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Wolves beaten by weather as ODI looms


By Ian Callender

Rain washed out Ireland Wolves' first one-day game against Bangladesh A after five overs to frustrate head coach Graham Ford, with the next ODI series less than three weeks away.

James McCollum, on his 23rd birthday, was the only player who had the chance to impress as he continued his recent fine form. He was 26 not out from the 17 balls he faced, five of which went to the boundary, as the Wolves reached 37-1 when the rain, which had already reduced the game to a 28-over match, returned with a vengeance.

Stuart Thompson, promoted to opener in the shortened game, was caught third ball for three, and skipper Andrew Balbirnie, the only certainty in the side for a place in the upcoming series against Afghanistan, finished unbeaten on seven.

James Shannon, Simi Singh and Graham Kennedy, from the selected 14, were left out of the starting line-up, and there will be at least one change for the second game at the same venue tomorrow as Barry McCarthy flies back to play for Durham before returning for the third match on Sunday.

McCollum though can do no wrong at the moment though. After posting a career best 170 for the Wolves against Scotland A, he hit 73 last Friday for Waringstown in the NCU Challenge Cup final, and yesterday he hit the last ball of the first over for four, and his next ball cleared the boundary to give the Ireland second string an encouraging start.

There was more frustration for the Cricket Ireland Academy side after their scheduled four-day game against the Future Stars from Melbourne finally got under way at the third attempt.

Having moved venue to Holywood, the game got off to a prompt start but only two hours play was possible before persistent rain ended any hope of a resumption. The teams have agreed to abandon the red-ball fixture and will play a one-day game at Seapark, starting this morning at 10.45am.

The Academy side, in which James Cameron-Dow replaced his unwell CIYMS team-mate Jacob Mulder, reduced their visitors to 52-5 in the 24.4 overs possible with all three pace bowlers getting among the wickets.

Mark Adair, on his home ground, and Fionn Hand (2-10) were particularly impressive, each taking two wickets after Rory Anders (1-20) had made the early breakthrough.

Hand then took two quick wickets to leave the Stars on 17-3 and Adair completed a satisfactory session to finish with 2-14 from 10.4 overs, the fifth wicket falling as the rain got heavier.

Another possible casualty is the NCU Under-11 Cup final between Instonians and Lisburn, scheduled for Queensway tonight (6pm). It is subject to a pitch inspection this morning.

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