Ireland ring changes for one-dayers
Ian Callender (Sunday Times)
Peter Connell and Nigel Jones have been recalled to the Ireland squad for next week’s one-day games against South Africa A, the first of which is at Strabane on Sunday.
Connell has not been in an Ireland starting line-up since the ODI against Australia at Clontarf in June 2010 while Jones has been frozen out since the World Twenty 20 group games in Dubai in March.
In all there are five changes to the team playing at Coleraine in the rain-affected four-day game between the teams, which was abandoned half an hour before the start of the final day, with Alex Cusack rested and John Mooney still missing.
Again, the county players are unavailable for selection and with the CB40 competition having resumed, Gary Wilson has been recalled to play for Surrey although he hopes to play in the final one-day game, at Stormont next Thursday, probably as a replacement for Kevin O’Brien who will go in the opposite direction with Somerset preparing for Twenty20 finals day.
Rory McCann, the regular substitute in 50-over cricket for Wilson and Niall O’Brien, is named as wicket-keeper.
Andrew Balbirnie, who made his county championship debut for Middlesex yesterday, does not figure yet in their one-day side so he will play for Ireland next week and Andrew Poynter returns, although he has played only one 50-over game since 2010.
Only 40 overs were possible on day three before the rain arrived to wash out any possibility of more play. Stuart Thompson celebrated his 21st birthday by taking two wickets in his first over but that was Ireland’s only success of the day which South Africa finished 39 runs ahead, and four first innings wickets standing.
Kevin O'Brien finally brought himself on in the 55th over, bowling tidily which summed up Ireland's bowling in the match. Indeed in the morning session, the South Africans scored only 63 runs in 28 overs as they steadily accumulated to ensure the first innings advantage.
Again it was wicket-keeper Heino Kuhn who was the immovable object, following up his unbeaten century at Oakhill with 57 not out, when the covers came on.
Ireland squad for One-day games at Strabane (Sunday) and Stormont (Tuesday and Thursday): K O’Brien (capt), J Anderson, A Balbirnie, P Connell, T Johnston, N Jones, R McCann, A Poynter, J Shannon, M Sorensen, S Thompson, A van der Merwe, A White