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I'll pull from experience facing Tigers: McCollum

 

James McCollum may be preparing to play only his third one-day international, against Bangladesh today, but no-one in the Ireland squad is more experienced at facing the Tigers this year than the 23-year-old Waringstown batsman. (stock photo)
James McCollum may be preparing to play only his third one-day international, against Bangladesh today, but no-one in the Ireland squad is more experienced at facing the Tigers this year than the 23-year-old Waringstown batsman. (stock photo)

By Ian Callender

James McCollum may be preparing to play only his third one-day international, against Bangladesh today, but no-one in the Ireland squad is more experienced at facing the Tigers this year than the 23-year-old Waringstown batsman.

After failing to make the starting XI for the opening game of the Tri-Series against the West Indies last week, McCollum was diverted to Milverton to play for Ireland Wolves against Bangladesh in their warm-up game.

Three hours later he had scored 102 from 109 balls with 15 fours and a six, more than half of what the entire Bangladesh side managed as the Wolves completed an 88 runs victory.

The tourists described that match as a "wake-up call" and they have since gone out and proved it with back-to-back victories against the West Indies to book their place in Friday's final.

The first match between Ireland and Bangladesh, at Malahide last Thursday, was abandoned without a ball bowled, but McCollum was due to open the batting in place of out of form skipper William Porterfield.

McCollum got his chance on Saturday but was caught behind for five as Ireland lost for a second time to the West Indies. He will get another opportunity today and is targeting putting up another big score.

"The Wolves innings was a great opportunity, it gave me a feel for their attack as well as an opportunity to feed back to the other batsmen in the senior squad," said McCollum yesterday.

"For a few days leading up to the game I'd studied quite a lot of footage of their bowlers - and we'd played against some of their attack in the Bangladesh A series last year, so I had a rough idea what to expect.

"They have obviously got some very experienced spinners in those middle overs, so the plan was to milk them as much as we could, before taking advantage of the pace as much as possible when they came back on in the middle overs.

"Being a bit critical, I probably left a few runs out there getting out with 12 or 13 overs to go, but it was a pretty big scalp for what was one of the strongest Wolves sides I've been involved in." • JONNY Bairstow hit 128 as England defeated Pakistan by six wickets to take a 2-0 lead in their ODI series.

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