Bad opening day for Ireland A
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
Ireland A face a long three days in Maidstone after losing their last eight wickets for just 58 runs in 90 minutes on the first day of their game against the Kent 2nd XI.
By the close, the county side were already 30 runs ahead with eight wickets standing, including England Under 19 player Daniel Bell-Drummond who has scored 124, with 15 fours and three sixes.
Last week, Bell-Drummond, whom Adam Coughlan and Scott Campbell, will come up against again at the Under 19 World Cup in Australia in August, received the England Development Programme Cricketer of the Year award from Andrew Strauss and in the first 46 overs of the Kent innings he showed why.
Lethal on anything short of a length, he hit Allan Eastwood out of the attack with four boundaries in an over and then ruined the figures of opening partner Phil Eaglestone who had bowled eight impressive overs. His ninth went for 20 including the six which brought up his century in 126 balls.
Stuart Thompson stuck well to his task and the Limavady all-rounder was rewarded with a wicket off the last ball of the day but it did little to ease the pain for the Ireland bowlers.
It had all looked so promising in the first session when Lee Nelson hit 38 off 49 fours with seven fours and Chris Dougherty dug in to bring up his first 50 of the season, just two balls quicker than Bell-Drummondís century.
But when captain James Shannon was caught behind in the first over after lunch, it went downhill fast for the Irish.