Monday 25 September 2017

Ireland strengthen their grip of Intercontinental Cup match against Hong Kong

Ed Joyce helped Ireland take control against Hong Kong
Ed Joyce helped Ireland take control against Hong Kong

Ireland battled a series of rain delays to build a 278-run lead and put themselves on the brink of victory in their Intercontinental Cup match against Hong Kong.

John Anderson top-scored for the Irish with 59 on a frustrating day of on-off action in Belfast which was ended prematurely by bad light with the hosts having four wickets remaining.

After bowling out Hong Kong with the final ball on day two, Ireland began their second innings with a 79-run advantage.

Ed Joyce made 37 before being bowled by Tanwir Afzal ahead of the the first downpour, while fellow opener William Porterfield was later dismissed by Ehsan Khan having scored 29.

Niall O'Brien (15) and Paul Stirling (six) were the next to fall before Anderson's attempt to pull Aizaz Khan's delivery sent the ball high into the air, allowing Ehsan Khan to come in from square leg and take the catch.

Afzal - who trapped Gary Wilson lbw for the final dismissal of the day - and Tanveer Ahmed ended with two wickets apiece but the tourists have it all to do on day four with Kevin O'Brien (seven not out) and George Dockrell (nought not out) set to resume at the crease.

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