Max Sorensen stakes his claim as Ireland flop
MAX SORENSEN looks a good bet to partner Craig Young with the new ball at the World Cup after taking three wickets for Ireland in an otherwise demoralising 179-run practice-match defeat by Scotland in Sydney.
Sorensen, a surprise omission from the original squad, was called up last month to replace the injured Tim Murtagh and has quickly moved into second place in the fast bowling pecking order.
The 29-year-old's pace impressed Aussie great Brett Lee - Ireland's short-term bowling coach - in the nets last week and he carried that form into yesterday's 13-a-side warm-up match, claiming two Scotland wickets in a fiery opening spell and another later on for figures of 3-55.
Young took two wickets and off-spinner Andy McBrine bowled an economical spell of 10 overs for 36, but Ireland had little else to cheer as a Matt Machan century helped Scotland to 296-6.
Veterans Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien were the two to be excused fielding duties but then managed only five runs between them as lanky medium pacer Alasdair Evans laid waste to the Ireland top order with a spell of 4-3 - Ireland subsided from 57 without loss to 117 all out.
"We were lackadaisical in the field at times, which is inexcusable, but it's nothing we can't put right," said captain William Porterfield.
"With the batting, I think the problem was more mental than one of preparation.
"We made some poor decisions with shot selection and, when you lose your top four quickly, it's always going to be difficult.
"I don't think we're too far away, though."
Meanwhile, Andrew White, who won a record 231 caps, has announced his retirement from international cricket after failing to be selected for what would have been his third World Cup campaign.
The 34-year-old Belfast schoolteacher will probably be the last 'amateur' to play regularly for Ireland. He scored 4,580 runs, including six centuries, and took 125 wickets with his off-spin in a career that spanned 14 years.