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Jubilant Ireland leave Nepal in a spin

By Ian Callender

If there was any doubt that spin would be the key to success at the World Twenty20 then it was dispelled by Ireland's first match in Bangladesh yesterday.

The new front-line spin combination of George Dockrell and Andy McBrine shared four of the wickets as Ireland restricted Nepal to 137 for seven in their first official warm-up game in Fatullah and then lost two wickets to spin before winning by five wickets with five balls to spare.

After losing both games at their training camp in Dubai last week, this was just what the doctor ordered for the Ireland squad now just four days before their tournament opener against Zimbabwe.

Encouragingly, captain William Porterfield was back among the runs, with 38 from 35 balls, and Andrew Poynter also put up his hand for a starting place against the Full Member nation with 28 from 31 balls.

Gary Wilson remains the in-form batsman, seeing the team to the finish line with 31 not out from 21 balls with two sixes in the penultimate over. But he received excellent support from Stuart Thompson with an unbeaten 21 from just nine balls.

There was more good news yesterday with Hong Kong surprising Zimbabwe yesterday by four wickets. They hit the last ball of the match for six.

Ireland have one more match before the action begins in earnest, against Bangladesh tomorrow. The host country yesterday beat UAE, Ireland's second group opponents next week, by four wickets, chasing 143, and the Netherlands, the other team in Ireland's first round group, lost to Afghanistan by 36 runs.

Belfast Telegraph


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