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Rain cuts short Ireland's final warm-up before England Test

 

William Porterfield
William Porterfield

By Ian Callender

Rain reduced play on the second and final day of Ireland's warm-up match against Middlesex 2nd XI yesterday to just two hours and was turned into a middle practice session with no score kept.

Five of Ireland's expected top six in the Test match all spent time in the middle, the exception being Paul Stirling who was still in Twenty20 mode, having been excused from yesterday's action to play for Middlesex in their opening T20 Blast match against Essex Eagles last night.

But William Porterfield, James McCollum, Andrew Balbirnie, Gary Wilson and Kevin O'Brien all batted and only Porterfield and Balbirnie were dismissed.

The Ireland bowlers sent down 76 overs on Thursday, when Middlesex scored 290-9, and were also in the nets yesterday at the impressive Merchant Taylors complex in north London.

It is the only red-ball action for the squad ahead of the one-off Test against England which starts at Lord's next Wednesday and head coach Graham Ford must hope that the limited match action will be enough to prepare them for facing James Anderson, Stuart Broad and co.

Meanwhile, the Women's inter-provincial 50-over season concludes at Seapark tomorrow (1pm) with the Super 3 game between the Typhoons and the Dragons, with Waringstown's new Ireland cap Naomi Matthews expected to feature for Typhoons.

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