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Young shows he's ready for England with masterclass against Middlesex



Class act: Craig Young was in fine form at Northwood

Class act: Craig Young was in fine form at Northwood

�INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Class act: Craig Young was in fine form at Northwood

Craig Young put his hand up for a place in the Ireland Test team to face England next week with an accurate and successful new ball spell yesterday in their warm-up game against Middlesex 2nd XI at Merchant Taylor's School, Northwood.

After six overs, the North Down opening bowler had taken three wickets for just seven runs and reduced the hosts to 22-4, Mark Adair taking the other wicket.

Middlesex batted throughout the 76-over day and finished on 290-9, which was a marked recovery from 127-7. But this was about the bowlers getting overs under their belt in match action with the red ball just six days out from the Test match and to that end it was a useful exercise.

Young also took a wicket in the first over of the final session and sent down 16 overs, Adair 14 and Stuart Thompson 13. Encouragingly, Boyd Rankin, who missed the Twenty20 series against Zimbabwe in Bready last weekend with a groin problem, showed no reaction and bowled 12 overs (0-38).

Kevin O'Brien, the seventh bowler used by William Porterfield, walked off midway through his fourth over but there was no injury scare, "he just felt a bit stiff" - he was only arrived yesterday morning - and will bat today.

Slow bowlers Andy McBrine (1-46) and Simi Singh (0-35) each bowled nine overs, including the last 14 of the day when the Middlesex 10th wicket pair added 68 runs. It wasn't the last wicket pair, however. Indeed it was a second innings for both Joe Cracknell, who was hit on the glove by Rankin when he had scored only four and retired, and Max Holden, who was Young's third wicket in his opening spell.

Tim Murtagh was excused from bowling against his county team-mates and Paul Stirling was also absent, allowed to play for Middlesex in their T20 Blast game against Essex last night.

Ireland Academy lost their second match against the England Under-19s yesterday by 115 runs but senior international Gareth Delany, batting at No 7, hit 72 from 63 balls, with six fours and four sixes.


Merchants Taylor's School: Middlesex 2nd XI 290-9 (76 overs, J Cracknell 105 not out; C Young 4-29, M Adair 2-40, S Thompson 2-62) v Ireland. Close Day 1 (of 2)


Loughborough: England U19s 372-5 (50 overs, D Mousley 146, T Clark 94, J Evison 64, J Haynes 31; R Anders 2-64) Ireland Academy 257 (49 overs, G Delany 72, N McGuire 50, T Tector 32, R Anders 30, N Rock 21; L Goldsworthy 3-24). England Under 19s won by 115 runs.

Belfast Telegraph