Monday 23 April 2018

Cricket :Dockrell works magic as Irish take step closer to World spot

Gerard Hughes

GEORGE DOCKRELL bowled Ireland a step closer to the 2015 World Cup finals yesterday, but Canada put up a much stronger fight than expected at Clontarf before fading away to a 56-run defeat.

Skipper William Porterfield chose to bat and top-scored with 53, but a vastly improved performance in the field by Canada restricted the home side to 249-7.

Canada set about their chase confidently, but were pegged back by three run outs before Dockrell began to weave his magic with a controlled spell that returned him the impressive figures of 2-27.

The decisive moment came when big-hitting Rizwan Cheema attempted to smash Dockrell over long on and was caught.

The Leinster ace didn't concede a boundary until the end of his eighth over and the pressure he built was a major factor in Canada stumbling from a worrying 82-2 after 17 overs to 193 all out when Alex Cusack wrapped up the innings in the 47th over.

Without Paul Stirling, who aggravated a shoulder injury in the field on Monday, Ireland lacked firepower at the top of the batting order. The first four all got starts, but only Porterfield took it on, reaching 53.

The meat of the Ireland innings came from Gary Wilson and Kevin O'Brien, who added 63 for the fifth wicket.

Canada would have got closer but for three fine pieces of fielding -- Trent Johnston throwing down the stumps from mid-on, Porterfield finding the wicketkeeper from on the ground and Dockrell keeping his head when Usman Limbada slipped.

Ireland's double-header wins against Namibia and Canada puts them top of the eight-team World Cup qualifying league after four games, but sterner tests lie ahead against Scotland, the Netherlands and Afghanistan before a top-two finish and a finals berth is secured.

details in Factfile

Irish Independent

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