In brief: Dockrell puts Dutch in a spin
GEORGE DOCKRELL used a bit of local knowledge to take 4-36 at Rathmines yesterday and give Ireland a clear advantage on the first day of their InterContinental Cup clash with the Netherlands.
The teenage left-arm spinner, who plays his club cricket for Leinster CC, found turn and bounce from his home pitch and was well supported by Albert van der Merwe as the Dutch were bowled out for 188.
Some of the good work was undone when openers Paul Stirling and James Hall fell cheaply but Ireland closed on a comfortable 88-2.
Pembroke seamer Allan Eastwood made the initial breakthrough after the Netherlands had chosen to bat and in 14 testing overs did enough to suggest his first cap will not be his last.
Trent Johnston ended the resistance of top-scorer Wilfred Diepeveen for 41 before Dockrell struck in his second over with John Mooney holding onto a bat-pad chance.
Johnston removed Nick Statham for a duck immediately after the interval and Dockrell quickly claimed the first of three lbw victims to reduce the visitors to 100-5.
Dutch skipper Peter Borren rallied his side briefly before Van der Merwe had him smartly stumped for 39 by Gary Wilson -- the only regular county player available to an under-strength Ireland.
Off-spinner Van der Merwe also benefited from two sharp catches close in -- including a superb diving one-handed take by Johnston at slip -- to return excellent figures of 3-25.
Ireland not only have to win to have any chance of retaining the IC Cup but must also ensure maximum points by gaining a first-innings lead, so it was a setback when Stirling was undone by extra bounce when he had made just five, and Hall was lbw for seven.
But Alex Cusack and Kevin O'Brien combined in an unbroken third-wicket partnership of 71 to leave Ireland trailing by exactly 100 and well placed with three days to play.
LOUK SORENSEN yesterday pulled off a shock win in the first round of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Brasilia. The unseeded Irish No 2 stunned local favourite Marcos Daniel, seeded No 7, 6-4 6-4.
Irish Road Race Champion Matt Brammeier is part of a strong An Post/Sean Kelly Team tackling the Mi-Aout Bretonne four-day event in France today.