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Tector firing on all cylinders but Ireland have much work to do

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Harry Tector. Photo: Sportsfile

Harry Tector. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Harry Tector. Photo: Sportsfile

Harry Tector struck an impressive 55 from 49 balls after Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie had also made half-centuries yesterday as Ireland warmed up for this week's ODI series with a 12-a-side match against the England Lions in Southampton.

Tector, who is rapidly becoming a fixture in the middle order, belted three sixes and as many fours but the YMCA youngster's dismissal in the 42nd over saw the innings stall and a likely total of 320-plus fade to a disappointing 296 all out, with two balls unbowled. The task facing Ireland in the three ODIs was then underlined as the Lions raced to victory with seven wickets and a worrying 15.2 overs to spare, despite Mark Adair striking with the first ball of the reply to have World Cup-winner Jason Roy caught behind for a duck.

Balbirnie will expect more control from his bowlers in Thursday's first game against England but will have been heartened to see Adair back after recovering from ankle surgery and Stirling showing no sign of a reported calf niggle as he hit 53.

The skipper top-scored with 60 and Kevin O'Brien weighed in with another three sixes, coming in at six, but after watching Phil Salt smash a century off 58 balls, Ireland know that anything shy of 330 will not be enough on the fast-scoring Ageas Bowl ground.

Irish Independent