Wednesday 17 January 2018

Cricket: Dockrell has Netherlands in a spin as Ireland turn the screw

David Townsend

KEVIN O'BRIEN decided against going for a quick win in Deventer as Ireland continued to dominate the Netherlands in a four-day InterContinental Cup match.

The Ireland captain could have asked the home side to follow on yesterday after three wickets from left-arm spinner George Dockrell had helped dismiss them before tea for 148.

But, with first-innings points in the bag and the cushion of a 184-run lead, O'Brien chose instead to bat again and by stumps his side had increased their advantage to 252, for the loss of four wickets.

Rain could yet deny Ireland what otherwise looks an inevitable win, but O'Brien didn't want to risk a fourth-innings chase – no matter how small – on an increasingly treacherous surface.

With turn and bounce on offer, Dockrell was expected to dominate day two but the Netherlands had already lost four wickets by the time the Somerset spinner got his turn.

Trent Johnston benefited from a smart slip catch but deserved more from his opening 10 overs, John Mooney took wickets with two deliveries that appeared to stop and young seamer Stuart Thompson found an edge to the wicketkeeper with his first ball.

When Dockrell had skipper Peter Borren caught at bat-pad, the Netherlands were 58-5 and the question was not whether they would make the 183 required to save the follow on but whether the game might even end in two days.

Off-spinner Andrew Balbirnie picked up a victim in his leg trap, Dockrell trimmed Pieter Seelaar's bails and speedster Max Sorensen got in on the act with a couple of wickets after lunch.

Tom Cooper was the only home batsman to offer sustained resistance – making 51 with two fours and a six from 128 balls – but, running out of partners, he pushed forward to Dockrell and was stumped by Stuart Poynter. Just like that.

Irish Independent

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