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North Down triumph despite Wilson's big score

 

Having ball: Gary Wilson was in form with bat last night, hitting 66 not out
Having ball: Gary Wilson was in form with bat last night, hitting 66 not out

By Ian Callender

Ireland T20 captain Gary Wilson hit a 24-ball 50 for Civil Service in last night's Lagan Valley Steels T20 Cup but still ended on the losing side as North Down qualified for finals day.

Set 92 for victory in a game reduced to 10 overs after a delayed start, the Group B leaders won by six wickets with four balls to spare as North Down professional Ruhan Pretorius matched Wilson by batting through the innings to finish 56 not out from 30 balls and hitting nine fours.

Wilson took 14 off the last over of CSN's innings to make 66 not out from 32 balls with eight fours and three sixes but his bowling was not so successful, conceding 17 from his only over as North Down confirmed their place at the top of the table with two rounds to go.

Wilson will captain Northern Knights in next week's Inter-provincial Cup games against North West Warriors at Stormont and Comber but injury and possible suspension has forced both teams to delay naming their squads.

Boyd Rankin's hip is the main Warriors concern for the one-day Cup game in Belfast on Monday and the three-day Championship game at North Down which starts on Tuesday.

The Knights are also waiting to see if international James Shannon is available for either or none of their squads because of the reaction to his dismissal in their Cup game against Leinster Lightning in La Manga last month. His hearing takes place today and any suspension could rule him out of the first or both of next week's games.

Instonians professional Murray Commins, who was originally selected for the games in La Manga but was unable to travel because of visa problems, will make his debut in the three-day game.

Two of today's Irish Senior Cup first round ties have been postponed following the death yesterday after a short illness of former Donemana and Eglinton player and umpire Alan Dunn.

Alan was a lifelong member of Donemana and his son Stevie, formerly of CIYMS and Ardmore, and his nephew Simon, both joined Eglinton this year. As a result, Donemana's game at North Down and Eglinton's game at Phoenix today have been put back to the competition's reserve date, Sunday week, with the venues unchanged.

Although the Ireland side do not play again until July, there is international action tomorrow with the first of three T20 games between Ireland Women and West Indies at Claremont Road (2pm).

Meanwhile, Eoin Morgan is hopeful of leading England in next week's World Cup opener despite a finger injury.

The captain suffered a scare when he hurt his left index finger during catching drills and was sent to hospital for X-rays.

That was enough to rule him out of the following day's game but the prognosis was for a full and swift recovery that would see him fit for the tournament curtain-raiser against South Africa at the Oval on Thursday.

A relieved Morgan said: "I dropped a catch at training and dislocated it and there's a very small fracture in there but I'm good to go."

LAGAN VALLEY STEELS T20 CUP

The Green: Civil Service North 91-5 (10 overs, G Wilson 66 not out) North Down 94-4 (19.2 overs, R Pretorius 56 not out). North Down won by 6 wickets.

WHITE HORSE T20 BLAST

Strabane Park: Bready 171-5 (20 overs, I Samarasooriya 62 not out, D Rankin 60, M Poskitt 20; R Logue 4-17) Strabane 83 (18.5 overs, R Logue 24; M Poskitt 3-14, A Lucas 2-11). Bready won by 88 runs.

The Rectory: Glendermott 125 (20 overs, A Johnston 29 not out, R Barr 26; G Hume 3-3, S Hutchinson 2-5) Coleraine 129-2 (16.2 overs, S Campbell 80 not out, V Chopra 23 not out). Coleraine won by 8 wickets.

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