Cricket: Big hit Gary Wilson celebrates century for Ireland
It has taken him four years and 88 matches but, finally, Gary Wilson, has scored a century for Ireland.
Given his chance at the top of the order in Monday’s first one-day international against the Netherlands, there was only one more delighted person when reached the landmark at Clontarf than the 24-year-old Surrey batsman — Gary’s dad, George.
“You don’t get much of a chance (to score a hundred) when you are batting down the order. There was a year, maybe, when I opened the batting and had a few chances but Monday was a very proud day, especially with my dad watching,” said Wilson.
His previous best was 83 not out against the UAE in South Africa in March of last year during a warm-up match for the World Cup qualifying tournament but his form has been improving and this year, for the first time, he has made the Surrey side as a specialist batsman in one-day cricket, while England Lions wicketkeeper Stephen Davies hogs the gloves.
In the defeat to Bangladesh last month at Stormont, Wilson top scored with 60 at No 7 so, back up the order, he was confident that a really big one was not far away. But he admitted he had to work hard on Monday, especially in the first half of his innings.
“It was a difficult wicket early on,” he said. “Me and Stiro (Paul Stirling) assessed the wicket and thought 220 would have been a good score but they bowled straight at the start and runs were hard to come by.
“Cusi (Alex Cusack) took pressure off right away, though, scoring at a run a ball and it is easy to bat with Kev (O’Brien).”
His opening partnership with Stirling of 82 may have taken 20 overs but the 118 which he added with Cusack came up in the same time and with 75 coming in the last 10 overs, Ireland were in control at halfway.
Wilson admits the main threat in the Dutch batting line-up is Tom Cooper but the Ulsterman was confident of completing a |2-0 series win in today’s game between the teams back at Clontarf.
“Cooper is their best player by a mile and he poses a threat but we are happy with the way we are bowling. If we get him in early against moving ball, the wicket is not easy and hopefully we can contain him.”