Cricket: Wilson ton makes light work of Dutch
GARY WILSON grabbed centre stage at Clontarf yesterday with his maiden international century to help Ireland ease to a 70-run victory over the Netherlands in the first RSA Series clash.
Opening the batting in his 88th match for Ireland, Wilson powered 10 fours in a bustling 113 from 147 balls that was the meat in the home side's total of 275-6.
The Surrey wicketkeeper then ended any doubts as to the destination of the man-of-the-match award by stumping Dutch danger man Tom Cooper for 66.
The Netherlands innings petered out for 205 in the 46th over, with part- time spinner Andrew White taking 4-44 to make sure there was no sting in the visitors' tail.
The margin of the win will make Ireland confident of wrapping up a 2-0 series win tomorrow at Castle Avenue against the new boys of the ODI rankings.
Wilson has been a reliable support act in the Ireland line-up in the past two years without often hogging the limelight -- but yesterday he came of age with an innings of domination.
After adding 82 for the first wicket with Paul Stirling, he continued to build a strong platform with Alex Cusack in a second-wicket partnership worth 118 in 21 overs.
Cusack departed for 45 but Wilson continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over and went to his century with a thick edge to third man -- one of his very few streaky shots.
The 24-year-old struck two more boundaries before lofting a catch to long-on and despite a late clatter of Irish wickets, a target of 5.5 an over was always going to be too much for the Dutch.
Railway Union all-rounder Kevin O'Brien claimed three wickets in his opening spell and Ireland only had a brief moment of concern when Cooper took a shine to the spin of George Dockrell.
But the former Australian U-19 batsman got over-confident at the other end and missed as he charged down the pitch to Albert van der Merwe. Wilson did the rest.
Meanwhile, absent Ireland skipper William Porterfield scored his second century of the county championship season for Gloucestershire at Northampton yesterday. He made 150 of his side's total of 302.