Tuesday 26 September 2017

Johnston upbeat ahead of last title charge in green

CRICKET

Trent Johnston is looking forward to more success with Ireland
Trent Johnston is looking forward to more success with Ireland

TRENT JOHNSTON calculated he only had "100 good overs left" in him after announcing this summer he would end his Ireland career at the end of the year.

The 39-year-old warhorse may use eight of that quota this weekend as Ireland look to defend their World T20 qualifying title in Abu Dhabi, with a semi-final today against the United Arab Emirates hopefully followed by a final against Afghanistan or Nepal.

After time off this week, Johnston joked: "I'm feeling fine, I think you can revise that figure to 150 overs! The InterContinental Cup final is definitely my last game, though."

The five-day final against Afghanistan starts on December 10 in Dubai, but before that there is a chance to add to his collection of silverware by winning another World T20 qualifying tournament.

Johnston has again belied his years, playing in all six of Ireland's victorious Group A matches and delivering a crucial final over against the UAE to secure victory and automatic qualification for the World T20 finals in Bangladesh in March.

By topping Group A, Ireland earned four days off -- as did Afghanistan for winning Group B -- while a series of play-off matches this week saw Nepal, the UAE, Hong Kong and the Netherlands claiming the final four places in Bangladesh.

Scotland missed out on a berth yesterday after suffering a crushing eight-wicket defeat by the Netherlands.

UAE V IRELAND,

LIVE, SKY SPORTS 3, 2.0

Irish Independent

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