The Ger Siggins Column
Inside Edge: 13 June
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“I had the best seat in the house”, says Paul Stirling. He was talking about watching from 22 yards away as Eoin Morgan played one of the most amazing innings ever seen at Lord’s ground.
It’s not often an 85-ball Stirling century is overshadowed, but the ex-Rush player took just 49 balls to hit three figures as he smashed 11 sixes off Lancashire on Sunday.
“He batted amazingly”, Stirling told Inside Edge, “he was hitting sixes off good balls”.
The Belfast native was delighted to get a few runs himself, after a slow start to the season.
“I’ve been hitting a few 20s and 30s so I was happy to get some runs”, he said. Morgan only played alongside Stirling once for Ireland, when the 17 year old made his debut in 2008, but the pair have now made two century stands together for the county this season.
The Ireland opener has yet to break into Middlesex’s four-day team, but is not too despondent just yet.
“I’m not really frustrated at that, more at the weather this summer. There hasn’t been much opportunity to get a big score, especially with the state of the pitches. It’s been really disjointed so far, so I hope to get running soon.”
The county’s T20 campaign starts tomorrow evening, and Stirling is inked in to the short-form team.
“I’m looking forward to it”, he said, “it’s a form of the game that suits me, but I’d like to prove people wrong about the long stuff too.”
He will interrupt the 20-over diet for a quick visit to his native city in ten days time and the RSA Challenge ODI.
“Since the fixtures came out that’s the one we’ve all been looking forward to. We don’t get many chances to play these sort of games so it’s a big focus.”
Stirling remembers the Australian visit two years ago when he launched a savage assault on the opening bowlers. After ten overs of the second innings Ireland were set for a historic win.
“Everyone agrees that was an opportunity missed,” says Stirling. “We put ourselves into a winning position and were very disappointed not to hammer that home. But we learned from that and it’s great to have the opportunity to put it right.”
For a man still only 21 years old, its incredible to consider that he will win his 103rd cap at Stormont. And in the form he’s in, he should be the man to watch.
Tweet of the week: Cricket paparazzo Rob O’Connor (@rocshot) tweeted this stylish shot of George Dockrell to his Somerset teammate Nick Compton… “@thecompdog … your roomy, @georgedockrell, asked me to send this to you!”
This Saturday marks the centenary of arguably the most incredible innings ever seen in Ireland.
A batsman making a century before lunch is a rare feat, achieved only 17 times in more than 2,000 test matches. But on 16 June 1912 student Dickie Lloyd made a DOUBLE century before lunch. He was playing for Trinity against the Garrison, and wasn’t even in at start of play, but was 201no at the interval.
Lloyd was a legendary rugby international who invented the out-half position, and also played cricket for Ireland. The story of his amazing knock is told in the current Trinity programme and on cricketleinster.ie.
Performance of the week: new Waringstown pro Glen Addicott’s stunning innings of 116* off 75 balls pulled the game out of the fire against Brigade in the Bob Kerr Cup, including five 6s off one over.
20 years ago today Ireland lost to Middlesex in a two-day game at Malahide, notable for one interesting dismissal in the second innings – Angus Fraser c sub b Conor Hoey. The sub was Middlesex coach Ian Gould, now a test umpire, who filled in when Paul Jackson injured a finger!