Tuesday 24 April 2018

Cricket: Big guns back as Irish eye World Cup spot

IRELAND are expecting to face a very different Canada side in today's one-day international World Cup qualifier at Clontarf than the hands-in-pockets brigade they bowled out twice in a day and thrashed at Rathmines last week.

The faces may be the same, but Canada will be far more motivated after the International Cricket Council's recent announcement that the top two sides in the eight-team one-day league competition will qualify automatically for the 2015 World Cup.

Ireland will make changes, with William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien, Ed Joyce and Boyd Rankin all available and Trent Johnston determined to play through any discomfort from his troublesome knee.

Whether Johnston will be able to back up in tomorrow's second game of two remains to be seen, but Ireland should have enough firepower in reserve to repeat the double victory they chalked against Namibia in July.

The man Canada most fear is young opener Paul Stirling, who scored his fourth international century of the year against them at Rathmines and hammered 177 -- the 14th highest ODI score -- the last time the teams met in a 50-overs contest in Toronto in 2010.

IRELAND (squad) -- Porterfield (Warwickshire), Cusack (Clontarf), Dockrell (Somerset), Johnston (Railway Union), Jones (Civil Service North), Joyce (Sussex), Mooney (North County), K O'Brien (Railway Union), N O'Brien (Northants), Rankin (Warwickshire), Stirling (Middlesex), Van der Merwe (YMCA), White (Instonians), Wilson (Surrey).

Irish Independent

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