Omitted quintet look to bounce back with white ball
The five members of the Ireland Wolves squad left out of the first-class game against Bangladesh A will hope to see plenty of white-ball action when the five-match one-day series begins in Cox's Bazar early tomorrow.
Barry McCarthy, Jacob Mulder and reserve wicket-keeper Lorcan Tucker could be the first names on the team-sheet for the first 50 overs contest between the teams, along with Peter Chase and John Anderson who now appear certainties to start Ireland's Intercontinental Cup clash against Scotland in the UAE, at the end of next month.
The last two named - Anderson is a four-day specialist, who has scored a half century in all six I-Cup appearances - were the surprise omissions from the team which went down to a five wickets defeat, shortly after lunch on the fourth and final day on Saturday.
Resuming on 27-2, after the start was delayed by 75 minutes because of overnight rain in Sylhet, Andy McBrine carried on from where he had left off on the third evening to finish with his first four-wicket haul in first class cricket but it was not enough to prevent the Tigers from reaching their target of 132.
George Dockrell was wicketless in the second innings from 13 overs after taking just three wickets in 30 overs in the first innings, but he should still be the first choice-spinner in Dubai.
However, McBrine, after being left out of the last I-Cup game - the draw against the Netherlands at Malahide in August - and only playing the previous game against Afghanistan in Greater Noida because Mulder was injured, could have forced his way back into the red-ball team at the perfect time, with the first Test match confirmed for next May.
Simi Singh, with a century in the first innings, and James Shannon, finally performing on the big stage, with 90 in the second innings, must also come into the selectors' thoughts for the Scotland game which will be Ireland's last in an Associates' competition.
Before the Test match, however, there is the little matter of a World Cup qualifying tournament, confirmed for Zimbabwe in March - exact dates are scheduled to be announced this week -so the next five games in not dissimilar conditions will go a long way to deciding the make- up of the Ireland squad.
Tomorrow's game will be the first 50-over contest by an Ireland XI since the last match of the Tri-Series against New Zealand in Malahide on May 21 and five of that team are in Bangladesh - Wolves skipper Andrew Balbirnie, Singh, Dockrell, McCarthy and Chase so they should be set the standard.
It may be a Bangladesh A side which cannot call on any senior players - currently playing a one-day series in South Africa - but it promises to be a true and ultra-competitive test for this Ireland squad.
FOUR-DAY SCORES: Ireland Wolves 255 (S Singh 121, A McBrine 57) and 213 (J Shannon 90; Sanzamul 5-90) Bangladesh A 337 (Sadman Islam 108, Nazmul Hossain 69, Nurul Hasan 54; A McBrine 3-64, G Dockrell 3-90) and 132-5 (Yasir Ali 47 not out, Nurul Hasan 31; A McBrine 4-63). Bangladesh A won by 5 wickets