Wednesday 19 December 2018

Ireland hope to spin way into Super Sixes against Windies


George Dockrell. Photo: Sportsfile
George Dockrell. Photo: Sportsfile

Gerard Hughes

A place in the Super Sixes stage of the World Cup qualifiers is at stake today, along with the 100pc record of both teams, when Ireland take on the West Indies at the Harare Sports Club in one of the pivotal games of the three-week-long tournament.

The winners will move an important step closer to claiming one of the two remaining places in next year's showpiece in England whereas the losers will probably have to win all four of the games left to qualify.

Ireland coach Graham Ford is likely to stick with his two spinners option that proved successful against Papua New Guinea, meaning Pembroke all-rounder Barry McCarthy will again miss out, as George Dockrell and Andy McBrine attempt to contain Chris Gayle and his big-hitting team-mates.

"The pitches have all offered some spin to date and that's going to be important again against the West Indies," left-armer Dockrell said.

"The pitches have been pretty consistent throughout the games and practice matches.

"The guys in the squad are all in a good place and looking forward to the game. The West Indies match was always going to be the biggest one in our group and we want to keep the momentum we have."

The clash will see a reunion between Dockrell and Carlos Brathwaite, who helped Leinster to Senior Irish Cup glory in 2009 before famously winning the 2016 World T20 final for the West Indies with four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes' last over in the final.

"Carlos was an incredible professional for us, he got on so well with everyone on and off the pitch," Dockrell said. "I still catch up with him whenever I can and it will be exciting to play against him in such a huge match."

Irish Independent

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