Joyce fireworks send a reminder to Bracewell
DOM JOYCE celebrated his 34th birthday in style yesterday with a blistering 86 from 71 balls as Leinster Lightning stormed to a six-wicket victory over the North-West Warriors in the Hanley InterPro Cup at Rathmines.
Joyce, who won the last of his 69 Irish caps in 2007, marked his competitive debut for Lightning with two maximums among his 14 boundaries and with Andy Poynter hitting a quick-fire 61, the home side romped to victory with a massive 19.5 overs to spare.
A game played in the fashionable all-or-nothing style of the successful World Cup teams saw the Warriors bowled out for 212 with 8.2 overs unused.
John Anderson set the tone for the chase with 27 from 15 balls then Joyce and Poynter combined in an irresistible third-wicket stand of 116 in 17.3 overs that ended when Joyce offered a fierce return catch to Rishi Chopra. Poynter departed in the next over.
While Joyce did not feature at all during Phil Simmons eight-year reign as Ireland coach he has remained a classy performer for Merrion, and an Indian summer to his international career cannot be ruled out under the new regime of John Bracewell.
The 50-over contest saw the best and worst of Max Sorensen as The Hills paceman opened up with a wide, took two wickets in his next three balls and then struck two further blows to have the Warriors reeling on 21-4 after his 13th legitimate delivery.
Unfortunately the inconsistency that blighted Sorensen at the World Cup - and has cost him a place in Ireland's squad for next month's World T20 qualifiers - was clear to see and his next 5.5 overs produced no wickets, a stream of boundaries and an overall return of 4-44.
Warriors skipper Andy McBrine led the recovery with 48 while teenager Gary McClintock hit the top score of 62 from 64 balls.