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Singh could make his ODI return for Ireland

Economical: Simi Singh could make ODI return tomorrow
Economical: Simi Singh could make ODI return tomorrow

By Ian Callender

Simi Singh could have forced his way back into the Ireland squad for tomorrow's first one-day international against West Indies in Barbados (5.30pm GMT).

Singh has not appeared in the 50-over side since the Afghanistan series last March but an economical 10-over spell in Ireland's three-wicket defeat by a West Indies President's XI on Saturday could be enough for a return after missing all nine ODIs last summer.

Leg spinner Gareth Delany would appear certain to make his ODI debut after top scoring in Ireland's 275-9 against a strong President's XI, which included six internationals and three of the West Indies 14 named for the first two ODIs, the second back in Barbados on Thursday.

But while Delany hit 60 off 78 balls, with three fours and three sixes, opening the batting in place of James McCollum, he conceded 62 runs in 6.4 overs as he bore the brunt of the big hitting by President's XI captain Darren Bravo and Bajan Justin Greaves, who both scored 70 including a combined total of nine fours and eight sixes.

If there is a hint that the Kensington Oval pitch will take spin, Singh appears the positive selection with Barry McCarthy (eight overs, 1-55) possibly making way for the return of McCollum.

Kevin O'Brien will allow the option of playing the extra batsman because after not bowling a ball in his last 18 internationals (albeit 17 of them were T20s), Ireland's most experienced player has sent down eight overs in the two warm-up games and took 2-23, with the wickets of Sunil Ambris and Bravo, in his four overs on Saturday.

The top six batsmen, who include Lorcan Tucker, look secure with Paul Stirling (17) the only one who failed to reach 35 against the President's XI, although disappointingly Kevin O'Brien was the second top score with 43. Gary Wilson, batting at No.7, was wicket-keeper and seems sure to keep the gloves tomorrow.

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