IRELAND remain on top against Hong Kong in their InterContinental Cup clash at Stormont despite 45 overs being lost in the day due to a combination of rain and bad light on a stop-start day.

The Irish continued to play positively throughout scoring at a rate of around four an over in an attempt to force a result depite the best efforts of the Belfast weather.

Ed Joyce scored a fluent 37 from 55 balls sharing an opening stand of 53 with skipper William Porterfield, before being unluckily dismissed when he hit his wicket - the second time this has happened to the left-hander in recent years.

He had been dismissed in this fashion to Boyd Rankin at Malahide in 2013 - before then the last player to be dismissed hit wicket for the Irish was Kenny Carroll back in 2007 - the fearsome Dale Steyn was the bowler on that occasion.

John Anderson and Porterfield added a further 48 before the skipper was bowled for 29. Niall O'Brien (15) and Paul Stirling (6) both went cheaply, but John Anderson's fourth half century for Ireland ensured they were always on top.

The Merrion man top scored with 59 from 112 balls (5 fours) before mistiming an attempted hook shot.

Gary Wilson scored a breezy 25 before being trapped lbw two balls before the umpires decided that the light was too poor to continue.

Skipper William Porterfield indicated that Ireland would bat on in the morning - probably hoping to set Hong Kong a target of around 330.

Play on the final day will start 30 minutes early at 10:30am, with a potential 104 overs.


Day 3 close of play

IRELAND 316 and 199/6 (51 overs, J Anderson 59, E Joyce 37, W Porterfield 29, G Wilson 25)


Ireland lead by 278 runs.