Wilson hits Nepal for six to seal win
GARY WILSON struck sixes off consecutive balls to help Ireland to a tense five-wicket victory over Nepal with five balls to spare in Bangladesh last night.
The first warm-up game of the World T20 campaign was far from a gentle stroll for Ireland in Fatullah as Nepal posted a useful 137-7 despite Kevin O'Brien and Andy McBrine both taking 2-22 from their four overs.
While skipper William Porterfield led the reply with a spirited 38 and Clontarf right-hander Andrew Poynter chipped in with 28, Ireland were second favourites when youngster Stuart Thompson joined Wilson with 36 needed from 22 balls.
But Thompson found the boundary three times in his 21 not out from 10 balls and Wilson secured the victory by clearing the ropes twice at the end of the 19th over. Ireland's specialist "finisher" was 29 not out from 20 balls when Thompson hit the winning runs.
Ireland's final warm-up game takes place tomorrow against hosts Bangladesh before their opening first-round match against Zimbabwe on Monday.
PADDY BARNES lost out on his World Series of Boxing debut on a split decision to Algerian light-fly Mohamed Flissi in North Africa last night, writes Bernard O'Neill
The two-time Olympic bronze medallist was lining out for Italia Thunder versus the Algeria Desert Hawks in Algiers. Flissi, a silver medallist at the 2013 World Elites, won the first two rounds to lead 20-18 across the board.
But Barnes took the third (on a split) and fourth rounds, to leave Flissi, who was dropped in the third, slightly ahead going into the final round. The Algerian, who was on the back foot for most of the last three rounds, edged the last to claim a 48-47, 48-47, 47-48 verdict.
Tomorrow's Ireland-Kazakhstan international at the National Stadium is off. The Kazakhs couldn't travel due to visa issues.
Mark Allen maintained his bid to win the Haikou Open for a third successive year. when he came back from 3-2 down to beat former world champion Mark Williams 5-3. Allen was relieved to see off his fellow left-hander, and revealed he achieved the win on the back of just two hours of sleep.
"Every time I come to China my sleep pattern is pretty bad," Allen said. Next for Allen is Ricky Walden – a 5-1 victor against Ken Doherty.
THRILLED by the appointment of Paul McGinley as European skipper, the Dubliner's golfing alma mater, The Grange, has begun a series of events to mark Ryder Cup year.
'The Grange Ryder Cup Challenge', open to all amateur golfers, male and female, will climax on September 25, the day of the Ryder Cup opening ceremony. The leading 12 from five qualifying days (April 14, April 24, May 25, July 8 and July 20) will progress to the grand final.
Entries for next month's qualifier open tomorrow on the club website.