Saturday, May 1, 2010

T20 Player Ratings v West Indies

A hugely disappointing opening result for Ireland as they lost to West Indies by 70 runs in Group D.

William Porterfield
Porterfield started strongly with a boundary, but the Irish captain lasted just two balls last night. Much more is needed from our opening batsman.
Rating: 4

Paul Stirling
A lot is expected from the Irish youngster, but he failed to live up to expectations yesterday, scoring no runs from four balls. His bowling was also sub-par, as he gave 15 runs in just two overs.
Rating: 2

Niall O'Brien
The Irish wicket-keeper was very aggressive with the bat again, and as usual, this led to his early demise. He'll always guarantee a high strike rate, but can be inconsistent with regards to runs scored. Made two impressive catches behind also.
Rating: 4

Alex Cusack
One of many who were ousted by the partnership of Sammy and Rampaul, Cusack was very poor with the bat. His stint with the ball was better, taking 2 wickets for 19 in 3 overs. One of the better performers, but his batting needs to vastly improve.
Rating: 5

Gary Wilson
Ireland's best batsman yesterday, with a high score of 17. A good attempt, but in this format, a higher strikerate is needed. Made a momentous catch to take out Chanderpaul. Ireland's second best player yesterday.
Rating: 7

Kevin O'Brien
Incredibly poor with the ball, and thus allowed just one over. However, he was the second highest scorer with the bat. This was a game that neither O'Brien brother will want to remember.
Rating: 4

Trent Johnston
One to forget for the big man Johnston too. He scored 5 runs from 10 balls with the bat, which was decent considering the other performances yesterday, but was far from impressive bowling. Allowed 9 runs per over, a rate which needs to be dramatically reduced.
Rating: 3

John Mooney
LBWed after just three balls, Mooney made no impression whatsoever on the game. After this performance, I would not be surprised if he is dropped for the England match.
Rating: 2

Andre Botha
Ireland's only batsman who wasn't taken out by the fantastic West Indies bowlers, Botha scored just four runs from 11 balls. His bowling was very good, ending on 2-7 from two overs. Expect him to be given more time with the ball against England.
Rating: 7

Boyd Rankin
Took two wickets for an average economy, Rankin was decent yesterday. The expulsion of Chanderpaul was his highlight. Came up against Sammy, and was never a match, scoring just a single run.
Rating: 6

George Dockrell
Ireland's best player yesterday. The bowler was never expected to do anything with the bat, so his duck seems irrelevant. 3-16 is far from irrelevant, his four allotted overs were Ireland's finest moment yesterday. We need everyone to perform like this to get anything from our final group game.
Rating: 8

Ireland v West Indies World T20 Match Report

Ireland opened their 2010 ICC World Twenty20 campaign with a disappointing loss to cricket giants West Indies late last night. West Indies won by 70 runs with just under four overs remaining via a stellar performance from Darren Sammy.

West Indies won the toss and chose to bat. Irish captain William Porterfield had hoped that he would get the choice to bat first, but it was not to be. He had also said that his aim was to keep the home side to under 140 runs, a feat which was narrowly achieved.

Irish bowling was sluggish at times, Trent Johnston and Niall O'Brien gave away too many runs for little reward. However when Boyd Rankin bowled opener Chanderpaul in the third over, things were looking positive for Ireland. Rankin also took out wicketkeeper Ramdin, but the stars with the ball were Andre Botha and 17 year-old George Dockrell. Dockrell was wonderful yesterday, ending with a marvellous 4-16 from 24 balls.

139 was not a huge target to meet, requiring 7 runs per over, but Ireland's stint at bat yesterday was the worst of recent years, with only one player reaching double figures. The West Indies have Darren Sammy to thank for such an impressive performance. He was not only the highest scorer with the bat, but took 3 wickets for just 8 runs, as well as making four catches. Also impressive with the ball were Ravi Rampaul, and the legend Dwayne Bravo.

Gary Wilson was the best of the Irish batters with 19, and Niall O'Brien was very aggressive making 6 runs, but overall the performance was one to forget. Ireland ended with a score of 68, the second lowest total ever at the World Twenty20. We will need to be a million times better if we are to do anything against England on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Craig Young signs for Sussex

Craig Young

Ireland under-19 international Craig Young has signed a one-year deal with English County side Sussex, after impressing at a training camp with the club in Dubai. The bowler had gone for a trial with the English side before being invited to participate in the training camp.

Young was one of Ireland's most impressive players at the Under-19 World Cup in January, taking nine wickets in all. His best performance came against Zimbabwe, scoring 4-14. Young had been playing with Bready in the NW League, but is now moving on to bigger pastures.

He said "I got news that I was being offered a contract following my time with them in Dubai. I'm delighted, and hopefully it'll work out for me. I'll be going over shortly for pre-season, and they'll be in touch with Ireland to see what my likely commitments will be during the summer. After they speak with them, a plan will be drawn up which will hopefully work for everybody."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fixtures: Ireland v Bangladesh ODIs in June

Bangladesh v Ireland

Cricket Ireland has announced that Bangladesh will be playing two ODIs against Ireland at Stormont in June. The matches will take place on Thursday June 15th and Friday June 16th. Bangladesh have also lined up matches against England, Scotland and Netherlands during their European trip.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom says that the matches mark the way forward for Ireland: "For the last three years or so, we have targetted matches against the lower-ranked full members as the most important means of measuring our progress and determining our readiness to step up to the elite level. All our players will be aware of the perception that strong results against test-playing countries creates, and will be keen to maximise home advantage to good effect in the year that we are applying to move higher in the international firmament."

Irish coach Phil Simmons added "It’s great that we have a chance to play them on home soil. We lost to them badly in 2008 in Bangladesh but on our home turf I’d be confident of doing well. We have beaten them in both the 2007 World Cup, and in the ICC World Twenty20 last year, so I don’t think there’s much to choose between the two teams. It’s a great opportunity for us to gain valuable ranking points."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2010 ICC World Twenty20 Group Draw


Not so much a draw, as they groups are ordered according to their ranking. Due to their loss against Afghanistan yesterday, Ireland are placed in Group D alongside England the West Indies. Afghanistan were put in Group C with South Africa and India, and thus may have a better chance of coming second and making the Super Eights. But as you all know, in Twenty20 anything can happen - even a win over England.

(Rankings in brackets.)

Pakistan (1)
Bangladesh (9)
Australia (10)

Sri Lanka (2)
New Zealand (5)
Zimbabwe (8)

South Africa (3)
India (7)
Afghanistan (Q)

West Indies (4)
England (6)
Ireland (Q)

30 April - West Indies v IRELAND
1 May - England v IRELAND
3 May - West Indies v England

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ireland v Scotland T20 Match Report

Trent Johnston

Ireland qualified for the Super Fours section of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament yesterday with a marvellous all-round game of cricket.

Once again Ireland won the toss and chose to bat. Although no Irish batsman scored more than nineteen runs (a score matched by both Andrew White and Gary Wilson), all players but one ended in double figures. This was a fine example of a team performance at bat, with all players having a decent strike rate, and driving Ireland towards their final score of 136/7.

Openers William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien worked well together once more, with a 31 partnership, and scoring 18 and 17 respectively. Perhaps the brief highlight of Irish batting was Kevin O'Brien's marvellous ten off just four balls - a strike rate of 250.00. He was the only Irishman to hit a six yesterday.

Scotland's batting was the opposite of Ireland's, with just two players entering double figures. This was due, once again, to impressive Irish bowling. The Irish bowlers have improved vastly since their opening game, and were fantastic again yesterday, with Scotland all out for 99 in 18.3 overs.

Neil McCallum and Gordon Drummond were the top scorers yesterday (43 and 35), but neither was enough to give Scotland the victory. The Scots were just 6/4 in the second over, thanks to a stellar performance from Peter Connell and Trent Johnston, who took two wickets each in those two overs. That second over would give Johnston the man of the match award, as it was a double wicket maiden - a very rare sight in Twenty20 Cricket.

Johnston also took the wicket of Jan Stander in the fourth over, but the game was very much a team effort, and Alex Cusack, Kevin O'Brien, and George Dockrell (2) also took wickets of their own. The match finished in style, as the last four wickets fell in quick succession, giving the Irish a 37 run victory, and in high spirits heading towards the next stage of the competition.

Ireland take on UAE today in the Super Fours at 12.00 GMT, and will play the Netherlands tomorrow (Saturday) at the same time. If ranked in the top two, they will play the final on Sunday. Both finalists will make it to the ICC World Twenty20 in April, with the winner being inserted in Group C and the loser in Group D.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ireland v USA T20 Match Report

Niall O'Brien

Ireland achieved their record high score in Twenty20 Cricket yesterday as they opened with a marvellous 202 (for 4) against the United States of America.

William Porterfield won the toss and chose to bat first. He formed an excellent opening partnership with Niall O'Brien, scoring 83 for first wicket in 8.3 overs, and setting the pace early on. His replacement, Alex Cusack was just as good. Porterfield scored 45 and Cusack 46, but the real star of the innings was O'Brien, who looked destined for his first century at this level. He ended on 84 from 66 balls.

Kevin O'Brien scored three from three, but was once again too aggressive. Trent Johnston and Gary Wilson closed out the innings, scoring 12 and 5 respectively. Ireland ended with 202, a score of 10.10 runs per over.

The United States were always on the back foot and Ireland started amazingly with the ball, with their opponents 11 for 5 after 3.2 overs. Paul Connell and Trent Johnson were amazing, especially Connell with a record score of 4-14. Johnston took the other two wickets, ending with 2-17. The bowling throughout the team was much better than in the opener against Afghanistan, and each of the five bowlers stayed the duration.

American prospect Aditya Thyagarajan was amazing on his debut, but it wasn't to be his day, as the match was totally sewn up by his arrival. He scored a fantastic 72 not out, and is surely one to watch for the future. The player of the game, however, was Niall O'Brien with his astounding 84, which included twelve boundaries, two of which were sixes.