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Young has key role in Irish Test bid: Bracewell

By Ian Callender

John Bracewell singled out Craig Young for special praise after the Bready pace bowler took the final UAE wicket as Ireland claimed a maximum points victory in their opening Intercontinental Cup game, the first step in achieving Test status, just four balls into the last day.

Young did not get a game at the World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand just three months ago but, in his first bowl for Ireland since, he was comfortably the fastest on view and no-one watching could fail to be impressed - and the new coach was no exception.

"I was extremely impressed by the way Craig bowled throughout the match," he said.

"He ran in in every spell and tried to smash the deck. And that's what we want.

"There was no swing on offer and the wicket was extremely slow. But if you get a slow pitch you have to stop guys coming forward and just killing ball after ball.

"So we had to take their feet away and Craig did that," said Bracewell.

Young's wicket was his seventh, a total matched by George Dockrell who ended up bowling 54 overs during the two days - which was vital to the bowling success, as Bracewell explained.

"It was great to see George taking wickets at vital times and doing his job with those long spells allowed the seamers to bowl in short bursts at the other end," he said.

"So they hunted really well as a unit," added the New Zealander, as Ireland chase Test status.

The game was set up on day one by the memorable partnership of 231 between Paul Stirling and Ireland's new holder of the record individual score Ed Joyce who, by coincidence, made 231.

"It's great that we have guys like Joyce who can help the younger guys learn in the middle rather than in the lab so to speak," said Bracewell.

And Bracewell had a message for Stirling after the Middlesex batsman compiled his highest first class innings of 146.

"When you are in form, ride it," he said. "Don't be complacent, don't under-appreciate the psychic nature of form. Ride the wave all the way to the beach."

And the coach believes Stirling can be Ireland's second spinner.

"Undoubtedly he can, as long as he treats himself as such," he said.

SCORES: Ireland 492 (E Joyce 231, P Stirling 146; Amjad Javed 4-117) UAE 213 (Shaiman Anwar 57, Asif Iqbal 43; C Young 4-51, J Mooney 3-36, G Dockrell 3-48) and 253 (S Patil 63, Saqib Ali 51, Amjad Javed 36; G Dockrell 4-93, C Young 3-59). Ireland won by an innings and 26 runs.

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