Saturday 16 December 2017

Poynter brothers to star for Irish


ANDREW and Stuart Poynter will become the latest set of brothers to represent Ireland when they take the field together against Namibia in Belfast today in a rearranged four-day InterContinental Cup clash.

While older brother Andrew already has 32 caps as a solid middle-order batsman, 20-year-old wicketkeeper Stuart, who also plays his club cricket for Clontarf, missed out on an international debut when Namibia failed to turn up for the original fixture in July, citing visa problems.

Coincidentally, a weakened Ireland team -- minus most of its county players and the injured Trent Johnston -- will be captained by Kevin O'Brien, who holds the joint sibling record of 264 caps with brother Niall.

Twenty wickets need to be taken to win a first-class, two-innings match and, on the traditionally seamer-friendly Stormont pitch, Kevin O'Brien will have to share a lot of the workload with Phil Eaglestone, John Mooney and debutant Graeme McCarter.

"With so many of the county players unavailable, this is an excellent chance for the next level to make a name for themselves," O'Brien said.

Ireland's first game of seven qualifying matches will be followed by a second against Canada in Rathmines, starting next Tuesday.

IRELAND -- K O'Brien (Railway Union), A Cusack (Clontarf), G Dockrell (Somerset), P Eaglestone (Strabane), G McCarter (Gloucestershire), J Mooney (North County), A Poynter (Clontarf), S Poynter (wkt) (Clontarf), P Stirling (Middlesex), S Thompson (Limavady), A van der Merwe (YMCA), A White (Instonians), G Wilson (Surrey).

Irish Independent

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