Ireland A toil in sunshine
It was a day of frustration for the Ireland 'A' bowlers against a very young Yorkshire XI, mainly comprised of Academy players, interspersed with a sprinkling of second XI cricketers.
With possible Intercontinental Cup places against Kenya next week up for grabs, it was in truth a pretty poor bowling display, which had the coaching duo of Adrian Birrell and Trent Johnston scratching their heads looking for answers.
The one exception was Andrew Britton, who bowled with plenty of fire and control, sending down a marathon spell of 24 overs, claiming 2 for 61, but with better luck, he could, and perhaps should have claimed more wickets.
Allan Coulter, Phil Eaglestone and Shane Getkate all got wickets, but were relatively expensive, and struggled to bowl a consistent line and length. That's not to say they didn't bowl some great balls, but too often failed to build any pressure by allowing Yorskhire to score boundaries from a range of full tosses and long hops.
Gary Kidd and James Hall both bowled tidily in parts, but the same woes of inconsistency affected both, as too often they allowed the batsmen to score runs freely.
Nigel Jones claimed 2-20 in just 8 overs, perhaps following orders to let the younger players get their chance. Paul Stirling took two sharp chances in the slip region, one of which came off the last ball of the day, putting the Irish out of their misery in a marathon session in the field.
The final Yorshire XI total of 337 from 96 overs was a good effort on their behalf, as they batted tidily, showing great skill and discipline. England Under 19 player Ben Sanderson made 66 batting at number 10, while Chavez top scored with a well manufactured 71.
While the catching can't be faulted, the same can't be said of the ground fielding, which visibly wilted and became shoddy and lethargic as the day wore on. Too many of the side lacked pace, mobility and that combined with poor and weak throwing, made it something of a horror show as the game progressed.
It's hard not to feel dispirited after such an abject display, but the lack of three day cricket played by these players must now surely be high on the Irish agenda. If the players are to improve, a regular feast of multi-day action is required, where bowlers have to earn their wickets, and where patience and cunning are vital attributes.
Plenty for the coaching duo to ponder, but one hopes for better fortunes for the batsmen today. Adrian Birrell believes the game is still there to be won - he remembers the first ICup win over Kenya - it'll take a massive effort if that is to be achieved, particularly if as expected, they will be up against former England Test star Matthew Hoggard, due to make an appearance today.
Scorecard: Yorkshire XI Vs Ireland A 2-Innings Match Played At Weetwood College Leeds, 23-Jun-2009, Three Day Match Toss won by Yorkshire XI Umpires D Sharp & I Dixon Comment