South Africa A hold the upper hand
Ger Siggins (Irish Daily Star)
Boyd Rankin's retirement - as revealed in yesterday's Star - is undoubtedly bad news for Ireland.
And yesterday at Oakhill they had an early chance as Ireland's four day game against South Africa A got under way 48 hours late.
Max Sorensen and Andy Britton opened and the senior player moved the ball around as the visitors slumped to 35-3.
After a rally to 90-3, Stuart Thompson struck after lunch and soon the Africans were 135-7, with the impressive Limavady all rounder and Sorensen taking three scalps apiece.
But Heino Kuhn and Rory Kleinveldt almost doubled the score for the eighth wicket, and enabled them to declare on 316.
With an hour left, and clouds gathering, Ireland's openers were confronted with the extreme pace of Quinton Friend.
Andrew Balbirnie fell for 4, but John Anderson battled through till three overs from the end when he played a loose shot to Wayne Parnell and was caught at mid on for 16.
South Africa 'A' 316-8dec (H Kuhn 103no, R Kleinveldt 74, J Ontong 42, S Thompson 3-63, M Sorensen 3-82) Ireland 56-2 (A Cusack 22no)