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Dwyer thinking 'outside the box' for upset over fancied Australians

IRELAND coach Matt Dwyer is vowing to "think outside the box" for tomorrow morning's match (10.30 local time) against Australia after watching his young charges lose the opening match of their U-19 World Cup campaign to South Africa.

Dwyer said: "To beat the big teams at this level we have to do something different -- not opening the bowling with a spinner or employing a pinch-hitter, but something along those lines.

"We know we have a potential match-winner in Paul Stirling and we are thinking hard about how we use him in the remaining games -- do we perhaps move him up from No 3 to open, or hold him back for when batting gets easier?

"We need to look outside the box to get the best out of Stirlo. If he can play two big innings in the five games we have left, then Ireland will win those two games.

Dwyer continued: "But I want him to be playing those big innings at this end of the tournament and upsetting the likes of Australia, not scoring runs in the play-off for 15th place."

Any hope of upsetting South Africa yesterday disappeared almost from the moment captain Andy Balbirnie lost the toss and condemned his side to a torrid first hour with the bat.

"There's no escaping the toss is crucial down here," said Dwyer. "The ball moves around for the seam bowlers in those early overs and when you are 36 for four the game has gone -- barring a miracle."


Ireland did exceptionally to recover to 216 for six from 50 overs, thanks mainly to a fifth-wicket partnership of 117 between Ben Ackland and Lee Nelson, but wayward seam bowling allowed South Africa to make a brisk start and ease home with five wickets and 6.2 overs to spare.

Ackland, who is working hard to capitalise on his customary good starts, stroked a classy top score of 66 while Nelson -- slipped down the order to allow Stuart Thompson to open -- struck the leather hard and wisely for 55 from 75 balls.

With something to build on, seventh-wicket pair Graham McDonnell and Stuart Poynter smashed an unbeaten 45 from the final 4.2 overs -- the last ball of the innings was planted over mid-wicket for six by Poynter.

Dwyer said: "The cricket we played in the last 35 overs of that innings was as good as any you'll see in this tournament -- first the consolidation and then the acceleration. It was great stuff.

"The momentum was with us at the break and if we'd bowled well and had them 20 for two it would have been an interesting game -- but our seamers didn't get enough deliveries in the right areas."

Details in Factfile

Irish Independent