to set the world best’s T20 side a required run rate of nine runs an over.
It proved a comfortable chase, India winning with 16 balls to spare in a match reduced to 12 overs, but Tector’s superb innings was as good as any the visiting superstars produced.
“I was really pleased for Harry,” said Young who has now played 42 internationals with the 22-year-old Dubliner. “He is class in my eyes, he is right up there with one of the best I’ve ever played with and I hope he comes out again and has another good bat on Tuesday.”
Young, who took two of the three India wickets to fall from successive deliveries, also gave praise to Lorcan Tucker who pulled the tourists’ captain, Hardik Pandya, for back to back sixes during a 50-run partnership with Tector and his former Bready team-mate Conor Olphert, who was given his Ireland debut, just days after being called into the squad for the first time.
“Conor did well in his first game (he had identical figures to Young, minus the two wickets and only Mark Adair was more economical) and he can rest assured it won’t get much harder.
“It was disappointing to lose the match but you have to put in perspective who we are playing. We put up a good fight and there’s a lot we can take into Tuesday’s game,” added Young, who now is set to play his 100th international in next month’s one-day international series against New Zealand.
“I think Sunday’s game proved we are good enough. We went toe to toe with them for 85 per cent of the game but you have to be on it a lot more against a team like that and we’ll take that into Tuesday and hopefully get that extra 10-15 per cent.”
Young bowled only two overs because of the rain-reduced match, but after being hit for 10 from his first two balls, he came back superbly to take two wickets and concede only eight more runs off the bat, one of those a free hit from the seventh ball of his first over.
“I haven’t taken a hat-trick since I was 13, when we umpired our own cricket, but it’s a good job I didn’t get a hat-trick because I bowled a stupid no-ball!”
Having missed out on India’s last visit to Malahide four years ago, the atmosphere created by 7.000 fanatical Indian fans was a new experience for Young but one he loved.
“I have never played in front of a crowd like that before, there was a real buzz and I really enjoyed it, given how hard it was,” he added. “Really looking forward to the second game now.”
•THE top two in the Premier League were yesterday drawn together in the semi-finals of the Gallagher Challenge Cup with leaders Lisburn at home to CIYMS.
Derriaghy, the one remaining Section One club were given the boost of a home draw, in the other game, against Civil Service North, so both semi-finals will be played within two miles of each other.