Rain ruins Ireland A clash with Durham
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
THE Ireland batsmen did not get the chance to prove they could bat out the final day for a draw against Durham II when rain allowed only 35 minutes play in Darlington.
Ireland moved on from 33 for one to 64 for two when first a steady drizzle and then persistent rain swept in to end the game immediately after an early lunch. John Anderson was the batsman out, leg before after playing no stroke, but Chris Dougherty and Stuart Thompson were untroubled in the remaining eight overs possible.
Dougherty finished with 96 runs in the match but, although top scoring in both innings, the CIYMS batsman's tally was dwarfed by three Durham players who went on to three figures including his opposite number, Keaton Jennings, who batted more than six and a half hours to score a double century.
National Coach Phil Simmons, present to watch the match, hoped that his young batsmen, four of whom got decent starts, would learn from their opponents.
“Dougherty batted really well and showed he wanted to start pushing (for the top) but you can’t push it with 60s and 70s. If he had scored 170 it would have been a different story. And it is things like that you want them to learn in these matches. It’s a case of scoring big runs and they had two batters who showed that.”
Looking for positives Simmons added: Young (Peter) Eakin showed he can bowl and did most things well in the two days, you still have a lot of young fast bowlers who need cricket and (Andy) Britton, (Johnny) Thompson and Eagy (Phil Eaglestone) did well but they need more days in the field like that. But, to me, they didn’t fall apart and that was good to see.”
As for John Mooney, who will make his 135th senior international appearance in the first of two four-day games against South Africa A (starting in Oakhill on Monday week) Simmons said: “It would me more worrying if he was bowling and not creating chances but he had a couple of catches dropped. I’m more worried about the batting because he not getting enough time in the middle – (he failed to score in his only innings). Let’s hope he gets it in one of the four-day games and bring him that confidence going into the World Twenty20.”