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Ireland's Twenty20 vision suffers at hands of rampant Hong Kong

By Ian Callender

The last time Ireland played Hong Kong in a Twenty20 international, William Porterfield and Andrew Balbirnie reached their target of 121 without losing a wicket.

Yesterday, just six months on, Hong Kong turned the tables, emphatically, winning by 40 runs at Bready in a game which only highlighted Ireland's downturn in the shortest format.

Ireland head coach John Bracewwell admitted before the game that this two-match series would be a learning experience and, ahead of today's clash at the same venue, there was certainly plenty to ponder.

Having selected three uncapped players in the squad, the Kiwi had no hesitation in giving debuts to Jacob Mulder, Lorcan Tucker and Josh Little (below, in action yesterday), the latter, at 16 years and 309 days, becoming the second youngest to play for Ireland.

By coincidence the youngest, Greg Thompson, was playing his first international for eight years and it was the Waringstown batsman who was the big positive in another poor batting display. Thompson took his superb club form into the game and top scored with 44, from just 32 balls, his seven boundaries as many as the rest of team managed between them.

Only while Kevin O'Brien, with a lusty 32 from 24 balls, was in the middle with Thompson did Ireland even threaten to chase down Hong Kong's above par 169 but there was really no way back from 24 for four as Tanwir Afzal, the tireless opening bowler from the I-Cup game between the teams last week, and Nadeem Ahmed, their best bowler, ripped through the Ireland top order. After Thompson was caught in the deep, trying to maintain the momentum, the tail folded quietly.

At the start of the day Little, who has a very good change of pace, showed great promise for the future, conceding just six runs in his first two overs, while Craig Young's same spell disappeared for 34 and O'Brien's first over cost 14.

Mulder will also get another chance after an encouraging debut with George Dockrell and Peter Chase, left out yesterday, also expected to be brought in.


(Bready): Ireland 54-8 (10 overs, C Shillington 26; KK Kobra 3-5) Bangladesh 48-6 (10 overs, Fargana Hogue 24; L O'Reilly 2-5). Ireland won by 6 runs



N Khan c Porterfield b Mulder 62

Aizaz Khan c Terry b Young 5

Babar Hayat c Young b O'Brien 49

A Rath b McBrine 6

Eshan Khan not out 29

Tanwir Afzal run out 6

Shahid Wasif not out 2

Extras (2b 2nb 6w) 10

Total (5 wkts, 20 overs) 169

Did not bat: Tanveer Ahmed, Ehsan Nawaz, Nadeem Ahmed, C Carter

Fall: 1-41 2-97 3-107 4-131 5-152

Bowling: J Little 4-0-25-0, C Young 4-0-55-1, K O'Brien 4-0-40-1, A McBrine 4-0-22-1, J Mulder 4-0-25-1


W Porterfield c Tanwir b Nadeem 4

D Rankin b Tanwir 15

S Terry b Tanwir 4

J Shannon c Nadeem b Aizaz 0

K O'Brien c Tanveer b Eshan Khan 32

G Thompson c Nadeem b Aizaz 44

A McBrine st Carter b Nadeem 10

L Tucker b Tanveer 4

J Mulder b Aizaz 1

J Little b Tanveer 1

C Young not out 2

Extras (4b 5lb 1nb 3w) 13

Total (19.3 overs) 129

Fall: 1-5 2-10 3-24 4-24 5-83 6-114 7-122 8-125 9-127

Bowling: Tanwir Afzal 4-0-18-2, Nadeem Ahmed 4-0-24-2, Aizaz Khan 3-0-10-3, Eshan Nawaz 1-0-13-0, Eshan Khan 4-0-26-1

Hong Kong won by 40 runs

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